Smith Named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 10, 2015) – After going 3-0 with a pair of bonus-point victories at 197 pounds, junior Jacob A. Smith has been named the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week as announced by the league on Tuesday.
Smith, ranked No. 8 in the nation, led the Mountaineers to a sweep of the Mountaineer Quad to open the season on Sunday in Morgantown. The Charleston, W.Va., native used a trio of takedowns in scoring a 10-4 decision over Drexel’s Joshua Murphy as WVU topped the Dragons, 26-7. Smith then scored an early takedown and four back points to take a 6-0 lead over Campbell’s Austin McNeil. He went on to register another takedown as he took a 13-1 major decision to help West Virginia defeat the Camels, 26-14.
However, his most exciting match of the day was against rival Arizona State’s Josh Dasilveira. With the Mountaineers ahead 16-12, Smith entered the third period up 3-2 after notching an escape and penalty points. Dasilveira registered an escape to tie the score, then what was thought to be a key takedown to claim a 5-3 advantage in the final minute. Smith quickly got to his feet and sent Dasilveira to the mat, scoring the reversal before claiming the win by fall with just over 20 seconds to go. The pin give West Virginia the 22-14 victory over the Sun Devils.
It marks the second career Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honor for Smith, who claimed it following a pin against Pitt in February.
“I’m really proud of Jake and what he did in that performance and winning the dual for us,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “It epitomizes our program, having a West Virginia kid win athlete of the week. It really means a lot for our state and for our program.”
The trio of dual match wins helped the Mountaineers move up to No. 19 in the USA Today/NWCA Poll, jumping two spots from No. 21.
Smith and the Mountaineers head to Troy, New York, this weekend for the Journeyman/Asics Northeast Duals. WVU will face No. 5 Michigan, Buffalo and Oregon State at Hudson Valley Community College starting at 11:15 a.m. Sunday.
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