Wrestlers overpower NCAA DIII foes, gear up for NCWA Duals
January 18, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Graduate 197-pounder Austin Amos notched the 100th and 101st wins of his four-year career on Liberty University's men's wrestling team during a dominating home sweep of West Virginia Tech and Southern Virginia University on Saturday afternoon in the LaHaye Multipurpose Center.
Amos, a two-time defending NCWA Grand National champion — at 235 pounds in 2018 and 197 last season — reached the century mark with a forfeit win in the Flames' 41-15 rout of West Virginia Tech before scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Matthew Speelman to cap off a 43-9 victory over SVU.
"It was a very cool experience and a big blessing to finally go over the 100-win mark because I never got it in high school," said Amos, who won 92 matches at Cave Spring in Roanoke, Va.
The Flames improved to 8-2 in dual matches this season as they gear up to host next weekend's NCWA National Duals, which they will attempt to win for a record third consecutive time and fifth overall, Friday and Saturday at the LaHaye Ice Center.
|Head Coach Jesse Castro and Assistant Coach Chris Williamson address 165-pound junior Joe Scott.|
"I'm excited for arguably our second-biggest tournament of the year," Amos said. "We'll try to peak for that and stay on top of our game, but ultimately, the big thing's Grand Nationals (in Texas in March)."
After watching the Flames dismantle two NCAA Division III programs on Saturday, Liberty Head Coach Jesse Castro is cautiously optimistic about his team's chances in the 12-team NCWA National Duals.
"We're getting there, but I still think we've got a ways to go," he said. "We're not where we need to be yet. I feel like we can make more adjustments technically. We're going back and working harder for next weekend. I'm confident our guys will rise to the occasion. They like competing for their home crowd."
|Flames junior 157-pounder Chad Cantrell wraps up SVU's Nicholas Korhonnen in an 11-3 decision.|
Following forfeits at the 125- and 133-pound weight classes, Liberty won seven of the eight matches wrestled against both opponents, with Amos and junior 157-pounder Chad Cantrell, junior 165-pounder Joe Scott, senior 174-pounder Cody Richmond, and senior 184-pounder Sam Karel, a defending national champion, winning twice.
"Considering giving up two weight classes down low, that's a good performance on our part," Castro said, noting he hopes to have Tristan Walls (125) and Bobby Leek (133) available for next weekend's event. "We're strong from 157 up, but we're definitely going to need some momentum from down low."
Liberty 41, West Virginia Tech 15
125: Judson McCray (WVT) by forfeit; 133: Logan Robertson (WVT) by forfeit; 141: Charlie Hudson (L) by forfeit; 149: Devin Wilhelm (WVT) d. Mike Gowen, 7-6; 157: Chad Cantrell (L) by forfeit; 165: Joe Scott (L) t.f. Jephte Jeanpaul, 17-1; 174: Cody Richmond (L) p. Leslie Campbell, 2:52; 184: Sam Karel (L) p. Jacob Thomas, 0:21; 197: Austin Amos (L) by forfeit; 285: Jeff Allen (L) p. Aaron Davis, 0:30.
Records: Liberty 7-2, W.Va. Tech 0-6
Liberty 43, Southern Virginia 9
125: Tristan Walls (L), by forfeit; 133: SVU, by forfeit; 141: Charlie Hudson (L) p. Tyrell Barney, 2:09; 149: Mike Gowen (L) p. Matthew Rosson, 4:25; 157: Chad Cantrell (L) m.d. Nicholas Korhonnen, 11-3; 165: Joe Scott (L) m.d. Morgan Peterson, 13-1; 174: Cody Richmond (L) p. Gavin Blair, 1:18; 184: Sam Karel (L) p. Cole Oldham, 1:19; 197: Austin Amos (L) t.f. Matthew Speelman, 16-0; 285: Nico Ramirez (SVU) d. Jeff Allen, 7-2.
Records: Liberty 8-2, SVU 3-13