From - The Official Athletic Site of West Liberty University

January 9, 2010


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The West Liberty University wrestling team made its presence felt on the opening day of the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s NCAA Division II National Duals at the University of Northern Iowa’s UNI Dome on Saturday.

Coach Brian Davis’s No. 13-ranked Hilltoppers got the meet off to a flying start by shocking No. 3-ranked Central Oklahoma, 24-12, in one of the first matches of the day. It was also the 700th dual match in West Liberty wrestling history.

The Hilltoppers were one of just 16 teams across the country earning invitations to this weekend’s prestigious annual event, which featured 15 of the 20 teams in the most recent NCAA Division II coaches’ poll and also included 58 of the 80 nationally-ranked wrestlers.

Nick Wykoff got the Hilltoppers going against Central Oklahoma with a 7-5 victory against Trison Graham at 133 pounds. Graham is ranked No. 5 nationally at 133 while Wykoff is ranked No. 8. West Liberty’s Kayne Melko followed with a 2-1 victory against Scott Berens to set the stage for another showdown between nationally-ranked grapplers.

The Hilltoppers’ Mitch Smith, ranked No. 1 at 149 pounds, notched an 8-6 decision against No. 3-ranked Colby Robinson. Those three wins, combined with a UCO forfeit at 125, gave West Liberty what proved to be an insurmountable 15-0 lead.

The Hilltoppers wrapped up the match with decisions by Jarrod Shaw (165), Brandon Neifeld (184) and Mitch Knapp (197). Knapp is ranked No. 7 nationally at 197.

West Liberty needed one more match win on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s placing rounds but couldn’t come up with it against the meatgrinder schedule of the National Duals.

No. 12 Minnesota State-Mankato handed the Hilltoppers a 27-11 setback in the championship quarterfinals and No. 6 Wisconsin-Parkside downed West Liberty, 23-9, in an elimination bout.

Wykoff and Knapp enhanced their national stature by winning all three of their matches. Wykoff followed his win against Graham with a second-period fall against Minnesota State’s Matt Nyvold and a 6-2 decision against Brandon Kircher of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Knapp won all three of his matches by decision – 3-1 against Jarrett Edison of Central Oklahoma, 6-2 against John Makabe of Minnesota State, and 5-3 against Jon Treml of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Smith had a lengthy winning streak halted when he dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 2-ranked Craig Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The Hilltoppers will be back on the home mats Saturday afternoon when they host a triangular with Kutztown (Pa.) and Seton Hill. The first match is set for a 1 p.m. start at the ASRC.

NWCA National Duals (at University of Northern Iowa)

No. 13 West Liberty 24, No. 3 Central Oklahoma 12
125 Sean Jordan (WLU) won by forfeit
133 Nick Wykoff (WLU) d. Trison Graham (UCO), 7-5
141 Kayne Melko (WLU) d. Scott Berens (UCO), 2-1
149 Mitch Smith (WLU) d. Colby Robinson (UCO), 8-6
157 Edwin Jackson (UCO) d. Brian Leggett (WLU), 12-5
165 Jarrod Shaw (WLU) d. Derrick Adkins (UCO), 6-4
174 Casy Rowell (UCO) d. Matt Littleton (WLU), 7-5
184 Brandon Neifeld (WLU) d. Kenny Meredith (UCO), 3-1
197 Mitch Knapp (WLU) d. Jarrett Edison (UCO), 3-1
285 Dustin Finn (UCO) p. J.D. Ramsey (WLU), 1:01

No. 12 Minnesota State-Mankato 27, No. 13 West Liberty 11
125 Andy Forstner (MMK) tf. Sean Jordan (WLU), 16-1
133 Nick Wykoff (WLU) p. Matt Nyvold (MMK), 3:56
141 Robby Fischer (MMK) md. Kayne Melko (WLU), 15-1
149 Mitch Smith (WLU) d. Travis Elg (MMK), 14-7
157 Justin Turek (MMK) d. Brian Leggett (WLU), 10-6
165 Tel Todd (MMK) d. Jarrod Shaw (WLU), 3-1
174 Ben Becker (MMK) d. Matt Littleton (WLU), 4-1
184 Aaron Norgren (MMK) d. Brandon Neifeld (WLU), 5-4
197 Mitch Knapp (WLU) d. John Makabe (MMK), 6-2
285 Brady Wilson (MMK) p. Mike Carpenter (WLU), 2:59

No. 6 Wisconsin-Parkside 23, No. 13 West Liberty 9
125 Cody Zimmerman (UWP) d. Sean Jordan (WLU), 6-4
133 Nick Wykoff (WLU) d. Brandon Kircher (UWP), 6-2
141 Mike Migawa (UWP) d. Kayne Melko (WLU), 4-2
149 Craig Becker (UWP) d. Mitch Smith (WLU), 3-1
157 Dillon Bera (UWP) md. Brian Leggett (WLU), 10-0
165 Matt Gile (UWP) d. Jarrod Shaw (WLU), 3-1
174 Luke Rynish (UWP) md. Matt Littleton (WLU), 11-3
184 Lucas Haag (UWP) d. Brandon Neifeld (WLU), 4-0
197 Mitch Knapp (WLU) d. Jon Treml (UWP), 5-3
285 J.D. Ramsey (WLU) d. James Malechek (UWP), 4-1

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