AB Wrestling Crowns Two Champions; Finishes Second at Builder Invite

January 21, 2018

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Led by two champions and a total of five finalists, the Battlers of Alderson Broaddus finished in second place behind host school Newport News Apprentice School in Virginia Beach on Sunday.

Senior Logan Shurina won his second tournament championship of the season with a 5-3 decision over Newport News' Chad Simmons in the finals. His run to the final began with a 9-4 decision in the first round over Dom Solis of UMBC, and continued with a first period fall over his opponent from Liberty University.

"Logan had a good day," said head coach Sam Gardner. "His defense was excellent and he rode like a demon in the top position. He really punished people today from the top position. I'm looking forward to him getting his shots going on his feet a little bit better. When that happens he'll take another leap forward in his performance."

Gino Sita was the second of the Battler champions, winning at 174 pounds. He opened with a first period technical fall over Averett. In the semi-finals, he earned a decision over the host school, and in the finals he defeated his PSU-DuBois opponent by a 4-1 decision. With those wins, he moved his record to 25-2 on the year.

"Gino wrestled well this weekend," Gardner said. "He had two close bouts but showed the toughness and tactical awareness to gut out two tough wins. He's having a great freshman campaign, and we are excited to see what the future holds."

Also on Sunday, three Battlers fell in the finals. Freshman Colton Bethel had two pins, including a semi-final fall over the top seed from Averett. In the final he fell to Colton Messick from the Apprentice School by a 7-5 decision. Curtis Cox made his fourth tournament final of the year and fell to Kolin Johnson of Apprentice by a 10-9 score.In his semi-final match he avenged a loss from the finals of the Casperson Classic, using a strong third period to defeat Brandon Woody from Averett by a score of 9-4.

"Colton and Curtis had good days," said Gardner. "They both battled hard in their final bouts but just came up a little short. Both of these guys are tough. They'll learn and improve from these set-backs."

Freshman Alex Eaton fell in the finals at 197 by major decision. In the first round he earned his team leading 15th pin of the year in only 33 seconds, and scored a 10-4 decision over Alex Hicks of Liberty in the semi-finals.

"Alex is tough. He got a little flustered in the finals, and we'll work on that in practice this week," said Gardner. "He has a knack for pinning people, and he continued that this weekend. The future is bright for this kid."

Sam Solomon had three pins on the day to earn a third place medal. That is Sam's third tournament placing of the year. Derek Schmidt earned his first collegiate medal with a 3-1 record at 157 on Sunday. In the consolation final, he scored a first period fall using the Mongolian Backpack to stack his opponent up on his shoulders. "Individually we are getting better," Gardner said." We need some better production from all of our weights. We can't just rely on scoring points at seven weights and expecting we can win an event. We need strong performances up and down the line-up. Each week provides us another opportunity to go and do that. The potential is there, we just need to put it together."

This weekend, the Battlers will compete at the West Virginia Invite held at West Liberty University. Last season, the Battlers finished first at the Invite.

Team Scores
1 The Apprentice School 150
2 Alderson Broaddus 118
3 UCONN 87.5
4 Averett 77.5
5 UMBC 71
6 James Madison 69.5
7 Liberty 48.5
8 ECU 48
9 Penn State-DuBois 40
10 Hampden-Sydney 36.5
11 University of Florida 19
12 Willam and Mary College 0.5

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