Vandermeer Wins Second Straight Individual Title, 13 LEC Wrestlers Place at Second Annual Storm Open

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Sophomore All-American Matt Vandermeer (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) won his second straight tournament and a total of 13 Lake Erie College wrestlers placed to highlight the team's performance at the Second Annual Storm Open on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.

Vandermeer went 4-0 for the second straight meet, winning all his matches by decision to win the 165-pound weight class. He also ran his individual win streak to nine straight matches and eight-of-nine overall.  He is currently ranked third nationally at his weight by the Division II Coaches Association.

Nine other Storm grapplers reached at least the semifinals of the championship bracket.

Sophomore Austin Gillihan (Corry, Pa./Corry Area), freshman Christian Baughman (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth), sophomore Jon Schafer (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel), junior Justin Cheesman (Mansfield, Ohio/Crestview/Ashland) and freshman Almonte Patrick (Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) all earned fourth-place finishes on the day.  

Gillihan picked up three wins in the 133-pound bracket, winning by way of decision, pin and technical fall. 

Sophomore Ian Ross (Newark, N.Y./Newark) , junior Josh Linden (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) and sophomore Bobby Zappitelli (Painesville Twp., Ohio/Lake Catholic) each place fifth at 125 pounds, 184 pounds and heavyweight, respectively.

Ross and Zappitelli also each won three matches, joining Gillihan and Vandermeer as the winningest wrestlers on the day for the Green and White.

Four others placed sixth in their respective weight classes.

The Storm, who received votes in this week's national coaches' poll for the first time, return to dual meet action next weekend, traveling to perennial national power and 12th-ranked University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Friday, Jan. 11.

-LEC-