FORT WAYNE – When the Indiana Tech men’s wrestling team opens its second season with a Nov. 3 trip to the Eastern Michigan Open, the Warriors will be without their head coach and, arguably, their best wrestler.
While most of the Tech team takes its No. 9 preseason NAIA ranking to Ypsilanti, Mich., coach Mike Ester and 133-pound sophomore Travis Barroquillo will be at American University in Washington, D.C., for the prestigious National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic.
Thanks to his No. 1 preseason rank in the 133-pound class, Barroquillo was asked to participate in the one-day annual event that attracts the country’s top wrestlers at all collegiate levels, from NCAA Division I to the NAIA.
It was by invitation only, Ester said. We had to take advantage of it.
Said Barroquillo: It’s a long way to go for one match.
But he has come a long way, regardless.
As a senior at Prairie Heights, he finished third in the IHSAA tournament’s 130-pound class with a 54-1 record; the only loss coming in the semifinals to the eventual state champion.
Last season as a freshman on a Tech team that was making its first foray into college wrestling, Barroquillo was 32-14 and placed fourth in the NAIA championships.
Now, as the top-ranked 133-pounder in the NAIA, he’ll be gathered with the nation’s elite college wrestlers at the NWCA event.
In high school, it was my goal to win state, Barroquillo said. The first year (at Tech) I wanted to be an All-American. Now my goal is to win nationals.
In addition to Barroquillo, Tech returns another All-American in Tanner Martin. The sophomore from Snider had a 30-17 record last season and was sixth in the NAIA nationals. He enters this season ranked No. 3 at 174 pounds.
Athletes of note
IPFW sophomore forward Sydney Hoareau has been named a College Soccer 360.com Primetime Performer for Week 10 of the collegiate season. Hoareau had a goal and an assist in the Mastodons’ 3-2 win over Oakland. Indiana Tech junior Reece Richardson was named the WHAC Defensive Player of the Week for men’s soccer. He had 10 saves in a 2-1 win over Aquinas. Manchester senior Cody Freels (DeKalb) was named HCAC Men’s Soccer Player of the Week. He had three goals in a 6-3 win over Bluffton and two more goals in a 3-3 tie with Earlham.