WVU Tech Earns USCAA National Wrestling Championship

February 15, 2015

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania - WVU Tech wrestling was carried to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Wrestling Invitational Championship with six individual Golden Bear champions Sunday afternoon in State College, Pennsylvania. The Gold and Blue were led by freshmen TJ Bean (125) and Curtis Cox (133), sophomores Robert McNeil (141), Terry Nance (197) and Wyatt Norfolk (235) and junior Conrad Lacey (157).

Tech finished with 157.5 team points to come out on top in a championship that saw individuals from 11 different schools, five USCAA members and six teams from the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC), and 101 wrestlers. Penn State DuBois (132 points) finished second while Penn State Mont Alto (120.5 points) and the Newport News Apprentice School (104 points) finished third and fourth respectively.

The team benefited from five other top-five finishers in sophomore Bryan Overton (third at 174), freshman Andrew Reininger (third at 285) and sophomores Paul Gonzales (fourth at 133), Denis Robles-Gomez (fifth at 125) and Alfred Martinez (fifth at 133).

Bean continued to be a strong lead-off hitter for the Golden Bears, winning the championship over his opponent from the Apprentice School. The freshman opened the day with a fall in the quarterfinals and a major decision in the semi-finals, using a combination of slick leg attacks with dogged riding to his benefit.

Cox was equally dominant, using a variety of under-hooks to get to his single leg attack as well as a very smooth fireman's carry to roll to the championship at 133 lbs. Using tough rides and solid head-and-hands defense, McNeil was able to win the 141 lb. championship, following up a first round pin with two dominant performances in the semis and the finals, getting stronger as the matches entered the closing minutes.

Lacey was a destructive presence in the 157 lb. bracket, performing in front of family that had flown in from Alaska to see him. A first round fall, followed by a dominant semi-final match, all led up to a final match where the junior earned the fall over his Penn State DuBois opponent to win the championship.

Nance ran through his bracket at 197 lbs., using his powerful under-hooks to dominate the clinch position, the sophomore used a variety of cow catchers, single legs and spine crushing bear hugs to rag-doll his opponents throughout the day.

At 235 lbs., Norfolk won his second USCAA Championship in as many years and WVU Tech's sixth of the day. The sophomore continued to build on what will likely be the school record for falls, earning three more pins Sunday, with his quarterfinal match lasting just 22 seconds and his semi-final about 40 seconds. In the final, Norfolk scored a fall at 3:40.

Every wrestler entered in the tournament by Tech came away with at least one victory. Robles-Gomez earned a fall in his last match of the day, Martinez had a pair of falls, Overton wrestled six times, going 5-1 on the day, sophomore Giovane Lins also scored a fall at 174 for the team in the wrestle-backs and Reininger finished 3-1 Sunday.

"What a great performance by the team today. We've come a long way since I arrived on campus in 2011, when we ended the season with four wrestlers. We worked hard to build this program the right way, and the results are paying off," stated Lacey. "I'm really proud of the young guys, TJ is very slick, Cox is big, and hard to beat. McNeil was tough all day, Wyatt did what we expect from him and Terry had his most complete performance yet. All the other guys went out there and fought and scored points for the team. This was an important day in Tech wrestling."

Individual Results

Championship Finals
125. TJ Bean (WVU Tech) dec 7-3 Jacob Michael (App)
133. Curtis Cox (WVU Tech) dec 8-3 Zack Stouffer (Mont Alto)
141. Robert McNeil (WVU Tech) dec 5-1 JP Hayles (DuBois)
149. Tyler Warner (Mont Alto) dec 9-4 Ty Watkins (App)
157. Conrad Lacey (WVU Tech) Fall Ty Haines (DuBois)
165. Clay Kocsis (Mont Alto) dec 6-0 George Vanvalen (Alfred St.)
174. Phillip Marra (New Ken) dec 2-1 OT John Prentice (DuBois)
184. Logan Shirey (DuBois) 9-5 Brad Haggerty (Alfred St.)
197. Terry Nance (WVU Tech) dec 8-3 Juan Nunez (Alfred St.)
235. Wyatt Norfolk (WVU Tech) Fall Rodjrecko Christian (Greater Allegh.)
285. Ian Jones (App) dec 5-1 Dean Lusk (New Ken)

Third Place Matches
125. Ryan Thierman (Alfred St) maj dec 17-6 Brett Himes (DuBois)
133. Austin Keough (Alfred St) dec 6-5 Paul Gonzales (WVU Tech)
141. Tyler Rhodes (Mont Alto) Fall Kyle Sunseri (Penn Coll)
149. Kevin Thayer (Alfred St) dec 14-13 Jake Himes (DuBois)
157. Codie (Alfred St) dec 4-1 Elijah Harris (Mont Alto)
165. Konner Kremer (Alfred St) dec 4-2 Tanner Leid (Penn Coll)
174. Bryan Overton (WVU Tech) dec 7-2 Joe Knarr (DuBois)
184. Dennis Lumadue (DuBois) Fall Phillip Porto (App)
197. Matthew Sowers (Alfred St) Fall Corey Hardman (Mont Alto)
235. Anthony Osman (Alfred St) dec 4-1 Tim Suydan (DuBois)
285. Andrew Reininger (WVU Tech) Fall Gino Saunders (App)

Fifth Place Matches
125. Denis Robles-Gomez (WVU Tech) Fall Aaron Doll (Penn Coll)
133. Alfred Martinez (WVU Tech) Forfeit Isaiah Lewis (Williamson)
141. Joseph Holden (Mont Alto) Forfeit Michael Perdomo (Fayette)
149. Mason Replogle (Penn Coll) dec 8-6 Slade Storm (Penn Coll)
157. Kyle Lowry (App) maj dec 15-2 Ryan Marriott (Alfred St)
165. Landon Leithauser (App) maj dec 15-4 Davon Clark (Mont Alto)
174. Quinn Frasetta (Mont Alto) Forfeit Cameron Vaughine (App)
184. John Laurenti (Alfred St) TechFall 15-0 Trey Landry (Mont Alto)
197. Tige Woodson (DuBois) Maj dec 21-10 Brandon Stover (Penn Coll)
235. Shakeem Lassiter (App) dec 3-2 Max Elliott (Mont Alto)
285. Andrew Bigley (DuBois)

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