ERIE, Pa. – The West Virginia University wrestling team claimed several first-place finishes at the Mercyhurst Laker Open earlier today. Sophomore Jakob Scheffel led the way with four pins in four matches to win the 174-pound weight class.
“This was a very good tournament for us as a team,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “The guys wrestled very well and got stronger as the tournament went on. We developed a lot of confidence for many of our wrestlers, which should be helpful building through the week into a challenging weekend coming up.”
Senior Colin Johnston
claimed the title at 141 pounds after defeating Dylan Durso of Mercyhurst, 5-0. Johnston earned two major decisions heading into the final bout, the first over Joey Miller of Mercyhurst (18-6) and the second in the semifinals against Sean Heggs of Mercyhurst Northeast (13-2). In his first match of the day, Johnston pinned Justin Street of King College in 1:15.
At 157 pounds, junior George “Brutus” Scheffel won in a come from behind performance, 5-3, over Mercyhurst's Tyler Berger in the finals. Brutus earned a late takedown to seal the victory. In the semifinals, Scheffel defeated Tim Wheeling
, wrestling unattached, 3-1. In the second round, Brutus recorded his first win-by-fall of the season, pinning Jordan Reece of King College in 6:09.
Sophomore Ross Renzi
earned the title in the 165-pound weight class, defeating Clint Schaefer of Mercyhurst, 7-1. Renzi tallied three takedowns and scored a riding time point in his victory. In the semifinals, Renzi recorded his first pin of the season, beating Casey Pace of Gannon in 2:49.
In the 174-pound weight class, Jakob Scheffel pinned August Mizia of Mercyhurst in 3:47 to claim first place. Scheffel pinned each of his four opponents, and leads the Mountaineers with six falls this season. All six of his wins this season have come by falls.
Senior Mac Mancuso
recorded four victories on his way to the 184-pound title. In the finals, Mancuso beat teammate sophomore Mark Colabucci
by decision, 7-3. Mancuso took Colabucci to the mat three times. Mancuso reached the finals by tallying three falls. In the semifinals, Mancuso pinned Mountaineer freshman Ryder Newman
, who was wrestling unattached.
Colabucci's loss to Mancuso in the finals was his first of the season.
WVU's final first-place finish came in the heavyweight division with freshman Wayne Purnell. Purnell beat King College's Garrett Fosdyck in a 9-6 decision. Purnell won his first two matches by falls, and sealed his spot in the finals over Nick Budd of Gannon, 8-1.
Freshman Cory Stainbrook
finished second in the 125-pound weight class. Stainbrook opened the tournament with two pins and then a 12-2 major decision over Ryan Bohince of Mercyhurst in the semifinals, before losing to Mercyhurst's Willie Bohince.
In the 197-pound weight class, freshman Leo Trindade claimed a second-place finish. Trindade won his first match as a Mountaineer over Anthony Confessore of Mercyhurst, 5-3. He followed the performance with his second win, this time pinning West Liberty's R.J. Waugh. Trindade's run came to an end against Joseph Brandt of Ashland in a 3-2 decision.
Junior Gage Swartz
wrestled his way through the consolation bracket after falling in the second round to Michael Labry of Ashland. Swartz won four consecutive matches, including tallying two pins. In the third-place match, Swartz beat Colin Crume of King College in a 7-2 decision.
WVU is back in action on Friday, November 15, at Iowa State. The Mountaineers and Cyclones will meet for a Big 12 Conference dual meet before competing in the Harold Nichols Open on Saturday, November 16.