JCU Wrestling rolls towards postseason competition with fourth place finish at Pete Willson Invite


JCU Sports Information Department

Patrick McGraw holds his opponent down as he works his way towards 100 career wins.

Ashley McCall, Sports Editor

The John Carroll Wrestling team fought their way to a fourth place finish on Fri., Jan. 27 and Sat., Jan. 28 at the Pete Willson Invite in Wheaton, IL although they were missing many members of the team due to injury. 

Patrick McGraw ‘23 was the lone champion last weekend for the Blue Streaks as he finalized his crowning match with a 7-4 decision over Cornell College’s Gabe Smith in the 157 pound weight class. McGraw also recorded his 100th career victory at this invite. 

Being the champion always feels good and it was really cool to pick up win no. 100 in the same weekend,” expressed McGraw. “Now, I am setting my sights on the regional and national championships.”

Andrew Perelka ‘22 also found individual success this weekend as he finished in second place in the 133 pound weight class. Perelka ended three matches with pins as he surpassed the single-season pin record (16) previously held by him. 

Jesse Kanatzar ‘25 finished in sixth place, while Thomas Blackwell ‘23 and Stefan Farian ‘23 earned eighth place in their brackets. 

All of these places combined to give John Carroll the fourth place finish overall. 

“Without having the whole squad this weekend, taking fourth was a pretty good result,” said McGraw. “I am super proud of guys like [Blackwell] and [Farian] who battled hard to win some big matches and found a way to place. [Blackwell’s] blood-round match was a particularly impressive effort that helped the team’s success this weekend.”

The squad will be back in action on Tues., Feb. 7 as they travel to Tiffin, OH to take on the Heidelberg Student Princes in their final Ohio Athletic Conference dual of the season. 

“We work our tails off every single day in the room,” finished McGraw. “It’s fun to be able to see all of that work pay off. Coach Hawald knows how to get us to peak at the right time and a successful performance this weekend is evidence that we are headed in the right direction as we approach the postseason.”