The Builder wrestling team had a successful weekend, winning the 2018 USCAA National Invitational held at Penn State University by a wide margin on Sunday. The 1st place finish was the best for the Builders since last winning the event in 2014. Apprentice won the 13-team event with 182.5 points, followed by familiar foe Alderson Broaddus with 107.5.
Four Apprentice wrestlers won their respective weight-classes, and nine more placed in the top-5.
Two Builders met in the championship finals at 125 lbs, as #1 Colton Messick won a close bout with teammate Trey Boyd 6-3. Messick was able to secure two takedowns in the final minute after a 1-1 score in the final frame. On his way to the finals, 9th ranked Boyd defeated #6 Zion Clark of Kent State-Tuskawarus 7-4.
Two more Builders met in the 3rd place bout at 133 lbs as both Anthony Monahan and Kolin Johnson were upset in the semi-finals. After a first round pin, Monahan dropped a 4-2 decision to returning All-American Mike Perdomo of PS Fayette. On the top half of the bracket, Johnson dropped a 6-5 decision to Curtis Cox of AB, whom Johnson has defeated twice this season. After both builders bounced back with pins in their next bouts, Johnson came out with another narrow 3-1 decision over Mono for third-place.
At 141 lbs, 1st seeded Shalek Colon was the second champion for the builders. Colon advanced to the finals with a first-round pin, followed with a 19-4 technical fall in the semi-final. Shalek recorded a pin in 1:08 in the championship bout over Austin Bailey of Tuscawarus for his first tournament gold of the season.
Ty Boyd advanced to the finals at 149 lbs after a bye and a 13-4 major decision in the semi-final, before being caught and pinned in a cradle in the 1st place bout.
At 157 lbs, Chad Simmons was the 3rd champ for the Builders on the day, receiving a forfeit to 8th ranked Dan Vossbein of West Chester in the finals. On his way to the finals Chad recorded a pin and a 17-1 technical fall. He still leads the team with bonus-point wins at 18.
Jeff Driscoll advanced to the semi-finals at 165 lbs after a pin and a major decision. After falling to eventual champion Logan Shurina of A-B, Jeff bounced back with another pin before losing in the 3rd place bout.
Senior Dan Henson was 5th place at 174 lbs, his only losses to the #7 and #8 ranked NCWA wrestlers. "Hendo" recorded 2 pins on the day.
At 184 lbs, Wes Sorey was 2-2 finding a 4th place finish. Sorey defeated #14 Lucas Shaheen of PSU WC 2-0 before falling in the semi-finals. In the wrestle-backs he defeated #19 Dewey of West Chester before losing in the 3rd place bout 6-4.
2nd ranked Freshman Ross Graham was the final champ for the Builders, pinning all three opponents in his path. In his first bout, Graham pinned #16 Brandyn Whitacre of Alfred State in the first period. In the semi-finals, Ross managed to pin himself and 17th ranked Marqus Young of Tuscawarus to advance to the championship final. In the 1st place bout, Graham had his longest match of the day, pinning 18th ranked Deontay Wadley in the 2nd period. Graham is now 19-5 on the season with 12 pins.
Despite not advancing to the finals, Zach Sintobin got some revenge at 235 lbs defeating Bryce Hanley in overtime for 3rd place. Zach and Hanley (who last beat Zach in the Builder Invitational finals) were both upset in the semi-finals. 8th ranked Sintobin rebounded with a pin to set up the #7 vs #8 bout for 3rd place. Zach is now tied with Graham for the most pins on the team at 12 each.
13th ranked heavyweight Shakeem Lassiter finished 5th, despite only losing to the same opponent twice. After being pinned in his opening bout against #10 Ryan Mattison of Alfred state, Shak won a razor-thin 10-9 decision over PSUWC. Once again Shak fell to Mattison, this time in sudden-victory.
Next Up: The Builders will take a break next weekend to prepare for the NCWA Mid-Atlantic Conference on Feb 24. The top 5 place-winners will earn an automatic bid to the NCWA National Championships
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