Tech Grapplers Take Third Place Finish at Washington & Lee

January 14, 2012

From WVU Tech Wrestling

The Golden Bear wrestling team earned a third place finish at the 24th annual Washington & Lee Invitational Saturday afternoon in Lexington Virginia. Despite only entering six of their wrestlers for the event, WVU Tech placed each student-athlete in the top four of each weight class they competed in.

Tech was lead by two champions, sophomore John Walters (Camden, DE) and freshman Donovan Powell (Leon, WV). Walters was dominant in the final, earning an 8-4 decision over Sean Porter of Southern Virginia by using a punishing ride. Powell did the majority of his damage by scoring on the mat as well, using a 2nd period reversal with back points and a physical leg ride in the 3rd period to pull out a come from behind victory over his opponent from Liberty University, 9-4.

Danny Suite (Wallback, WV), normally at 125, moved up in weight and met the challenge head on. Suite finished in third place at 133, losing in the first round to the eventual champion, but wrestled back hard in three consolation matches. He earned bonus points in all three bouts to finish the day strong.

Louden Goodpaster (Culloden, WV) was the runner-up at 141, losing in the final. Goodpaster punched his ticket to the final by using excellent scrambling ability in the semi-finals to get out from underneath his opponent and scoring a fall. Also at 141, Alaska's own Conrad Lacey (Anchorage, AK) bounced back from a tight semi-final loss to earn 3rd place. Using an aggressive leg attack and then tight crossface cradle to secure a fall in the first period.

At 149, freshman Chance Smith (Stokesdale, NC) was the "ironman" of the day, wrestling five bouts to place 4th. Using his unique defensive abilities and solid rides, Chance tallied three bonus point victories against two very close losses on the day.

Head wrestling coach Sam Gardner had this to say about his teams performance: "Overall, I was pretty pleased about some of the things I saw today. I thought we were pretty well prepared, and we wrestled hard from whistle to whistle. I'm very happy for J Dub (John Walters) and Donovan for earning those championships, because it means they are getting results from the work they've been putting in. We need, as a team, to attack more on our feet and really take the action to our opponents, but that is really an ongoing process in our development. Everyone wrestled very well on the mat today, both offensively and defensively, which is satisfying, considering the emphasis we've put on that in practice these last 10 days".

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