Nov 04, 2016
ROANOKE, Va. – The American University wrestling team gets its first taste of outside competition on Sunday when it participates in the Southeast Open.
The Eagles will be one of 17 schools competing in the event, formerly known as the Hokie Open and hosted by Virginia Tech. Princeton and Army West Point will be the other Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association teams competing at this tournament.
With four seniors who reached the podium at last year's EIWA Championships having graduated, American will have a significantly different lineup for 2016-17. This year's roster includes 15 freshmen.
Junior Jeric Kasunic, who was fifth at 197 pounds, is not expected to compete this weekend, leaving senior Tom Page (sixth at 149) as the top returnee for AU.
Three AU wrestlers who compiled solid records last season as redshirts will also be in the lineup at some point in the early-going. Sophomore Michael Sprague was 25-11 at 141 pounds last season, with junior heavyweight Brett Dempsey coming back off a 24-8 redshirt year. Sophomore redshirt Josh Terao will likely not compete this weekend.
Senior Esteban Gomez-Rivera gives the Eagles some experience at 133 pounds and his 51 career victories leads the AU returnees. Fellow seniors Cole Moseley (157) and Jason Grimes (184) will also compete this weekend.
AU's first home meet of the season is on Sunday, Nov. 13 when the Eagles have dual meets with Campbell at noon and Clarion at 2 p.m.