Three Champs

At Washington and Lee Invitational, Lexington VA
January 11, 2014

Complete brackets AT THIS LINK

LEXINGTON, Va. - The Golden Bears of WVU Tech finished in second place out of 11 teams at the Washington & Lee Invitational on Saturday afternoon. Tech scored 125 team points and was edged out by two poitns by NAIA East Regional opponent St. Andrews Presbyterian. Tech had a tournament high six finalists and had three champions emerge from their brackets unbeaten.

Leading the way at 133 lbs,. freshman Alfred Martinez won his second tournament championship of the year with a takedown in sudden victory to come out on top of a 6-4 score. Martinez was highly aggressive and pushed the pace throughout the match. He moves to 10-2 on the season.

Dirk Ponchak continued his strong start to his sophomore year by taking a 7-1 decision over Scranton's Shawn Flesche at 165 lbs. Dirk broke open a scoreless tie in the second period by scoring a reversal and accumulating substantial riding time. In the third period Ponchak scored a pair of takedowns to ice the win. Ponchak is now 19-1 on the season.

The third champion for Tech was freshman Tola Morakinyo. Morakinyo had three wins on the day and capped off his championship with a 7-3 victory over the host school's entry Zac Richey. This is Morakinyo's first collegiate tournament championship and it moves him to 16-2 on the year.

Finishing as runners-up for the Golden Bears were freshman Denis Robles Gomez, senior John Walters, and freshman Aaron Wallace. At 125 Gomez made the finals on the strength of a pair of pins but fell in the finals 13-1. Walters, moving up to 157 lbs., won a pair of first round matches, using his emerging leg attack skills to compliment his already strong rides. Wallace, competing in his first collegiate tournament at 174 lbs., defeated the second and third seeds in dominant fashion on the way to the finals.

Also winning matches and placing for Tech were frehmen Terry Nance, Colton Rowe, Wyatt Norfolk,, and Jasi Coureur.

Said coach Sam Gardner about the day's results: "I am very happy with our champions. None of them had an easy day, and each one had to overcome some adversity to reach the top step. Having six finalists is a statement that we are capable of winning up and down the line-up. Being two points from the top spot in the team race is somewhat frustrating, as I will now spend the rest of the weekend trying to figure out what we have to do to be certain we will be able to earn those needed team points in the future. We are a young team, but these athletes are working hard week in and week out to better themselves. I am proud of them and their efforts."

The Golden Bears will next participate in the Apprentice School Invitational in Newport News, Va. Saturday, January 18 to begin at 9:00 a.m. The tri-meet scheduled for January 14 in Montgomery, W. Va. has been cancelled.

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