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Clymer and Porter Lead Flames in Reno
Scott Clymer (149 pounds) and Chad Porter (165 pounds) led the Flames on Sunday in the Reno Tournament of Champions, placing fourth and sixth, respectively. The teammates' finishes helped the squad earn 40.5 points to finish the event in 16th place out of 30 teams.
The Flames' 16th place finish is the second highest in their four times competing at the event, only being bested by the 2006 version where Liberty ended the event in 13th behind a third-place finish from Tim Harner. The 40.5 points, however, is the highest total the program has ever posted in the West Coast event, edging the 2006 total by 1.5 points.
Wyoming placed five grapplers on Sunday to earn 106.0 team points, edging No. 6 Boise State by 1.5 points for the team title. While two-time defending champions, No. 2 ranked Oklahoma State was in the event, they did not send their starters for the competition. Bakersfield (98.5), No. 24 Arizona State (83.0) and Ohio (82.5) rounded out the top-five teams.
Redshirt junior Clymer began his run in the 149-pound bracket by earning a 16-0 technical fall over Tai Fukumoto of Arizona State, ending the bout two minutes into the first period. Clymer, a No. 5 seed in his bracket, then defeated Stephen Thalin of Cal Poly with a 12-0 major decision before being sent to the wrestleback brackets behind a 15-8 decision loss to No. 4 seed, Justin Gaethje of Northern Colorado.
Once in the wrestleback bracket, Clymer rolled off back-to-back victories, defeating Fullerton's Nick Jordan, 7-5 and Chattanooga's Dean Pavlou, 14-5. Clymer's victory over Pavlou was the second in as many attempts this year, as Clymer defeated the Chattanooga foe by fall (4:56) when the Flames and Mocs met in a dual match on Nov. 14.
After advancing by medical forfeit over Ohio's Brad Squire, Clymer's attempt to place third fell short, as No. 4 seed Gaethje knocked off Clymer for the second time on the day, winning by fall 1:10 into the bout.
Redshirt senior Porter had a tough draw to start the event in the 165-pound bracket, opening the day by facing No. 3 seed, Trevor Hall of Bakersfield. Hall came out victorious, pinning Porter 3:13 into the bout and sending Porter to the wrestleback brackets.
The Parkersburg, W.Va., native then rolled off five consecutive victories in his effort to finish in sixth place. His first two bouts in the wrestleback bracket were wins by fall, defeating Anthony Peressini of Oregon State (4:50) and Joe Rasmussen of South Dakota State (1:47). After defeating Tyler Johnson of North Dakota State, 9-5, Porter added his third win by fall on the day, knocking off Arizona State's Te Edwards 1:41 into the opening period.
After advancing, Porter defeated No. 6 seed Ross Mosher of Great Falls, 6-3, before medical forfeiting to his final two competitors, which still allowed him to finish in sixth place.
Porter's five victories on the day moved his career win total up to 92, and places him eight victories away from entering the Gold level of Liberty's Eagle Medal Club (100 career victories).
Also posting a winning record on the day was 157-pounder Julian Colon. The redshirt junior opened the day with a victory over Rocco DePaolo of Northern Colorado, 5-2. After dropping a 9-5 decision to Stanford's Kyle Meyer, Colon picked up back-to-back technical fall wins over Hastings teammates David Gerhardus (15-0, 4:32) and Nick Howell (15-0, 3:48). Oregon State's RJ Pena stopped Colon's run with a pin 1:23 into the first period of their bout.
Five other Flames were also able to post victories on the day. Joey Montgomery (141 pounds) and Royal Brettrager II (174 pounds) each posted 1-2 records, while Robert Jillard (125 pounds), T. J. Mitchell (133 pounds) and Seth Hicks (141 pounds) each had 2-2 marks on the day.
After a few days off for the Christmas holiday, the Flames will return to action in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29 when they compete in the Southern Scuffle. The event is a two-day tournament, and will involve several Top 25 teams.