AB Takes First, Places Four Champions at USCAA National Invitational

February 11, 2017

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Alderson Broaddus wrestling team crowned four individual champions and took first place at the USCAA National Invitational Saturday afternoon held at Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University.

 "I thought we put together a pretty good tournament today," said head coach Sam Gardner. "Winning this is a great accomplishment for these guys. They've come a long was as a team in four years. It hasn't been easy, but they stayed the course, never quit when things were tough, and have learned to come together and compete as a team."

 Earning the first title of the day for the Battlers was Cody Buchanan with a first-place finish at 133 pounds, which was the first championship of his Battler career in his senior season.

 "I was proud of Bucky," said Gardner. "He won his first collegiate championship in one of his last events. He's been close a number of times before, but today he came through. His performance was among the best I've seen from him."

 After Micah Powell took second at 141 and Zachary Gwinn took third at 149, the Battlers picked up their second individual title with Jason West at 157.

 "West has been great all year," said Gardner. "This is the fourth tournament championship of the year for him. He was utterly dominant in the finals and was able to earn bonus points in two of three matches."

 Keith Stednitz followed it up with another title in one of his final tournaments for the Battlers with a pin in the finals.  "Keith was dominant on the mat as we've come to expect," said Gardner. "There's really not much to say. If you are going to go underneath him he's going to make that time miserable for you."

 After Cody Spinks and Sam Solomon took second place finishes at 184 and 197 respectively for the Battlers, AB picked up its final top finish of the day from Jake Bennett at 235.  "Jake is rounding in to form at the right time," said Gardner. "We need for him to build some good momentum going in to Regionals. He was solid in all positions today and showed a great diversity of attacks on his feet."

 Saturday's action was AB's final tournament before the NCAA East Regional at Mercyhurst in two weeks. The Battlers will have a pair of dual matches this upcoming week at Ohio Valley on Wednesday and then host Southern Virginia Friday at 7 p.m. on Senior Night.

 "We entered 13 guys today, and 12 came away with wins," said Gardner. "11 of them placed in the top 6. We had 13 pins and more than 20 bonus point victories throughout the day. Those additional points were the reason for the large gap between us and WVU Tech on this day. It was a total team effort to come away with the trophy.

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