MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University wrestling travels to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Classic on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Wesley Brown Field House on the campus of the Naval Academy.
“We are looking to get more matches under our belt. In these early season tournaments, we want to get a good volume in and have people out on the mat,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “By the time January comes, these matches give us the confidence and experience to get the wins that we need. This weekend also provides us the opportunity to get matches against teams that are not on the schedule, which is also a good thing.”
Senior Colin Johnston
(141) leads the Mountaineers with 11 wins this season. Johnston is currently riding a nine-match win steak, with his only loss occurring on Nov. 2 against No. 15 Joe Spisak of No. 15 Virginia. In his last outing, Johnston defeated Chauncey Ziemann of Midland, 13-0, and Gabe Moreno of No. 17 Iowa State, 5-3, along with tallying three wins at the Harold Nichols Open on Nov. 16. Johnston is ranked No. 19 by Wrestling Insider Magazine and No. 25 by the Wrestling Report.
“Colin has gone up a weight class, and we have had a lot of closed door sit down talks. From those meetings on, he has been wrestling with a renewed confidence and more assertiveness, and he is being rewarded for it. The more he gets rewarded for that, the more confidence he gets as someone that should place at a national tournament,” Turnbull says.
Senior Nathan Pennesi
(133) made his season debut at last weekend’s double-dual meet against the Warriors and the Cyclones. Pennesi won by a major decision over No. 4 Aspen Kmiec, 11-3, and then downed the ISU’s Dakota Bauer, 4-2. Pennesi is expected to see his first open tournament action this year at the Navy Classic. He is currently ranked No. 17 by InterMat and No. 14 by D1CollegeWrestling and the Wrestling Report.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel
(174) leads WVU with nine pins through his first 13 matches. Scheffel’s only three losses have come against No. 12 Stephen Doty of Virginia and No. 10 Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State. Scheffel lost to Weatherman in a last second 7-6 decision in a dual meet between the two schools last week, and then again the next day at the Harold Nichols Open. He is currently ranked No. 25 by the Wrestling Report.
The 141-pound weight class and heavyweight division each feature three ranked wrestlers in the bracket. No. 6 Richard Durso of Franklin & Marshall will wrestle at 141 pounds, No. 6 Cory Mock of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be in the 165-pound weight class and No. 6 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin will wrestle heavyweight. The three wrestlers represent the highest-ranked individuals in the tournament.
The open will include wrestlers from Brown, Bucknell, The Citadel, Cleveland State, Franklin & Marshall, George Mason, Kent State, Navy, Ohio, Princeton, Tennessee at Chattanooga and Wisconsin.
The preliminary rounds of the brackets will begin at 10 a.m., with the semifinals expected to occur around 2:30 p.m. and the finals at 5 p.m.
Brackets will be posted throughout the day on Saturday on www.NavySports.com
, and updates will be given @WVUWrestling on Twitter, with a final recap of the Classic at WVUsports.com.