Sophomore Brad Kerkhoff rallied back on the consolation side of his 157-pound bracket on Friday night and will be the lone Beaver still alive and wrestling when action resumes on Saturday at the annual Pete Willson Invite, hosted by Wheaton College.
Kerkhoff began his day with a commanding 7-2 decision before falling into the consolation side after a tough 8-6 setback to sixth-seed Steve Bonsall of Chicago. Kerkhoff, however, battled to the end and came back with a thrilling 10-8 victory before picking up a first period pin. He capped his day and solidified at least a top-eight finish by winning 14-8 against Concordia's Eli Were. He'll now wrestle seventh-seed Frank Aiello of Wheaton to begin his day on Saturday.
Senior Ernesto Garcia notched the only other win for BVU on the day when he got things started with a 9-3 decision over Nebraska Wesleyan's Ryan Smales.
Several nationally-ranked teams are among the 34 teams taking part in the annual two-day event. Messiah is the overall team leader heading into the final day with 92.5 points. They have seven wrestlers remaining, including a tournament-high five on the championship side.
Action on Saturday is scheduled to get underway at 9:00am.