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Liberty Wrestling Competes in Appalachian Open
The Liberty wrestling squad had several team members compete unattached in the Appalachian State Open on Saturday, coming away with one weight-class title and a runner-up finish in Boone, N.C.
Andrew Wilson went 4-0 in the event to take the individual title at heavyweight. To begin the open competition, Wilson posted a 1:19 fall against Matthew Colter of Newberry. Wilson then posted back-to-back decision victories over Derek Papagianopoulos of Virginia (9-4) and Brock Durfee of Appalachian State (8-1) to advance into the final bout. With a 6-2 decision, Wilson knocked off King College's Garrett Fosdyck to be the last man standing.
T. J. Mitchell was the second Flame to make it to a championship bout, and had to settle for runner-up honors at 133 pounds. Mitchell needed two wins to make it to the final bout, defeating Virginia Tech's Tom Reynolds by fall (1:02) and Gardner-Webb's Michael Slaughter, 3-0. Facing another Virginia Tech opponent, Erik Spjut in the final, Mitchell came up short in the bout, losing 5-0.
Eric Reger posted a 3-2 record at 157 pounds, making a run in the wrestleback bracket. Despite dropping his opening bout with Chattanooga's Jared Presley, 6-2, Reger rolled off three straight victories. Reger then narrowly defeated teammate Kameona Hokoana, 7-6, before picking up a pin (1:57) over Matt Tusick of Virginia Tech and an 8-2 decision over Duke's Ethan Ruby. Reger then fell short of making the third-place bout, as Virginia Tech's Harrison Hightower pinned him 2:13 into the bout.
The Flames next dual event is on Wednesday, when they travel to Greensboro, N.C., for a match with UNC Greensboro. The dual is slated for a 4 p.m. start.