PEMBROKE — The St. Andrews University wrestling team opened their season over the weekend competing in the annual UNC-Pembroke Individual Classic.
The classic was a non-team-scored event which included numerous schools and unattached wrestlers from Division I and II schools as well the NAIA and junior-college Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.). Among the Division I schools present were Old Dominion (Va.), Duke, UNC, N.C. State, and Campbell University. The NAIA was represented by St. Andrews, Southeastern Univ. (Fla.) and Truett-McConnell (Ga.).
St. Andrews was represented by quality individual performances by senior Brennan Patton, freshman Chase Payne and Kavoris Perry. Each earning a win in their respective weight classes — Patton at 133 lbs, Payne at 165 and Perry at 184 lbs.
All three grapplers went 1-2 at the tournament with both of Patton’s and Payne’s losses coming against Division I foes. Despite the loss, both Patton and Perry advanced to the quarterfinals with their first round wins.
Patton upended a Pembroke wrestler 3-1 while Perry won by a 13-4 major decision over a wrestler from Spartanburg Methodist. Perry fell in the quarterfinals to a grappler from Old Dominion while Patton lost to a wrestler from Campbell. Perry ended the day for the Knights with a close 7-2 decision in the consolation round to a grappler from UNCP.
Payne was eliminated in the first round on a one-point decision loss to a wrestler from UNC. Payne dropped the heart breaker on a riding time point. The freshman rebounded in the next round with a pin at 2:01 against his opponent from Truett-McConnell. Payne fell to the eventual third place finisher from Old Dominion in the next round.
At 149 lbs., sophomore Noah Walker dropped two close decisions to Division II foes while senior Argie Burnette fell 4-2 in the first round to a wrestler from Campbell in the 184 lbs. weight class.
Also competing and making their collegiate debuts for St. Andrews were sophomore Dominick Forest at 141 lbs. and freshman Nick Pruitte at 157 lbs. Each dropped close decisions in the consolation round.
St. Andrews will open up dual-meet action this afternoon at 1 p.m. in Belmont for their annual outdoor match against Division II Belmont Abbey College.