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The Lakeland College wrestling team, ranked No. 30 in the nation, was put to the test at the Gator Duels in Longwood, Fla., as it faced other nationally-ranked opponents, emerging with a solid 3-0-1 record on Sunday, Dec. 16.
The Muskies kicked off the meet with a pair of wins over Baldwin Wallace, 21-19, and Roger Williams, 30-16. Then Lakeland clashed with No. 25 Johnson & Wales (RI), ending in a rare tie at 21 points apiece. The Muskies closed out the meet strong with a win over UNC Pembroke, 27-20.
Senior Paul Hartt, ranked No. 2 in the nation in the 197 division, remains undefeated this season with a 15-0 record as he picked up four more wins in Florida, including two pins. Sophomore heavyweight Adam Sutter and junior 133-pounder Kory Theil also had a perfect day on the mat, each going 4-0 with Sutter racking up an impressive three pins.
Juniors David Copp, Ben Chapman and Jonas Flok also put forth solid efforts in their respective weight classes, each emerging with a 3-1 record. Freshman Tyge Benson also came close to an upset over Johnson & Wales' Mike Bastante, ranked No. 7 in the 141 division, with a narrow 10-9 loss.
Lakeland will continue its season in 2008 at the Cornell Invite, Jan. 4-5, in Mount Vernon, Ia. Meet start time is set for 9 a.m. on both days.