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Johnston Named Athlete of the Week


by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
January 4, 2010

WVU VARSITY SPORTS REPORT

 
  Colin Johnston

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sophomore wrestler Colin Johnston has been named WVU’s Athlete of the Week for his efforts in the Mountaineers’ match against 12th-ranked Indiana.

The Eighty-Four, Pa., native scored the Mountaineers’ first win of the day with an 8-2 decision over Indiana’s Matt Ortega. Johnston opened the scoring in the second period with an escape, followed by a takedown. After he recorded a two-point near fall, Ortega broke loose, but Johnston was able to get in on a single leg and finish the takedown before the end of the period.

With the win, Johnston improves to 15-1 this season, including a 4-0 mark in dual action. He now has won five-straight matches.

This Week in Women’s Basketball
No. 19 West Virginia (13-1, 1-0) opens a three-game conference home stand at the WVU Coliseum with a showdown against No. 18 Pitt on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. … WVU then takes on DePaul on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m. … both contests will air on television, with the Pitt game on CBS-C and the DePaul contest on West Virginia PBS.

Last Week in Women’s Basketball
WVU secured two wins last week, a 54-50 league-opening road win at St. John’s, and a 78-55 victory over Santa Clara to close out its home portion of non-conference play ... against Santa Clara, the Mountaineers’ swift hands and the Bronco’s inability to hold on to the ball proved to be the difference in the game, as WVU tallied 14 steals and converted 22 SCU turnovers into 24 points … junior guard Liz Repella scored 20-plus points for the fourth time this season with a team-best 21 points … forward Korinne Campbell scored 16 points, while redshirt junior forward Madina Ali chipped in 11 and went 4-for-6 from the free throw line … Ali also totaled a game- and career-best 11 rebounds for her first career double-double ... with WVU up 53-50 with 17.7 seconds left, two St. John’s 3-point attempts didn’t connect and Sarah Miles hit a free throw with 2.2 seconds left to seal the victory for the Mountaineers … WVU took a six point lead at 43-37 on an Asya Bussie three-point play with 8:53 left in the game ... Shenneika Smith then scored five straight for St. John’s to cut the Mountaineer lead to 43-42 with 8:12 remaining, forcing a quick WVU timeout … two Eugeneia McPherson free throws gave St. John’s a brief lead at 44-43 but a Bussie jumper in the paint with 5:58 remaining gave WVU the lead for good … Bussie finished the contest with a game-best 15 points with nine rebounds and a career-best six blocks.

Notes and Quotes
WVU’s 13-1 start to the season is the best 14-game start in school history … WVU’s 11-game winning streak is the longest of the Mike Carey era and longest since WVU strung together 22 in a row in 1991-92.

This Week in Gymnastics
The No. 21-ranked WVU gymnastics team opens its season at No. 24 Michigan State on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. … the Mountaineers will also face No. 11 Penn State and Western Michigan.

Last Week in Gymnastics
The Blue team defeated the Gold team, 21-16, in WVU’s annual Gold-Blue intrasquad meet on Jan. 2 at the WVU Coliseum … the Blue team went 11-for-11 on the vault and floor to secure the win.

Notes and Quotes
Fourteen letterwinners return this season for the Mountaineers, including three reigning East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) champions – Shelly Purkat (balance beam), Tina Maloney (vault) and Chelsi Tabor (vault) … WVU finished the 2009 season at 15-8 (10-2 EAGL), including a second-place finish at the EAGL Championship and a fourth-place showing at the NCAA Southeast Regional … coach Linda Burdette-Good returns for her 36th season at the helm (612-244-4) …junior Amy Bieski is WVU’s top returning point earner … the all-arounder has 969.55 career points through two seasons, and is expected to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau in the Mountaineers’ season opener … four freshmen join the Mountaineers this year – Hailey Fairchild, Chelsea Goldschrafe, Arlene Hathaway and Alaska Richardson … WVU’s No. 21 ranking on the GymInfo Preseason Coaches’ Poll is four spots higher than its 2009 season-ending rank of No. 25 … the Mountaineers are the only EAGL team to earn a preseason ranking … seven of WVU’s 2010 opponents earned a preseason rank … the Mountaineers open their season on the road for the second-straight year … the team narrowly fell at No. 1 Georgia, 195.425-194.075, last year.

This Week in Rifle
No. 1-ranked WVU has concluded the first half of its season … the team will resume regular-season action on Jan. 17 and play host to NC State at 8 a.m. at the WVU Rifle Range.

Last Week in Rifle
The Mountaineers did not compete last weekend.

Notes and Quotes
The Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 GARC) last defeated No. 2-ranked and GARC foe Kentucky, 4691-4642, on Nov. 21 at the WVU Rifle Range … the team score is believed to be the highest collegiate aggregate total since the NCAA implemented a 60-shot course at the onset of the 2004-05 season … the total is 14 shots better than WVU’s previous school record of 4677, set last year … with wins over the Wildcats in smallbore and air rifle, the Mountaineers remained undefeated in both disciplines … the Mountaineers are off to their best season start since 2003, when they opened the season 8-0 before finishing the year at 11-2.

This Week in Swimming & Diving
The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams compete at Pitt on Jan. 9 at 2 p.m.

Last Week in Swimming & Diving
Both teams have been training in Cocoa Beach, Fla., for their annual winter training trip since Dec. 30 … the swimming team also had an exhibition meet against BIG EAST foe Louisville on Jan. 2.

Notes and Quotes
Last year both the men and women fell to Pitt in a meet that was determined in the final relay swims.

This Week in Track & Field
The WVU Invitational set for Jan. 9 has been cancelled ... the Mountaineers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 16, with their first road trip of the season at the Penn State National Challenge.

Last Week in Track & Field
The Mountaineers were idle last week.

Notes and Quotes
The Mountaineers started the 2009-10 indoor season with a good showing at the WVU Holiday Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the WVU Shell Building … six Mountaineers met BIG EAST qualifying standards, including sophomore long jumper Meghan Mock, who earned a first-place finish at 5.58-meters.

This Week in Wrestling
The Mountaineers will head to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State on Jan. 9 … action at Jenison Field House is set for 7 p.m. … WVU is 0-4, while MSU is 3-1.

Last Week in Wrestling
WVU fell to No. 12-ranked Indiana at home, 29-9, on Jan. 2 … the Mountaineers won two of the first three matches.

Notes and Quotes
Redshirt senior Brandon Rader made his season debut at 141 pounds … he posted a 14-7 victory over Indiana’s Daniel Monaco … it was the first time Rader competed since Jan. 3, 2008, when he injured his left knee … he registered five takedowns and a two-point near fall in the victory … sophomore Colin Johnston scored an 8-2 decision over Matt Ortega at 133 pounds … he improved to 15-1 overall and 4-0 in dual action … freshman 125-pounder Shane Young faced 2008 national champion and second-ranked Angel Escobedo … Young nearly recorded two takedowns in the first period, but was unable to finish and score … redshirt sophomore Matt Ryan won WVU’s third and final match … ranked No. 19 at 184 pounds, Ryan defeated Eric Cameron, 7-4 … he scored a takedown and a three-point near fall in the opening moments of the match … the win was his 11th of the year.

“Colin Johnston continues to build his confidence. If he can continue to do that, I think he’s someone who can work himself into placing at the national tournament this year. He’s wrestling with more confidence. He’s executing better. The weight class has given him more confidence.” - coach Craig Turnbull




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