Brenner Earns Third EWL Crown

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office


LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (March 7, 2009) – Fifth-year senior Kurt Brenner (174) won his third career league crown and the West Virginia University wrestling team took second place at the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championships on Saturday at Thomas Fieldhouse in Lock Haven, Pa. Five individuals, including Brenner, qualified for the NCAA Tournament with their performances at the league event.

After earning a first-round bye, Brenner, ranked No. 11 nationally, defeated Clarion’s Scott Joseph, 9-3, en route to the title match. The Freedom, Pa., native was slated to wrestle Pitt’s Karl DeCiantis, who Brenner beat at the Las Vegas Invitational, 4-2.

Brenner opened the match with a pair of quick takedowns and then tacked on a three-point near fall moments after the second takedown. Leading 9-2 heading into the second period, Brenner notched two more takedowns to go up 13-4. The fifth-year senior registered an escape, three more takedowns and added 2:31 in riding time for the 21-6 tech fall. Brenner has won his last 10 matches and qualifies for his fourth NCAA Tournament.

Fifth-year senior Dustin Rogers (HWT) also qualified for the NCAA Tournament following his third-place performance. Rogers knocked off Bloomsburg’s Zac Walsh, 8-4, and then pinned Pitt’s Zach Sheaffer at the 1:16 mark. After recording a takedown near the edge of the mat, Rogers flipped Sheaffer on his back for the win. It will be the third time Rogers, ranked No. 11 nationally, has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

Another qualifier for the Mountaineers is fifth-year senior David Jauregui (149). Despite dropping his semifinal match, Jauregui battled back to win his final two matches at the league event.

In an exciting match with Edinboro’s Torsten Gillespie that went to three extra sessions, Jauregui recorded a 12-11 decision. Trailing 6-4 heading into the third period, Jauregui scored four points in the period and tied the match at eight apiece. The two battled every second, but Jauregui was able to come out on top with the decision. Jauregui then went on to defeat Cleveland State’s Antonio Nicholson, 7-4, for third place.

With the NCAA Tournament taking the top three wrestlers at 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Ryan Goodman battled his way in with a third-place showing. The Latrobe, Pa., native put together noteworthy performances in the consolation bracket. Goodman earned a 5-2 decision over Lock Haven’s Ollie Cooperwood and then knocked off Clarion’s Hadley Harrison, 6-4.

Redshirt junior Donnie Jones is the final automatic qualifier for the Mountaineers. Jones, ranked No. 20 at 165 pounds, slid through the first round with a bye and then battled Cleveland State’s Rob Michaels to a 7-3 decision en route to the title match against Edinboro’s Jarrod King. Despite having beat King during the regular season, Jones dropped the bout for the title with a fall 23 seconds into the match.

On March 11, the NCAA selection committee will announce an additional 52 at-large selections.

Freshman Colin Johnston will be awaiting his fate when the selections are announced. Although only the champion at 141 pounds earns an automatic bid, Johnston will make the committee take notice. The Eighty Four, Pa., native finished runner-up at the EWL Tournament in an extremely close bout against Pitt’s Tyler Nauman, ranked No. 13 nationally. Johnston fell behind 2-0 after Nauman registered a takedown, but countered it with a reversal. Johnston knotted the score at three apiece with an escape in the second period, but lost in the third session when Nauman recorded an escape point for the 4-3 decision.

Johnston owns a 9-9 overall record and was 4-2 during the regular season in league action.

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