(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – The Mules wrestling team opened the season with a strong showing at the UCM Open Sunday at the Multipurpose Building with two place-winners.
Ty Loethen finished third at 165 pounds and Hunter Neighbors posted a sixth-place finish wrestling unattached at 125 pounds. Todd Brier and Tim Tuaquoi also posted solid performances for the Mules at 184 pounds and 285 pounds.
Loethen, a transfer from Northern Illinois, started the meet in the second round after receiving a bye in round one of the championship bracket. The Jefferson City, Mo., native faced Missouri Valley’s Troy Langston and defeated him on a 14-6 major decision to advance to round three. He then battled McKendree’s Isaiah Gonzalez and came up short, dropping a 12-2 major decision.
Loethen bounced back in the consolation bracket, posting three wins to finish third. He faced Oklahoma State’s Sam Mehan first, coming away with a decisive 8-0 major decision, before taking on Maryville’s Josh Thomson. Loethen was able to post a 4-0 decision over Thomson to advance.
He received a medical forfeit victory, placing him in the third-place match against McKendree’s Nick Haferkamp. He took a 5-3 decision over Haferkamp to post a third-place finish and a 5-1 record on the day.
Neighbors began the day by taking a 13-1 major decision over Neosho County Community College’s Tim Shannon to advance in the championship bracket. He then faced Lindenwood’s Kris Workman in round two and posted a 5-4 decision, moving him into the championship bracket quarterfinals where he battled the University of Missouri’s Zach Synon.
Neighbors lost in a 5-1 decision, dropping him into the consolation bracket. The Jefferson City native dropped an 11-3 decision to Labette’s Josh Walker in his first consolation match, setting up a showdown with McKendree’s Jose Torres in the fifth-place match. Neighbors narrowly fell in the match, 5-4, placing him sixth at 125 pounds with a 3-3 record at the open.
Brier had a 2-2 record wrestling at 184 pounds, advancing to the championship bracket third round while Tuaquoi also posted a 2-2 record after advancing to the third round of the 285 pound championship bracket.
The Mules return to the mats Nov. 17 when they travel to St. Charles, Mo., to participate in the Lindenwood Open.