AMES, Iowa –
West Virginia University wrestling competed against 20 other schools at the Harold Nichols Open at Iowa State, featuring over 300 wrestlers. Sophomore Mark Colabucci
(184) went 4-1 on his way to a second-place finish.
“The purpose of the trip was to wrestle a dual meet with Iowa State. The tournament was a secondary purpose, but it allowed us to get some other people matches,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “For those that wrestled two matches yesterday, we did not want to wrestle them in a whole tournament. We purposefully set a number of matches. The weekend was overall very good for us, and we grew as a team through the experience.”
Colabucci won four consecutive bouts to reach the finals. All four of Colabucci's wins were by decision. In the quarterfinals, he beat Ellsworth's Matt Hurford, 7-3., and Damonte Stogner in the semifinals, 4-0.
In the finals, Colabucci was defeated by No. 2 Minnesota's Brett Pfarr. Colabucci was brought to the mat in the first period, but was able to tally the escape point. Pfarr scored a reversal in the second to take a 4-1 lead into the third, and then earned riding time.
Sophomore Tim Wheeling
made a deep run in the 157-pound consolation bracket, finishing the tournament in sixth place. After falling to Logan Molina of the Cyclones, 6-4, in the second round, Wheeling won three matches to earn a rematch against Molina. The semifinals match of the consolation bracket came down to riding time, giving Molina the 2-1 decision.
In the fifth-place bout at 157 pounds, Wheeling was brought to the mat early by SDSU's Cody Pack and suffered three nearfalls. Pack went on to win the match by technical fall.
“A few of the extra guys that we brought wrestled really well. Tim Wheeling wrestled extremely well and gained valuable experience,” Turnbull says. “Colabucci, who is second on our depth chart, wrestling in the finals was very good for our program.”
Senior Colin Johnston
(133) won three matches to reach the semifinals, after which he withdrew from the bracket. Senior Mac Mancuso
(184) went unbeaten, winning two matches before pulling out in the quarterfinals.
Freshman Cory Stainbrook
(125) won two matches, including a technical fall over Robiel Tesfaldet of South Dakota State, before No. 2 Minnesota's Sam Brancale beat him by major decision, 12-4. In the consolation bracket, Stainbrook pinned Nate Smith from Iowa Central before withdrawing from the bracket.
At 149 pounds, junior Mike Morales opened the tournament with a pin against Hank Goettl of SDSU. Morales fell in the next match to St. Cloud State's Josh Howk. Morales then won two straight matches in the consolation bracket.
Junior Brutus Scheffel
recovered in the consolation bracket after a first round loss to the JackRabbits' Dalton Moran. Scheffel defeated Grand View's Dallas Houchins, 6-4, in overtime, and Colton Johnson of Nebraska-Kearney, 10-4.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel
continues to lead the Mountaineers in pins, recording three pins to bring his season total to nine. All three of Bubba's victories today came by fall. He was knocked out of the championship bracket in the third round by Iowa State's Tanner Weatherman.
In the heavyweight bracket, sophomore A.J. Vizcarrondo
met with No. 1 Tony Nelson from Minnesota. Vizcarrondo scored an early takedown, but Nelson would gain control over the next two periods, defeating Vizcarrondo, 7-2. Vizcarrondo beat teammate Wayne Purnell and St. Cloud State's Caleb White in the consolation bracket.
Highlighting the participating schools at today's open was No. 17 Iowa State, Maryland, No.2 Minnesota, No. 11 Missouri, No. 13 Nebraska, the NAIA's top-squad Grand View and No. 9 in the NAIA, Midland.