By Brian Kuppleweiser for WVUsports.com
June 21, 2012 12:39 PM
In last week’s edition of Throwback Thursday, we took a look at the 1989-90 WVU wrestling team’s ascent to being named the No. 1 wrestling program in the east.
This week, we will take a look at one match in particular that set the wheels in motion for the Mountaineers becoming a premier program.
The day was February 11, 1990, and WVU was set to travel to State College, Pa., to take on Eastern Wrestling League rival Penn State.
The Nittany Lions, who were riding a stretch of success that saw them win eight-straight EWL titles, also carried a 56-match winning streak in EWL dual meets.
Penn State entered the match as the favorite, but it was the young and upcoming WVU squad that looked to steal the spotlight on this day.
Despite their youthful talent, the day didn’t start quite as planned for the Mountaineers, as the Nittany Lions earned decision victories at 118 and 126 pounds that built an early 6-0 lead in front of a raucous crowd at Rec Hall.
But then, WVU found its footing and strung together five-consecutive wins that gave them a 17-6 lead in the dual meet.
Needing one more win at 177 pounds to put the match out of reach, the Mountaineers sent junior Dominic Black to the mat.
The Lexington, Ky., native, who had plenty of big-match experience, would not disappoint, as he was on the winning end of a 10-7 decision that ended Penn State’s 56-match EWL winning streak.
The 20-13 dual meet win propelled WVU on to a sixth-place finish in the final team rankings, as well as winning a program-high 14 dual meets.
The 1989-1990 team also helped the Mountaineers enter a new era, as the roster included the program’s first national champion (Scott Collins), its second national champion (Dean Morrison) and three All-Americans (Mark Banks, Dominic Black and Doug Taylor).