Successful Trip to Reno

By Daniel Whitehead for

December 19, 2010

RENO, Nev. – Competing in its second national-caliber tournament of the season, the West Virginia University wrestling team found success at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday in Reno, Nev.

Facing some of the top wrestlers in the country, two Mountaineers earned placement in the top six spots within their respective weight classes as sophomores Shane Young (125 pounds) and Nathan Pennesi (133) came in fourth and second place, respectively.

Young was defeated by Wyoming’s Tyler Cox in the finals by a decision score of 3-5 as he managed to score a takedown and an escape. Young went 7-2 in the tournament after winning seven bouts in a row following an opening-round loss, including three by major decision and a fall over Great Falls’ Akmal Adilov. He also beat Navy’s No. 17-ranked Aaron Kalil by major decision, 10-2, redeeming a loss he had to Kalil in the Las Vegas Invitational two weeks ago.

“(Shane) Young had a great tournament,” says WVU coach Craig Turnbull. “He showed a lot of character to come back from that first loss, which he was pretty upset about. To compete in eight matches before the final showed that he had some will and determination. It was also neat to see him beat the guy from Navy this time.”

No.3-seeded Pennesi, a Latrobe, Pa., native, earned his second-place finish after falling to the No.2-ranked wrestler in the country for the 133-pound class, Boise State’s Andrew Hochstrasser. Pennesi lost by decision, 8-2, after earning reversal points in the third period. The sophomore, ranked 14th in the country, earned three victories by decision, including one over sixth-seeded Luis Carranza of Great Falls by major decision, 16-3. He also beat Oregon State’s James Roberts by major decision, 14-3.

“(Nathan) Pennesi continues to move quickly and has shown a lot of improvement over the early part of this season,” Turnbull says. “For him to be in the championship match is a credit to his hard work.”

In the 141-pound class, freshman Michael Morales earned two wins before being defeated twice by fall. The native of Brick, N.J., beat North Carolina’s Danny Lopes by decision, 9-5, then went on to defeat Boise State’s sixth-seeded Josh Strait by decision, 4-3. His defeats were to Chattanooga’s 7th-ranked Cody Cleveland and No. 20 Elijah Nacita of Cal-State Bakersfield.

WVU’s Brandon Rader, ranked No. 27 in the country in the 149-pound class, was defeated in his opening bouts by fall. He faced the difficult challenge of going up against Boise State’s No. 2-ranked Jason Chamberlain and was able to earn an escape point before being pinned.

Following a loss by decision in his first bout, 157-pound grappler Ryan Goodman earned two victories by decision over Ohio’s Chris Kline and Northern Colorado’s Rodney Dollar, respectively. He was knocked out of contention by Cal-Poly’s No. 16-ranked Barrett Abel by fall.

After a controversial loss by decision in his first match to No. 16 Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State, redshirt senior Donnie Jones also rebounded with victories as he earned two by decision and one by fall over Oregon State’s Cody Weishoff in just 45 seconds. The native of Slickville, Pa., ultimately lost to Stanford’s Lucas Espericuetta in the first period.

Matt Weston, WVU’s 174-pound representative, fell to fifth-seeded Tarrence Williams of Clackamas by decision in his first bout, but proceeded to defeat Mark Mabry of Adams State by technical fall in 6:36 by an impressive score of 17-1. He then pinned Navy’s Oscar Huntley in the second period of the match in just under five minutes.

Redshirt freshman Mac Mancuso turned in a solid tournament by going 3-2 overall in his first competition since the Navy Classic on Nov. 20. He earned two victories by decision before facing Wyoming’s No. 1-ranked Joe LeBlanc, which he lost the bout by major decision, 4-13. The 184-pounder then beat Ohio’s Ryan Garringer by decision before losing to Buffalo’s No. 33-ranked Jimmy Hamel.

At 197 pounds, senior Kyle Rooney and redshirt freshman Cameron Gallaher put in respectable performances as Rooney went 3-2 in the tourney while Gallaher went 4-2. Gallaher was making his first appearance since the Sprawl & Brawl duals in mid-November and did it with an impressive three victories by fall over opponents from North Dakota State, Montana State-Northern and Arizona State.

“(Mac) Mancuso and Gallaher gained tremendous experience,” Turnbull says. “With hard work, they will continue to contribute in a significant way to our program.”

Heavyweight Philip Mandzik went a solid 2-2 on the day after picking up wins over Robert Ross of Southern Oregon and Wyoming’s Joe Ofarrell.

“This was a very valuable experience for our team,” Turnbull says. “Our guys will take a lot back with them as they prepare for dual competition for the rest of the year.”

The Mountaineers return to action on Fri., Jan.7, to compete in a dual meet against No. 10-ranked Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.

