Flames men’s wrestlers steamroll over Knights, Golden Bears at W.Va. Tech tri-match
Liberty University’s men’s wrestling team, which won its fourth consecutive NCWA National Duals championship and sixth in 11 seasons last month at the LaHaye Ice Center, dominated two NCAA Division III programs in a tri-match hosted by West Virginia Institute of Technology, Friday night in Beckley, W.Va.
The Flames improved to 14-1 in dual matches this season after a 43-12 opening triumph over Southern Virginia University (SVU) and a 39-16 victory over the host Golden Bears.
“It was a gutsy performance from our wrestlers,” Liberty Head Coach Jesse Castro said. “Going into this match, there were many uncertainties. Coming off the Messiah Open (last Saturday in Grantham, Pa.), we were banged up with several starters out of the lineup. SVU has one of their better teams, but we managed to nullify their strengths through a lot of grit.”
The Flames started that match with back-to-back technical falls by senior Dante Minnino at 125 pounds and graduate Logan Robertson at 133 before recording five falls — by sophomores Garrett Good at 141 and Connor McCann at 157, junior David Over at 174, and seniors Blake Barrick at 184 and Sean Gillespie at 197.
Against host W.Va. Tech, Good and McCann won by pin and Liberty picked up 24 of its 39 points by forfeit — at 125, 149, 197, and heavyweight.
The Flames are off next weekend before hosting the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships on Sunday, Feb. 27, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the LaHaye Multipurpose Center.
“We approach a two-week gap before our Mid-Atlantic Conference qualifier,” Castro said. “It will be a well-timed break for us as we are poised to capture our 10th conference championship.”
Liberty 43, Southern Virginia 12
125: Dante Mininno (L) t.f. Jaden Nelson, 21-5 at 6:40
133: Logan Robertson (L) t.f. Harper Thompson, 17-2 at 4:32
141: Garrett Good (L) p. Sawyer Ferry, 0:56
149: Elijah Blackwell (SV) p. Caleb Slack, 6:01
157: Connor McCann (L) p. Carson Call, 1:33
165: James Wiggins (SV) p. Cole Waddy, 5:21
174: David Over (L) p. Tyson Hoopes, 3:44
184: Blake Barrick (L) p. Scott Chambers, 0:32
197: Sean Gillespie (L) p. Donnell Solomon, 2:04
285: Rick Weaver (L) d. Nico Ramirez, 3-1
Records: Liberty 13-1, SVU 4-10
Liberty 39, WVU Tech 16
125: Tristan Walls (L), by forfeit
133: Steven Slack (WVT) m.d. Jaylen Fyffe, 14-2
141: Garrett Good (L) p. Judson McCray, 2:21
149: Caleb Slack (L), by forfeit
157: Connor McCann (L) p. Logan Allen, 4:10
165: Ryan Turney (WVT) p. Cole Waddy, 2:42
174: Isaiha Casto (WVT), by forfeit
184: Gabe Hayes (L) d. Jacob Thomas, 5-4
197: Jesse Redding (L), by forfeit
285: Rick Weaver (L), by forfeit
Records: Liberty 14-1, WV Tech 1-18