Four Mountaineer Wrestlers Earn Wins

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (January 22, 2010) – Freshman Shane Young and sophomore Colin Johnston earned two quick wins at the start of the match, but it was not enough, as the West Virginia University wrestling team fell to Clarion, 20-14, on Friday night at the WVU Coliseum. The match was WVU’s Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) opener.

"You talk about the close matches - that's what makes a good team and that's what it takes to win the close dual meets,” assistant coach Greg Jones says. “We were in a position to win at least four of those matches. We didn't get it done and that's the outcome of the match."

Young opened the match at 125 pounds, defeating Joe Waltko, 7-2. The Jeannette, Pa., native opened the scoring with a takedown in the first. Waltko rode Young the entire second period, but Young continued the scoring in the third. Waltko chose the neutral position, and the speedy Young was able to grab a quick takedown to go ahead, 4-0. Waltko escaped, but Young chalked up three more points en route to the win. Young has now won three-straight matches, and is the fifth Mountaineer to reach double-digit wins this season at 10-5.

Johnston came into the match ranked No. 18 at 133 pounds and faced a difficult opponent in Jay Ivanco, who took second last year at the EWL Championships at 125 pounds. Johnston got deep on a couple of shots in the first, but was unable to finish and the two ended the first period scoreless. Johnston, who elected the defensive position in the second, used his strength and earned a two-point reversal to take a 2-0 advantage. Ivanco broke loose and then knotted the score at two apiece when he earned an escape to start the third period. Johnston’s takedown in the third period sealed the deal, as he took a 4-3 decision to improve to 16-3 overall, 5-2 in dual matches.

The Mountaineers (0-7, 0-1 EWL) dropped the next three matches to fall behind 11-6 in the team score, heading into the 165-pound bout.

Redshirt senior Donnie Jones, looking to pull WVU back within reach, opened the first period aggressively. With his blazing speed, Jones took shot after shot and racked up back-to-back-to-back takedowns, and then earned a three-point near fall to close the first session. Jones started in the down position in the second, but quickly broke loose and then caught Clarion’s Nick Milano on a single for his fourth takedown of the match. With 2:02 in riding time, Jones registered an impressive 13-4 major decision. The win pulled WVU to within one point, 11-10.

“He really got off to a fast start, which is important,” assistant coach and brother, Jones, says of Donnie. “I tried to tell him to get off to that fast start and keep pouring it on and make the guy feel his athleticism and skill. Donnie, even with the past couple losses, he's wrestling pretty well right now."

Competing for his first time since Jan. 2 was redshirt sophomore Christian Mory, who attempted to put the Mountaineers ahead at 174 pounds. Mory got a quick 2-0 lead on Steven Cressley with a takedown, but then it turned into a reversal marathon. Cressley countered with a reversal, followed by one from Mory and another from Cressley. Mory broke free for the 5-4 lead to end the first. Mory elected the defensive position, and despite nearly escaping, never managed to get out of Cressley’s grasp. Mory, however, rode Cressley the entire third to put the score even at five apiece and force overtime. Just moments in, though, Cressley got in on a single and won the match in sudden victory.

Redshirt sophomore Matt Weston (184) and Kyle Rooney (197) also wrestled close matches, but fell 4-3 and 6-4, respectively.

Junior heavyweight Brandon Williamson closed the dual match with a win for the Mountaineers. Clarion’s Quintas McCorkle, who chose the bottom position to start the second period, was turned for a three-point near fall by Williamson – the first points of the match. In the third, Williamson quickly broke free from the defensive position and then scored three more points (takedown and stalling point) for a 7-0 lead. With 3:37 in riding time, Williamson registered an 8-0 major decision for his 10th victory of the year.

"It was good for Brandon,” Jones says of the win. “The nature of our season is so long and so grueling. You think he would be immune to that, being a JUCO guy and a little bit older, but in Division I and the schedule we have wrestled this year, is a lot different, and we're going to have our struggles at different times. Brandon needed to earn a good victory, get his hand raised and he did that. I would like to see him take charge a little bit more from the onset, but as the match went on, he got a little bit more comfortable with what the guy was doing to him and really attacked him on top.

Clarion improves to 3-4 overall, 1-1 in league action.

WVU returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 24, with a match against Bloomsburg. Action against the Huskies, who are 8-5 overall, 0-1 in the EWL, starts at 7 p.m. The contest has been designated as “Dollar Day,” with all tickets and select concessions available for purchase for just one dollar. Admission to both matches is free for WVU students with a valid student ID.

Clarion 20 WVU 14
125: Shane Young (WVU) dec. Joe Waltko (CLA), 7-2
133: #18 Colin Johnston (WVU) dec. Jay Ivanco (CLA), 4-3
141: Cameron Moran (CLA) dec. Anthony Curcio (WVU), 9-2
149: James Fleming (CLA) major dec. Mike Rowe (WVU), 16-4
157: #19 Hadley Harrison (CLA) major dec. Zachary Cerrone (WVU), 15-2
165: Donnie Jones (WVU) major dec. Nick Milano (CLA), 13-4
174: Nick Milano (CLA) dec. Christian Mory (WVU), 7-5 (SV)
184: Clint Podish (CLA) dec. Matt Weston (WVU), 4-3
197: Alex Thomas (CLA) dec. Kyle Rooney (WVU), 6-4
HWT: Brandon Williamson (WVU) major dec. Quintas McCorkle (CLA), 8-0

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