In the last few seasons, Cal Poly wrestling has challenged themselves by taking on the toughest opponents they can get. And they’ve done that again this past Friday when they defeated Duke University 38-6 and held their own despite the final team score against No. 14 Rutgers 31-10.
In the opener of their 75th season, the Mustangs (1-1) dominated in all facets against the Blue Devils (0-2) while they struggled to show that same dominance against the Scarlet Knights (2-0) but managed to hold their own in most matches.
Mustangs overcome Duke
Cal Poly started off the day with a win in the 125-pound weight class courtesy of redshirt freshman Dom Mendez, who dominated on his way to a 20-4 technical fall to put the Mustangs up 5-0.
Redshirt freshman Zeth Romney also finished with a technical fall in the 133-pound division after getting takedown after takedown.
Redshirt sophomore Abe Hinrichsen won via major decision, 19-6, but all eyes were on the next two wrestlers the Mustangs would put out on the mat.
The Lamer family introduced a new member to Cal Poly wrestling when redshirt sophomore Michigan transfer and No. 8 in the 149-pound weight class Chance Lamer recorded seven total takedowns en route to a dominant 21-6 technical fall two minutes into the match.
His brother, No. 26 ranked at 157 pounds, redshirt junior Legend Lamer one-upped Chance when he pinned his opponent two minutes into his match.
North Carolina transfer graduate Michael Goldfeder fell in his match 8-5 in overtime but was picked up by his teammate, who’s ranked No. 17 at 174 pounds Adam Kemp, who is coming off of shoulder surgery, after he dominated in his match in route to a 18-3 technical fall.
“I kinda needed that time off the mat to miss the sport,” Kemp said. “I wanna be on a rampage now.”
Redshirt sophomore 184 pounder Kendall La Rosa won a close one with a 6-4 finish over his opponent while redshirt sophomore Jarad Priest dominated after moving up two weight classes to 197 with a 22-7 technical fall.
“He’ll be back in December, he’s rehabbing and is close to being back,” Head Coach Jon Sioredas said.
Mustangs compete but fall to No. 14 Rutgers
The only Mustangs to pull out wins against the Top 25 Scarlet Knights were the Lamer brothers, with a 13-5 major decision and 4-2 decision, respectively, and Kemp, who managed an 8-5 decision. They were also the only Cal Poly wrestlers to win both of their matches on Friday.
Something that was working a lot for Kemp was the single-leg takedown, as he achieved most of his takedowns from that move, and he says he has one person to thank for that.
“[My dad] taught me that single leg… that was the first thing he ever taught me,” Kemp said.
Mendez and Romney also impressed in their bouts as they kept it close against highly ranked opponents in their weight classes.
“Dom Mendez at 125 against a kid ranked eighth in the country and we’re one exchange away, at 133 we’re in the match,” Sioredas said.
The Green and Gold weren’t as dominant as they would’ve liked to have been as they fell 31-10 against No. 14 Rutgers, but that’s what happens when you go against a top team in the country, but Sioredas knows it’s better for the team in the long run.
“In order to get better we have to wrestle the best guys,” Sioredas said. “They’re gonna gain valuable experience by our strength of schedule.”
The Mustangs will next take the mat on Saturday, Nov. 11 when they compete in the Tiger Style Invitational hosted by No. 4 University of Missouri in Kansas City, Missouri.