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NCAA Preview with Chad Porter
|Chad Porter (165) is making his fourth trip to the NCAA Wrestling Championships.|
LibertyFlames.com's 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championship preview continues today, with the Flames Sports Network's Alan York talking to 165-pounder Chad Porter.
The redshirt senior is the Flames' third of four qualifiers headed to Philadelphia, where the national event will be contested at the Wells Fargo Center, March 17-19.
Porter is now perfect in his NCAA East Regional tournaments, taking the 165-pound qualifying spots in each of his four opportunities.
With his two wins in this year's regional event, Porter upped his 2010-11 win total to 21, giving him 20-win seasons all four years of his Liberty career. This season, Porter has led the squad in wins, as well as wins by fall (9), despite missing the opening weekend due to a finger injury and not being able to fully practice until then.
The redshirt senior also reached a milestone this season, as he surpassed 100 career victories, entering the Gold level of Liberty's Eagle Medal Club. The Gold level honors Liberty wrestlers with over 100 career wins. He now has 105 career victories, placing him tied for sixth on Liberty's all-time wins list. Also in the Gold Level of Liberty's Eagle Medal Club is head coach Jesse Castro, who posted 101 victories while grappling for Liberty from 1977-81.
In the regional tournament on March 6, Porter clinched his spot in the finals quickly, as he pinned Justin Guthrie of Gardner-Webb 3:33 into the bout.
Porter also owned the finals, defeating Sacred Heart's Jonathan Rizzitello, 6-1. Porter attacked early to score his points, and then accumulated a large amount of riding time while being in control of the match.
The Washington, W. Va., native enters the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships having won 10 of his last 12 bouts, including knocking off No. 14 ranked Peter Yates of Virginia Tech with a 15-7 decision.
It has been clear this season that Porter is driven to make some noise at the national event in his final run. Two years ago, Porter posted two wins in the tournament. He opened the event by defeating No. 16 ranked Kurt Swart of Boise State. After falling to the No. 1 seed and eventual national runner-up, Porter defeated Cleveland State's Marcus Effner, 9-2. In the next round, Porter encountered another seeded opponent and fell to No. 9 Trevor Stewart of Central Michigan.
This year, Porter faces No. 5 seed Colt Sponseller of Ohio State in the opening round. The two have no previous matchups, while the winner of that bout meets the winner between Eren Civan of Columbia and No. 12 seed Cody Yohn of Minnesota.
The final installment of previews with the qualifying student-athletes wraps up tomorrow on LibertyFlames.com, with Royal Brettrager II lending his thoughts on his first trip the the NCAA Wrestling Championships.