From - The Official Athletic Site of West Liberty University

November 14, 2009


WASHINGTON, Pa. – West Liberty University’s nationally-ranked wrestling team had an impressive showing here Saturday in the fourth annual W&J Open Invitational.
Coach Brian Davis’s No. 16 Hilltoppers had one individual champion, another runner-up and five more grapplers who placed in the top six of their respective weight classes.
The one-day event drew a large number of wrestlers, many wrestling unattached, from 19 collegiate programs throughout the northeast to the Henry Memorial Center on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College.
Senior All-American Mitch Smith was the 149-pound champion. The Ripley, W.Va. native reeled off five straight wins on Saturday before edging Mark Tsikerdanos, wrestling unattached out of West Virginia University, by a 5-4 score in the title match.

West Liberty freshman Andy Church, wrestling unattached, also cracked the top six at 149 pounds with a fifth-place finish.

The other Hilltopper to advance to the finals in his weight class was sophomore 285-pounder Mike Carpenter. He muscled his way through the top of the bracket before dropping a decision to Brandon Williamson, another unattached WVU grappler, in the finals.

Also placing for West Liberty on Saturday were Mitch Knapp, third at 197; Jarrod Shaw, fourth at 165; Brandon Neifeld, fourth at 184; and Matt Littleton, sixth at 174.

The Hilltoppers travel to Pitt-Johnstown for the first dual meet of the season Friday. The 7 p.m. match is a meeting of regionally- and nationally-ranked squads. West Liberty is No. 16 in the nation and No. 3 in the East Region. The Mountain Cats are No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the East.

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