|Photo by Jeremy Cook
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University wrestling team travels to Reno, Nev., for the Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Dec. 22.
“The value to going out to Reno is to see a lot of competition that we will not see in our dual meet season,” says coach Craig Turnbull. “Getting to see those different people and different styles is good for our qualification system to nationals. Also, we should be able to get everyone multiple matches and get some volume.”
The Mountaineers (8-2, 0-1 Big 12) come into the weekend off to their best start since 2002. In its last outing, WVU swept the Hoosier Duals, defeating Drexel, VMI, SIUE, then-No. 25 Indiana and Northern Colorado.
Sophomore Bubba Scheffel
(174) leads the Mountaineers with 19 wins and set a single-season record for wins by fall, recording his 12th, 13th and 14th pin in Bloomington, Ind. Scheffel won the Mercyhurst Laker Open in November, and then came in second at the Navy Classic. He is 11-2 on the year in open tournaments.
Senior Colin Johnston
(141) has tallied 18 wins thus far and is third on the squad with five pins. The Eighty-Four, Pa., native boasts a 9-2 record in open tournaments, and leads the Mountaineers with four major decisions. Johnston was one of four WVU wrestlers to post a 5-0 mark at the Hoosier Duals.
Senior Mac Mancuso
(184) has seen a lot of success this year in open tournaments, claiming a 9-1 record and having placed in two of the Mountaineers' three competitions.
WVU finished in 10th place a year ago with 53-team points. Senior Nathan Pennesi
(133), junior Brutus Scheffel
(157) and Bubba Scheffel
claimed third-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes, respectively. Pennesi has placed at the tournament every year he has competed in Reno.
The Tournament of Champions features 23 different universities, including No. 7 Nebraska, No. 15 Stanford and No. 20 Boise State. WVU has a combined 120-81 record in tournaments this season, including a 17-5 record at 184 pounds between Mancuso and sophomore Mark Colabucci
The college portion of the Tournament of Champions begins at noon EST on Sunday, and concludes with the championship bouts at 9 p.m.
Results will be posted on WVUsports.com following the conclusion of the tournament, and updates will be provided on Twitter @WVUWrestling.