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Walker Ranked No. 16 in Latest Wrestling Poll
Standing just one win shy of 30 on the season, Liberty's Patrick Walker has cracked the nation's top-20 listing. The sophomore is currently ranked No. 16 among heavyweights nationally in the latest USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll, which was released yesterday.
Walker leads the Flames on the year with a 29-9 overall record, including a 19-1 mark in dual matches. The heavyweight ended the regular season, last Friday night, with a 13-0 major decision victory over VMI's Josh Wine, giving Walker his 12th-consecutive victory.
The heavyweight also ranks second on the squad in victories determined by fall and major decision. Walker has posted a 9-1 mark in matches decided by a pin and a 6-1 tally in major decision bouts.
Walker is one of four Flame grapplers who advanced to the NCAA National Championship last year. He was the only member of the quartet to claim a victory at the national event, pinning Army's Nathan Thobaben in the second round (4:23).
In just two short seasons at Liberty, Walker has posted an impressive 58-17 overall record and a 37-3 mark in dual matches. The sophomore is also 20-3 in matches decided by fall and 12-1 in major decision bouts.
Walker and the rest of the Flames will return to the wrestling mats on March 9, when Liberty hosts its first ever NCAA Championship event. The Flames will be joined by five other programs inside the Vines Center for the NCAA East Regional Championships, where 10 weight class winners and an overall wild card will punch their tickets to St. Louis, Mo., for this year's NCAA National Championship on March 20-22.