By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen
ROYSTON, GA — Evyn Insalaco was not expected to wrestle for his true freshman season at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Hernia surgery was expected to sideline the 2016 Flagler Palm Coast graduate for the entire year, but Insalaco made the decision to postpone the surgery and get on the mat.
Despite the shortened prep time, Insalaco made an impact in his first intercollegiate competition. After losing his opening match at Emmanuel College’s Georgia College Open, Insalaco won four straight matches to earn a podium finish, taking fourth at 157 pounds while wrestling unattached for the Fire on Saturday.
Insalaco lost in the first round to unattached wrestler Justin George, 5-0. George would later go on to take second in the bracket. But he then won four matches, three of them with bonus points, on the back side, taking a 16-4 major over Brewton-Parker’s Marquez Horton, a win by injury default over the hosts’ Reese Ellis, and a win by fall in 1:19 over the hosts’ Dillon Turner to clinch a podium spot. In the consi semis, Insalaco took a 9-2 decision over Reinhardt’s Tucker Russo.
That set up a third-place battle with a familiar name, Emmanuel’s Jay Sheppard, a former state champion for nearby Camden County (GA) and third-place NCWA finisher last season. Insalaco forced overtime, but fell 6-4 in triple OT to Sheppard.
Johan Olarte (Sandalwood ’08, Reinhardt University): Olarte also picked up a podium finish at the Georgia College Open, taking sixth at 125 pounds. He got into the semifinals with a fall in the first round over John Garrison of Truett McConnell in 4:35, and then a fall in 4:34 in the quarters over the hosts’ Ahkeem Lewis before dropping a 3-2 decision to Reinhardt teammate and eventual bracket champion Jonathan Ragsdale. On the back side, Olarte fell 11-10 in 3 OTs to Spartanburg Methodist’s William Spann, and then dropped a 3-0 decision to Emmanuel’s Alberto Perez in the fifth-place match.
Derek Miller (Clay ’16, Iowa Western Community College): Won his first collegiate match on Thursday night as the NJCAA’s top-ranked Reivers hosted #9 Ellsworth CC, winning 26-19. Miller, ranked eighth nationally at 141 in InterMat’s NJCAA poll, teched Ellsworth’s Tra Jones, 20-4.
Scott Dollison (Episcopal ’16, Briar Cliff): Went 2-2 at the Dakota Wesleyan Open in Mitchell, SD, at 285, finishing just one match short of a place finish. Dollison got to the semis behind two falls, pinning Concordia-Moorhead’s Travis Adams in 4:49 and then Concordia (NE)’s DJ McIntyre in 4:18 in the quarters. Dollison lost to Division II’s Michael Lowman of Augustana (SD) in the semis by fall in 1:08 and then lost in the consi semis to Northwestern (IA)’s Randy Null by tech fall, 16-0.
Zac Branning (Flagler Palm Coast ’15, Southeastern): Went 1-1 at the Mid-South Duals on Saturday, hosted by St. Andrews College, with a win at 133 in the Fire’s dual victory over the hosts, majoring 2016 Middleburg graduate Dylan Rossetti, 15-4. Branning then lost to Campbellsville’s Michael Beets, this one at 125.
Kyle Borgus (Interlachen ’14, Huntingdon College): Went 0-2 at the Georgia College Open at 174. Borgus lost his first match by tech fall to Truett-McConnell’s Blaine Bird, then dropped a 21-13 major in the first round of consis to Shorter’s Marlon Morales.
Zach McClinton (Middleburg ’15, Hannibal-LaGrange): Went 0-2 at the Kaufman-Brand Open in Maryville, MO at 157, with both losses coming via decision. McClinton fell to Northeast Oklahoma’s Jason Box, 8-3, on the championship side, and dropped a consolation-round loss to McKendree’s Chris Gillesse, 10-7.
Jon Whiting (Clay ’15, Newberry College): Went 0-2 while wrestling unattached at 285 pounds for the Wolves at the Georgia College Open. Whiting fell in his opening round to Spartanburg Methodist’s Thomas Bagensie, 4-2, and then took an 8-2 loss in the consolation round to former Florida state champ (Godby) MaShawn Knight, wrestling for Brewton-Parker College.
Dylan Rossetti (Middleburg ’16, St. Andrews College): Wrestled twice at the Mid-South Duals, on Saturday. Rossetti faced Southeastern’s Branning in his team’s 33-9 loss, as noted above, and also competed at 133 in a 40-6 loss over Campbellsville, losing 8-0 in that dual to Aaron Rugnao. Finally, Rossetti also competed in the St. Andrews duals season-opener, the “War on I-74,” against Belmont Abbey on Tuesday, a 26-20 loss for his Crusader team. Rossetti lost by major decision, at 133, to Belmont Abbey’s Nicholas Lukanich, 10-2.