Entering the first day of The Midlands on Tuesday, the Terrapins wrestling team hadn’t competed in 18 days. The Terps had time to decompress and refocus before facing high-level competition.
Despite the long layoff, the Terps struggled mightily, placing 14th with 20 team points after the first day.
Competing against wrestlers representing some of the top programs in the nation, the Terps sent out 11 wrestlers from eight different weight classes, with no wrestlers from the 125-pound or 174-pound classes.
After the first day of competition, 157-pound Lou Mascola and heavyweight Dawson Peck were the last Terp remaining in contention. Mascola advanced to the quarterfinals after two minor decisions, but his run ended when he was pinned by No. 20 Chad Walsh of Rider. Peck fell out of the championship bracket in the third round, but made it to the fifth-place bout on the consolation side of the bracket.
On Wednesday, Mascola fell to No. 18 Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the consolation bracket, 8-4. When the Terps faced the Cornhuskers on Dec. 11, Mascola pinned Berger before Berger took out his frustrations on Mascola and pushed him in the chest.
Fellow Terps captain, 133-pound Geoffrey Alexander advanced to the third round before being defeated by Ohio’s Cameron Kelly.
The Terps competed without two of their key starters, 141-pound Alfred Bannister and 149-pound Wade Hodges. Both were placed in the brackets, but were scratched before competition began. Bannister also missed the Terps’ last contest against No.9 Nebraska with a stomach illness, according to coach Kerry McCoy.
After being held to strictly the Open circuit since the Terrapin Duals on Nov. 1, Peck pinned his first opponent, Chris McDermand of American, before falling to No. 9 Billy Smith from Rutgers, 8-2.
In the consolation bracket, Peck continued his run by notching three straight pins, including a final one over Northern Iowa’s No. 7 Blaize Cabell. After a minor decision victory, Peck fell to No. 8 Sam Stoll of Iowa. In a battle for fifth place against Smith, whom he had fallen to a day earlier, Peck dropped the bout, 5-0.