MARSHALL, Mo.—Cumberland wrestling has five Phoenix remaining after day one action of the Missouri Valley Invitational.
At one of the top invitational events in the NAIA as far a quality and quantity, the Phoenix have impressed as Chris Busutil, Sammy Shires, Ramiro Mosquero, Austin Antcliffe, and Cole Smith baled to reach the second day. Smith is the only Phoenix that remains in the championship field headed to the semifinals unblemished.
Smith dominated with three big wins to remain in the championship bracket. Smith topped Bridger Hall from Providence with an 11-3 major decision. He followed that by majoring Andrew Torres from Lourdes 10-0. He continued to get better as his day went on, advancing to the quarters with a tech fall in the first period 16-1 over Midland’s Kody Hahn. Smith pinned No. 17 Joey Hancock from Baker to move on. He is set to take on No. 8 Elliott Rodgers from Marian in the semis tomorrow.
Busutil, freshly off of returning to the Top 25 rankings at No. 18 at 125, has picked up two wins after a first-round bye to reach the quarters. Busutil earned a tech fall in the third period over Caleb Thomas from Mid-South rival Campbellsville and followed that with a 6-2 decision over Seth I’nama from Briar Cliff. Nick Rodriguez from Lourdes negated Busutil’s trip to the semis with a 7-2 decision. He awaits the winner of Riley Siason and Brayden Bailey.
Shires continues his hot streak as of late with two wins to get to the quarterst. Shires started his day with a major decision over Donavan Parn from host Missouri Valley. He picked up a 7-2 decision over Connor Burrus from the Cumberlands to move on. No. 6 Jovan Garcia from Menlo outworked Shires in the late periods to come away with a 9-5 decision. Shires awaits the winner of Matteo Vargo and Freddy Barajas in the consolation bracket.
Austin Antcliffe reached the third round after posting a 13-8 decision over Cornerstone’s Jacob Nelson, but No. 14 William Speight from Lourdes shutout Antcliffe with a 7-0 decision to send him to the consolation bracket. Antcliffe got a hard-fought 7-3 decision over Braeden Campbell from Northwestern, five of his points came in the third period. He will take on Gabe Chesro from Saint Mary in the fifth consolidation round.
Ramiro Mosquero started his day with a 8-2 decision over the Cumberlands’ Marc Le Gaspe. Kaleb Clark from Midway defeated Mosquero with a 9-4 decision for his first loss. Mosquero battled his way through the consolation rounds winning a tight 13-11 decision over Daryl Easterling from Benedictine and a 4-3 decision over Embry-Riddle’s Jonah Chew. He scratched his way to a 1-0 win over Cade Braun from Northwestern in the fourth round to make it through day one. He will take on Chad Muenzer from Eastern Oregon tomorrow.
Mosquero still needs two wins to reach the podium while it will just take one for Antcliffe.
River Henry won two tight battles to move to the third round beating Spencer Davis from Life and Austin Lane from Marian in tiebreakers. No. 7 Joshua Isaac from Missouri Valley sent Henry to the consultations with a 7-3 decision. Henry medically forfeited in the consultations for a 2-2 tournament.
Rocco Horvath dropped his first match of the day, but also fought his way through the consolations. He posted the only pin Cumberland picked up on the day against Missouri Baptist’s Trenton Helton. He followed that with a 8-3 decision over Isaiah Burks from Concordia to get to the fourth round. Tanner Abbas from Grand View ended Horvath’s run with a 10-1 major decision.
Ellis Haney, Ethan Gomez, Anthony Pyron, and Beau Stokes each went 0-2 at the event and are out of competition after being eliminated.
The remaining Phoenix will get back after it starting at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.