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CU wrestlers ranked 15th

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MARSHALL, MO -- Corey Bleaken, James Casadaban and BJ Stewart all posted three victories and redshirt freshman Ryan McKenzie upset Cal-Baptist’s seventh-ranked Andrew Collins, highlighting Cumberland’s wrestling efforts this past weekend at the Missouri Valley Open in Marshall, Mo.

The Bulldogs also moved up to 15th in this week’s NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll.

Bleaken and Casadaban both registered 3-2 marks at 157 and Stewart was 3-2 at 285 for the Bulldogs. McKenzie went 2-2 with his upset win at 133.

Bleaken defeated Missouri Valley’s DW Bradshaw by Fall at 4:30 in the first round and won 7-6 over Lindenwood’s Jeremy Powell. Bleaken lost to Missouri’s Patrick Wright, 4-1, but rebounded with a 13-7 triumph against Central Oklahoma’s Ed Jackson. He also dropped a 4-3 decision to Cal-Poly’s Travis Rasmussen.

Casadaban won his first two matches as well at 157, defeating Cal-Baptist’s Nadim Batshon by Fall at 1:15 and then winning 10-4 against McKendree’s Matt Beasley. Casadaban lost 7-2 to Lindenwood’s third-seeded Brian Oeshner but then defeated LU’s Brian Sanquinet, 11-3, before falling to Powell, 5-3.

In the heavyweight division, Stewart defeated Missouri Valley’s Jake Hanley, 7-2, before dropping a 7-5 decision to UCO’s top-seeded Dustin Finn. Stewart came back with a victory over Pratt Community College’s Kyle Jones by Fall at 2:29 and then Pratt’s James Sparks by Fall at 1:49. He lost to Truman State’s Loyde Briadlow, 2-1.

McKenzie defeated Team Spartan’s DJ Rainey, 2-1, but dropped a 4-0 decision to Newman’s Isaac Wall. He then posted an 11-5 win over No. 7 Collins before falling in the next round, 7-3, to Cal-Poly’s Jake Tanenbaum.

Cumberland heads to the Ed South Tournament hosted by Carson Newman this weekend in Jefferson City, Tenn. The Bulldogs then compete in the NAIA East Qualifier on Saturday, February 21, in St. Charles, Mo.

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