By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
January 5, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Three members of the West Virginia University wrestling team earned a Top 20 ranking at their respective weight classes in the latest InterMat rankings, announced today.
Redshirt senior Brandon Rader, now ranked No. 11 at 141 pounds, made his season debut on Jan. 2 and defeated Indiana’s Danny Monaco, 14-7. A Parkersburg, W.Va., native, Rader tallied five takedowns and a two-point near fall en route to his first win this season. It was the first time Rader competed in a dual since injuring his knee on Jan. 3, 2008, against eventual NCAA runner-up Chad Mendes from Cal Poly.
Also making his first appearance in the rankings is sophomore Colin Johnston, who garnered the No. 17 spot at 133 pounds. The Eighty-Four, Pa., native holds a 15-1 overall mark, including a 4-0 record in dual meets. Seven of his 15 victories have come by bonus decision, including four wins by fall. His win over Indiana’s Matt Ortega on Jan. 2 marked his fifth-straight victory, his second-longest streak this season. Johnston held a 10-match winning streak before losing his only match of the year on Dec. 20 to then-No. 9-ranked Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly, 2-1, in a tiebreaker.
Fellow Eighty-Four, Pa., native Matt Ryan maintained his Top 20 ranking for the fourth-straight week. Moving up a spot to No. 18 at 184 pounds, he defeated Indiana’s Eric Cameron, 7-4, for his 11th victory of the season on Jan. 2. Ryan has faced stiff competition this year, squaring off against five wrestlers ranked in the Top 20.
Ryan and Johnston share the team lead in pins (4) and near fall points (8).
The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Michigan State. Action at Jenison Field House is set for 7 p.m.