NS-Britain Longmire (Cal Poly) DEC Shane Young (West Virginia) D 3-2
Shane Young (West Virginia) WBF Akmal Adilov (U. Great Falls) F 1:22
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC NS-Brett Boston (Appalachian State) M 14-3
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC NS-Tyler Iwamura (Bakersfield) M 12-1
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC Aaron Pickrel (South Dakota State) D 6-4
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC NS-Rob Jillard (Liberty) M 9-1
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC Brandan Rocha (Cal Poly) D 9-4
Shane Young (West Virginia) DEC Aaron Kalil (Navy) M 10-2
Tyler Cox (Wyoming) DEC Shane Young (West Virginia) D 5-3

#3-Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia) DEC AJ Valles (ERU) D 8-3
#3-Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia) DEC #6-Luis Carranza (U. Great Falls M 16-3
#3-Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia) DEC UN-James Roberts (Oregon State) M 14-3
#1-Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State) DEC #3-Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia) D 8-2

Mike Morales (West Virginia) DEC Danny Lopes (North Carolina) D 9-5
Mike Morales (West Virginia) DEC #6 NS-Josh Strait (Boise State) D 4-3
#3-Cody Cleveland (Chattanooga) WBF Mike Morales (West Virginia) F 2:15
Elijah Nacita (Bakersfield) WBF Mike Morales (West Virginia) F 4:11

#1-Jason Chamberlain (Boise State) WBF Brandon Rader (West Virginia) F 2:29
Nick Jordan (Fullerton) WBF Brandon Rader (West Virginia) F 4:04

Josh Condon (Chattanooga) DEC Ryan Goodman (West Virginia) D 9-3
Ryan Goodman (West Virginia) DEC Chris Kline (Ohio) D 3-2
Ryan Goodman (West Virginia) DEC Rodney Dollar (Northern Colorado) D 11-5
#5-Barrett Abel (Cal Poly) WBF Ryan Goodman (West Virginia) F 2:37

#4-Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State) DEC Donnie Jones (West Virginia) D 6-4
Donnie Jones (West Virginia) DEC Steve Wilson (Ohio) D 9-3
Donnie Jones (West Virginia) DEC Michael Cuthbertson (Boise State) D 7-3
Donnie Jones (West Virginia) WBF Cody Weishoff (Oregon State) F 0:45
Lucas Espericueta (Stanford) WBF Donnie Jones (West Virginia) F 1:07

#5-Tarrence Williams (Clackamas) DEC Matt Weston (West Virginia) D 6-2
Matt Weston (West Virginia) WBTF Mark Mabry (Adams State) T1.5 17-1; 6:36
Matt Weston (West Virginia) WBF NS-Oscar Huntley (Navy) F 4:45
Pat Martinez (Wyoming) DEC Matt Weston (West Virginia) D 5-2

Mac Mancuso (West Virginia) DEC Jake Rice (SW Oregon CC) D 10-3
Mac Mancuso (West Virginia) DEC Kelan Bragg (Cal Poly) D 4-1
#1-Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) DEC Mac Mancuso (West Virginia) M 13-4
Mac Mancuso (West Virginia) DEC Ryan Garringer (Ohio) D 6-3
#4-Jimmy Hamel (Buffalo) DEC Mac Mancuso (West Virginia) D 3-2

Kyle Rooney
Kyle Rooney (West Virginia) DEC Kody Reed (Mont. St.-Northern) D 5-2
#4-Ryan Smith (Cal Poly) DEC Kyle Rooney (West Virginia) D 6-3
Kyle Rooney (West Virginia) DEC Aaron Thompson (Liberty) D 7-0
Kyle Rooney (West Virginia) DEC Kyle Bergstedt (Fullerton) D 8-4
Josh Peter (Buffalo) DEC Kyle Rooney (West Virginia) D 4-0

Cameron Gallaher
NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) DEC Jake Mabry (Oklahoma City University) D 10-4
Zac Bennett (North Carolina) DEC NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) D 4-2
NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) WBF Drew Ross (North Dakota State) F 1:57
NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) WBF Kody Reed (Mont. St.-Northern) F 1:51
NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) WBF Luke Macchiaroli (Arizona State) F M FOR
Niko Brown (Chattanooga) WBF NS-Cameron Gallaher (West Virginia) F 2:31

Kurt Klimek (Fullerton) DEC Phil Mandzik (West Virginia) D 2-0
Phil Mandzik (West Virginia) DEC Robert Ross (Southern Oregon) D 13-8
Phil Mandzik (West Virginia) DEC Joe Ofarrell (Wyoming) D 3-1
Tyson Yoder (Oklahoma State) DEC Phil Mandzik (West Virginia) D 3-2

*4th place: Shane Young (125)
*2nd place: Nathan Pennesi (133)

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