WVU EWL Co-Champions
March 7, 2004
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – West Virginia University’s Greg Jones won his third consecutive Eastern Wrestling League crown in leading the Mountaineers to a share of the 2004 EWL Championship title on Sunday afternoon at Nelson Fieldhouse.
West Virginia and Edinboro wrestled to an overall tie with each team tallying 99.50 points in the closest tournament race in league history. The Mountaineers and Fighting Scots were each named EWL Tournament Co-Champions. WVU has now won two tournament titles in the past three years.
“These kinds of tournaments always have a mixed bag of emotions,” says WVU head coach Craig Turnbull. “There were many lows and highs on the day and that is typically how things go here. We saw some good things and had some things slip away. Overall, I think the year was pretty successful.”
In a classic battle of No. 1 and No. 2 at 184-pounds, Jones battled two-seed Alex Clemsen of Edinboro. Jones notched the first two points of the match on an early first period takedown. Clemsen escaped his second escape to start the middle period to tie the score at 2-2. The junior Mountaineer increased his lead to 4-2 with a takedown at the end of the second period. An escape and a takedown in the third sealed a 7-3 victory and league title for Jones.
“Being a three-time champ doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” says the 2002 NCAA champion Jones. “When I’m older I might look back and talk about it. It was important for me to find a good rhythm this weekend before heading into the national tournament. Our team has had some bad luck this year and a championship today is very nice.”
Five Mountaineers clinched automatic bids the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis by reaching the championship finals. Three of WVU’s automatic qualifiers will make their first appearance at nationals: Casey Brewster (125), Joe Clarke (141) and Matt Daddino (197). Jones (184) and Matt Lebe (157) will make their second and third appearances.
Wrestling in the first championship finals bout was senior Casey Brewster. West Virginia’s 125-pounder wrestled to a scoreless first period with Clarion’s Peter Derstine. Derstine opened with an escape from the down position and notched a takedown for a 3-0 lead after two periods. Brewster narrowed the deficit to 3-1 on an escape to start the final period. Derstine was warned for stalling and the Mountaineer senior took several shots before taking a 3-1 defeat.
“I felt I had a good chance of winning the tournament despite being a fifth seed,” says Brewster, a first-time NCAA qualifier. “I am very excited about the opportunity to compete in my first nationals in St. Louis. The coaches have worked extremely hard with me this season and I am anxious to see if I can prove myself in possibly becoming an All-American.”
In the finals at 141-pounds Joe Clarke trailed 2-1 after three minutes of action against Pitt’s Ron Tarquinio. Clarke opened the third period with this his third escape to cut it to 4-3. No. 1 seed Tarquinio then responded with a takedown to close the match with a 6-4 decision.
Sophomore Matt Lebe opened his 157-pound bout with a takedown for an early 2-0 lead on third-seeded Chris Horning of Clarion. Lebe, the No. 1 seed, opened the second period with an escape in taking a 3-1 advantage. Horning opened the final period with an escape to knot the score at 3-3 before scoring four more points in taking a 7-4 decision.
At 197-pounds, Matt Daddino battled No. 1 seed Josh Birt for the league crown. After a scoreless first period, Birt took a 3-0 lead on an escape and takedown. Daddino tried several scoring attempts in the second but could not connect. Birt took first place with a 6-1 decision.
Four other WVU grapplers earned placing honors in this morning’s session with sophomore Seth Lisa (133) and senior Mike Torriero (149) posting fourth-place finishes. True freshman Zac Fryling (165) and sophomore Eric Mullen (174) finished sixth for WVU.
Jones continues to sketch his name in the WVU record books in becoming just the third Mountaineer in school history to ever win three EWL titles; only brother Vertus claims more with four. Greg also passed Vertus (95-21) in all-time wins at WVU as the junior Mountaineer improved his career record to 96-4, good enough for seventh place.
Jones earned a second award on Sunday in being named the 2004 EWL Points Leader. He amassed 35 points through seven league dual meets this season.
Two additional Mountaineers qualified for NCAA tournament wild card bids. Mike Torriero and Zac Fryling earned two of the EWL's seven wild card bids. Both will make their first NCAA tournament appearance.
NCAA qualifying Mountaineers have a week off before traveling to St. Louis for the 2004 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Final Team Scores
1. West Virginia 99.50
1. Edinboro 99.50
3. Pitt 97.50
4. Cleveland State 80.50
5. Bloomsburg 79.00
6. Clarion 70.00
7. Lock Haven 57.50
8. Virginia Tech 44.50
Individual Match Results
125: Casey Brewster (WVU) Fall DeAngelo Penn (CSU) 5:45
125: Casey Brewster (WVU) Dec Drew Headlee (PITT) 9-4
125: Peter Derstine (CU) Dec Casey Brewster (WVU) 3-1
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) Dec Dave Predko (LH) 6-3
133: David Hoffman (VT) Dec Seth Lisa (WVU) 5-1
133: Seth Lisa (WVU) Dec Mike Ciotti (PITT) 7-3
133: Bryan Hart (BU) Fall Seth Lisa (WVU) 7:42 SV
141: Joe Clarke (WVU) Major Scott Heckman (BU) 17-3
141: Joe Clarke (WVU) Dec Frank Edgar (CU) 6-3
141: Ron Tarquinio (PITT) Dec Joe Clarke (WVU) 6-4
149: Matt Kocher (PITT) Dec Mike Torriero (WVU) 6-5
149: Mike Torriero (WVU) Dec T.J. McCance (CU) 13-9
149: Mike Torrierio (WVU) Tech Reed Carpenter (VT) 22-5 (6:04)
149: Mike Maney (LH) Dec Mike Torriero (WVU) 8-5
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) Major Tyler Pradter (VT) 12-2
157: Matt Lebe (WVU) Major Justin Nestor (PITT) 12-4
157: Chris Horning (CU) Dec Matt Lebe (WVU) 7-4
165: Zach Doll (PITT) Fall Zac Fryling (WVU) 4:02
165: Zac Fryling (WVU) Fall Matt Klinger (CSU) 4:45
165: Jason Gilligan (LH) Dec Zac Fryling (WVU) 3-2
165: Jeremy Reitz (CU) Dec Zac Fryling (WVU) 4-1
174: Aaron Wright (CU) Dec Eric Mullen (WVU) 4-0
174: Eric Mullen (WVU) Dec Ryan Summers (LH) 10-3
174: Matt Kallai (CSU) Fall Eric Mullen (WVU) 7:47
174: Jim Bertulis (BU) Dec Eric Mullen (WVU) 4-1
184: Greg Jones (WVU) Tech Ron Howard (CSU) 21-6 (7:00)
184: Greg Jones (WVU) Major Nate Shirk (BU) 14-4
184: Greg Jones (WVU) Dec Alex Clemsen (EUP) 7-3
197: Matt Daddino (WVU) Major Charlie Cilinski (CU) 24-10
197: Matt Daddino (WVU) Dec Joe Phillips (CSU) 5-1
197: Josh Birt (PITT) Dec Matt Daddino (WVU) 6-1
285: Ryan Chulada (BU) Fall Lanfer Simpson (WVU) 2:28
285: Steve Itterly (LH) Dec Lanfer Simpson (WVU) 7-1
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