Three Mountaineer Grapplers Place In Top Six

EVANSTON, Ill. (December 30, 2003) * West Virginia University's Greg Jones returned to the mat in impressive fashion by winning with 184-pound title at the 41st Midlands Wrestling Championships at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Jones, wrestling in his first action of the season, won the title in a sudden victory tiebreaker match, 2-1, over Ben Heizer of Northern Illinois. Both wrestlers traded escapes for a 1-1 tie, sending the contest into overtime. The junior Mountaineer jumped out immediately from his down position in the first :30 second period to score the winning point.

"Greg's win at the Midlands is a great start to the season for him," says WVU assistant coach Zeke Jones. "This tournament showed Greg where he is at and what sort of things he needs to improve on."

Also wrestling in Session 4 for the Mountaineers on Tuesday night were Joe Clarke (141) and Matt Lebe (157).

The evening contest at 157-pounds was a rematch for West Virginia's Lebe. The sophomore again fell to fourth-seeded Matt Gentry of Stanford. Gentry would score a three-point near fall in the third period in taking the match 4-0. Lebe earned a fourth-place finish for the Mountaineers.

Clarke, wrestling in perhaps the toughest weight class of the tournament, finished sixth for WVU. The senior dropped a 4-3 decision to Dylan Long of Northern Iowa, the No. 1 seed and 2003 NCAA runner-up.

"Overall, the team wrestled pretty well," says Zeke Jones. "We had some guys who needed some matches and the Midlands provided quality opponents for them. We still have some areas to work on and we'll go back home and make some adjustments."

Illinois won the team tournament title with 107.5 points. The Mountaineers finished 11th in the final team standings, despite sending just five grapplers to Evanston.

WVU returns to action on January 4, 2004, when they travel to Tempe, Ariz., to compete in the Sun Devil Duals.


EVANSTON, Ill. (December 30, 2003) * West Virginia University's Greg Jones advanced to the championship final match at 184-pounds at the 41st Midlands Wrestling Championships at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Jones, the No. 1 seed, will square off against third-seeded Ben Heizer of Northern Illinois in tonight's championship match.

Also wrestling in Session 4 for the Mountaineers are Joe Clarke (141) and Matt Lebe (157). Clarke will wrestle for fifth-place, while Lebe battles for third-place honors.

Schedule For Session 4 7:00 p.m. * Opening Ceremony, Grand March 7:30 p.m. * First, Third and Fifth-Place Matches 9:30 p.m. * Conclusion of Awards Ceremony

*** More details to come this evening following Session 4.

Four Win Opening Matches At Midlands

December 29, 2003

EVANSTON, Ill. * Four West Virginia University wrestlers won opening round matches at the 41st Midlands Wrestling Championships hosted by Northwestern University at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Greg Jones (184) led the way for WVU with three victories during session one on Monday.

Jones, wrestling in his first action of the season, posted two impressive wins in the morning session. The junior scored five takedowns in notching a 14-3 major decision over Randy Stout of Cornell. In his second match, Jones pinned Mike Kelly (3:22) from Wildcat Wrestling Club to advance to the quarterfinal round. In Session 2, Jones survived a scare from Paul Velekei of Penn. It would take a Jones' escape in sudden victory overtime for the win and advance to the semifinals.

Matt Lebe (157) won two matches to join Jones in the quarterfinal round. He used a pair of double-leg takedowns in dominating James King of Ohio State for a 9-1 major decision. In his second match against Mike Kimberlin of Northwestern, Lebe opened the second period with an escape from the down position for a 1-0 lead. He then scored a takedown with :07 seconds remaining in the match to secure the 3-1 decision in advancing to the quarterfinals. In the evening session, Lebe fell 6-0 to fourth-seeded Matt Gentry of Stanford.

Also wining opening matches for the Mountaineers were Joe Clarke (141) and Brent Miller (HWT). Clarke and Miller each won three matches and dropped one Monday.

Clarke opened with a match against Andy Hiatt of Northern Illinois. After taking a commanding 5-0 lead, he finished the match with a fall at 2:53. In his second round match, Clarke gave up a three-point move in the final :30 seconds in dropping a 5-4 decision to No. 6 seed, Rob Becker of George Mason. The senior Mountaineer then posted winning decisions of 9-2 and 5-2 to close the day.

Miller, seeing his first action since the season opener, hung on for a 3-2 win over Pete Ziminski of Eastern Illinois. In round two, the junior was pinned by former Midlands champion, Chad Lamer of Hawk Wrestling Club. Miller would rebound with two impressive matches, scoring a fall (1:23) against Matt Fletcher of Illinois and earning a 1-0 decision over Body Ogunwole of Harvard.

Seth Lisa (133) dropped a pair of matches for WVU in the morning session.

Session 3 kicks off Tuesday's action at noon. For ticket information, call the Northwestern Ticket Office at (847) 491-CATS.

Return to the WV-Mat Front Page
Return to the WV-Mat WVU Main Page