WVU Plays Host to 35th EWL Championships

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 6, 2010) – West Virginia University will serve as host to the 35th annual Eastern Wrestling League Championships on Sunday, March 7. This is the third time in program history that the league championships will take place in Morgantown, with the previous times in 1995 and 2003.

Admission to the tournament is free for WVU students with a valid student ID.

The event, which was turned into a one-day tournament in 2008, will feature three sessions. The first starts at 10 a.m. and will feature 60 bouts on three mats. The second session, which starts at 5 p.m., will consist of 20 bouts – all consolation bracket semifinal matches. The final session will begin at 7 p.m. and will be comprised of 30 bouts – championship matches as well as third and fifth-place bouts.

Prior to the third session, WVU will induct three of its former wrestlers into the EWL Hall of Fame: Ian “Whitey” Chlebove, Sam Kline and Greg Jones. Chlebove and Kline wrestled together from 1996-99. Chlebove twice earned All-America honors, and Kline was an All-American in 1999. Jones, a three-time national champion, was a four-time EWL champion and was named the EWL’s Outstanding Wrestler three times.

The Mountaineers concluded the regular season with a 3-10 overall mark, going 3-3 against league competition. Six individual Mountaineers own double-digit win marks, with sophomore Colin Johnston leading the way with a 21-4 overall mark at 133 pounds. Redshirt senior Donnie Jones (165), who’s second on the team with 18 victories, has won four his last five decisions, and junior Brandon Williamson (HWT) won his last seven matches and holds a 16-6 overall record.

With Williamson’s league record at an unblemished 6-0, he could earn a top seed at the EWL Championships. Freshman Shane Young likely will be the No. 2 seed after going 5-1 in the league, with his only loss coming at the hands of Pitt’s Anthony Zanetta.

Under the NCAA’s recently developed qualification system, now in its second year, the EWL will receive 19 automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. The weight-by-weight breakdown of the automatic qualifiers are as follows: two at 125, two at 133, one at 141 pounds, two at 149, two at 157, three at 165, one at 174, two at 184, one at 197 and three at heavyweight.

Last season, the Mountaineers took second place at the EWL Championships, which were held at Lock Haven. Former Mountaineer Kurt Brenner was the lone WVU wrestler to capture a title, winning his third league crown – this one at 174 pounds. Following the tournament, the 2008-09 WVU squad qualified five wrestlers for the NCAA Championships.

The championship matches at the 2010 EWL Championships will be streamed online for free on MSNsportsNET.com.

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