Wabash Close Loss

Arica Burns

Millikin’s Big Blue clashed with the guys from Wabash on Friday, January 24th, at Griswold Gym at 7 p.m., in a tough, nail-biting competition. Wabash College is ranked fourth in the country, but the men of the Big Blue took them to the limit losing only by six, 26-20. Big Blue had three starters in that fight, but they lost one of their guys that didn’t make weight which caused a forfeit.

Those guys went out there and fought, and the crowd were on the edge of their seats the whole time. It was loud in Griswold gym, but the guys seemed to feed off that energy as they continued to get wins. It was a tough meet that could’ve been anyone’s, though Wabash came away with the win.

“Like always just really proud of our guys for going out there and fighting, you know they fight for their life, and that’s what it takes,” said Ryan Birt, Head Coach. “We were the underdogs big time for only having three starters in the line-up and we told the guys we had to forfeit because a kid didn’t make weight so now we’re down to six non-starters in the line-up and we’re like hey guys, just  go out there and fight for everything you can and try to get what you can. I thought they rose to the occasion and they battled and that’s what makes this sport great.”

The guys let two losses and forfeit through, but Cameron Lee and Bradan Birt both came away with wins on the night. Cameron Lee won his match via pin.

“I came out a little, my stomach was hurting with pre-match jitters, but in the end I wrestled well and came away with a  win,” said Cameron Lee, Freshman. “We’re not all starters but we just took the number 4 team in the country to a six point dual so it’s a big confidence booster and we’re just gonna keep working.”

Bradan Birt on the other hand had the possibility of facing one of two competitors, but he came away with a safe Tech fall victory.

“I felt good, I was really hoping to wrestle the other kid that was supposed to wrestle me, but I felt good,” said Bradan Birt, Junior. “It was a lot safer, he wasn’t really doing anything, just stalling, so I had no opportunity to be sloppy. I was safe until the end, I broke him I guess, I got the tech fall. We fought super hard and it’s a whole new Millikin. For seven of those guys not being our starters, I’m really proud of how they fought the number four team in the country. That was pretty good so I’m proud of them, and we’re gonna get better.”

Millikin may not have won this battle, but they saw their own potential. Stay tuned for their next meet on Friday, January 31st and Saturday, February 1st as they go to compete at Wheaton College’s Pete Willson Invite.