Central Florida Mid-Season Recap
By Rebecca Soderholm -
In a division that is continuing to grow in numbers and talent, the University of Central Florida wrestling is really heating up this season, proving to be a tough team in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association. After great performances in the first three tournaments of the year, UCF wrestling looked to keep it up this past weekend at the Cavalier Duals in Albany, Georgia. UCF’s season began at the Citadel, a tough multi-division tournament that promised competitive wrestling. Next, the team headed out to the University of North Carolina-Pembroke for their highly ranked NCAA Division II tournament, the Brave’s classic, where UCF wrestling claimed more place winners than they have in any previous trip to that tournament. Following Pembroke, the UCF Knights continued their successful season at home, wrestling hard in their own Knights Brawl Duals and Central Florida Open.
At the Citadel, UCF’s first tournament of the season, three UCF wrestlers claimed victory. Santiago Martinez took the gold at the 165 pound weight class. Matt Vaughn brought home the silver, wrestling tough in the first tournament of the season at 149 pounds. UCF's Josh Woods took fourth in the 285 pound weight class.
Following the Citadel, UCF headed to North Carolina, wrestling their toughest tournament thus far at Pembroke this year, placing at more weights than ever before in school history. Pembroke took ninth last year at the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Six UCF wrestlers claimed success and made their way to the top of the podium. Santiago Martinez took first at 165, followed closely by Josh Woods and Scott Watson, who both brought home silver, at 285 and 174 pounds, respectively. Christian Grillo at 157 pounds and Matt Vaughn in the 149 pound weight class claimed fourth. Followed by Nick Petrovick also in the 174 pound weight class placing sixth, leading to a victorious second tournament.
The Knights Brawl Duals and Central Florida Open is getting increasingly more difficult and competitive over the years. UCF posted an undefeated 4-0 record during the duals. The following day during their third individual tournament of the year UCF had an incredible number of place winners. Brian Radli and Christian Grillo claimed victory by wrestling their way to gold. Santiago Martinez, Josh Woods and Max Becks also made it to the top by winning second in an incredibly tough tournament. Additionally, Michael Flemming at 141 pounds took third along with Scott Watson at 174 pounds who took fourth. Also placing in the individual tournament were Nick Petrovick in the 184 weight class taking sixth and Sean Mann wrestling 165 placing fifth.
UCF wrestling had an impressive showing this past weekend at the Cavalier Duals in Albany Georgia. They went two and one, with a small margin of a one point loss against Darton College. With a 24-23 final score, UCF made it a close match-up, starting a winning streak at the 149 pound weight class, with a tech-fall by Max Becks. Following Becks, Santiago Martinez achieved a first period pin against his opponent in the 165 pound weight class. Next, Scott Watson won at the 174 pound weight class in a 3-2 match, followed by Woods 6-3 win at the 285 pound weight class. Then UCF faced off against Truett-McConnell, dominating with a 43 to 10 final score. We started off strong in the 125 pound weight class with a second period pin by Chris Fox. Following Fox, Matt Vaughn had an impressive first period pin in the 149 pound weight class. Then, Christian Grillo and Santiago Martinez both achieved tech-falls over their opponents in the 157 and 165 pound weight classes respectively. Justin Mitchell beat his opponent 13 to 2 in the 197 pound weight class. Josh Woods finished the match up strong, with another impressive first period pin for UCF wrestling. The final Dual of the day for UCF was against Shorter College, reflecting the Knights hard work with 29 to 9 win. Nick Anthony got the match started with a 7 to 2 point win over his opponent in the 133 pound weight class. Matt Vaughn then claimed another tech-fall for UCF, beating his opponent in the 149 pound weight with a series of impressive cradles. Santiago Martinez claimed victory once again in the 165 pound weigh class, winning his match 5-2. At 174 pounds, Sean Mann claimed victory with an remarkable second period pin, continuing the Knights winning streak. Following Mann, Scott Watson defeated his opponent in the 184 pound weight class in a 5-2 match. Justin Mitchell then finished up the wins for the Knights with a 4 to 2 victory over his opponent from Shorter in the 197 pound weight class.
The UCF knights wrestling team plans on continuing their success in the months to come, as they continue to work and improve every day. Next up on the schedule is the Luther-Gator Duals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Then the Knights plan on ringing in the New Year with the Virginia Duals, a tough two-day tournament in Hampton, Virginia.