The seventh-ranked Menlo College men's wrestling team took eight wrestlers to the Missouri Valley Invitational over the weekend and it was good enough for a seventh-place finish as five individuals placed.
Troy Lakin continued his recent hot streak, claiming the 125 pound crown with a 5-0 performance on the weekend.
Lakin earned a 20-5 tech fall over Austin Boles of Northwestern to begin his day then followed that up with another 20-5 tech fall this time over Brice Gorsline of Dickinson State.
In the quarterfinal, Lakin took on Kristopher McKinley of Indiana Tech and earned a 5-3 decision to advance. Lakin secured a place in the finals with an 8-5 win over Dennis Welch of Missouri Valley.
In the finals, Lakin worked hard to close out a particularly gritty, 3-2, victory over Jaret Singh of Maryville.
Senior Eric Lopez had a strong performance against a solid field at 165 pounds. He compiled a 4-1 record on the weekend to finish second.
Lopez pinned his first opponent at 5:53, and then earned a decision over Ishmael Rempson of William Penn to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Lopez locked up with Ricky McCarty of Oklahoma City and grinded out a 2-1 victory to advance the finals where he ultimately fell to NAIA's top-ranked Ethan Hinebauch of Montana State Northern, 5-3.
Senior Christian Franks was the third-highest placer of the tournament for the Oaks, claiming a fourth place finish at 149 pounds going 3-2. Franks had a win via fall over Brad Watson of William Penn, a 6-0 decision victory over Jr Lule of Concordia and a 10-2 major decision victory over Seth Ehlang of Dickinson State.
Also placing were Brian Ha (3-2) who was fifth at 133 pounds and Tyler Thomas (4-2) who was seventh at 157 pounds.
Other Oaks competing and picking up wins over the weekend were Steele Escobedo (2-2), Elias Hernandez (2-2) and Greg Barrera (1-2).
Menlo returns to dual action Friday to welcome No. 11 Embry-Riddle to Haynes-Prim Pavilion at 7 p.m.
Menlo College ended a 10-game losing streak with a 74-66 victory over host UC Merced in a Cal Pac Conference game Saturday.
Menlo took a seven point advantage into halftime and then stretched its lead to as many as 18 points in the second half before the Bobcats cut it to four points with under a minute remaining.
Three scorers eclipsed double figures, led by Brad Sawin and his 16-point effort. Sawin tacked on five rebounds, two steals and three assists to cap off a solid evening on the hardwood.
Tyler Evans came up big off the bench, scoring 15 points and pulling down eight rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Ben Graham finished with 12 points on an efficient 5-of-9 effort.
Mikey Eggleton and Dylan Severson were close behind with nine points each. Eggleton added a game-high seven assists and Severson pulled down seven boards.
Next up for Menlo is the conference home opener Saturday against the Cal Pac-leading Pacific Union Pioneers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion.
Menlo College held off host UC Merced, 61-55, to pick up their second Cal Pac Conference road win of the season.
Menlo was in control much of the evening, though never by more than seven points. Aaliyah Sowards nailed a three with 11 seconds left to secure the victory.
Sowards scored a game-high 16 points to go along with a team-high six assists and four steals.
Senior Laurel Donnenwirth was her usual dominant self, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds for her team-best 11th double-double of the season.
Fellow senior Jacki Bateman followed suit, posting her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Oaks play their first home conference game of the season Saturday, hosting Pacific Union at 6:30 p.m.