Cardinals Capture WV Collegiate Open Crown, Take 5 Weight Classes
January 27, 2018
Full Open Brackets
WEST LIBERTY, Pa. – The Cardinals are the 'king of West Virginia Division II' wrestling once again. Behind five weight class titles, Wheeling Jesuit won the West Virginia Collegiate Open on Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals claimed the title with 80.5 points, three points better than rival and host West Liberty (77.5). WJU grabbed the team championship behind individual titles by Dustin Warner (133), Jared Donahue (141), Christian Rivera (157), Aiden Pasiuk (184) and Seth Bloor (285), while it added another two runner-ups and four third places.
1st Place Cardinals (L-R): Jared Donahue, Christian Rivera, Aiden Pasiuk, Seth Bloor & DJ Warner.
"It was a solid day from start to finish for our program," pointed out WJU head coach Danny Irwin. "It was an off weekend for some of our starters, but everyone who competed executed at a high level. We were much tougher on top along with being more aggressive with our shot defense and front head offense."
Getting back to his top work on the mat, two-time All-American Warner went 3-0 for his 133 title. The senior started with a resounding 16-0 tech fall and added a 5-0 shutout in the semifinals, before he was pushed by TJ Bean of West Virginia Tech in the final to a 4-3 second tiebreaker win.
"DJ Warner gutted out a nice win in the finals and he is starting to get back to where he needs to be for the stretch run," said Irwin.
Donahue made it two Open titles in his first season. At 141, Donahue started his day with a fall in 2:43 and posted a 15-3 major in the semifinals. Jared continued to a 6-0 shutout of West Liberty's Josh Ridgeway by a 6-0 final.
"Jared shows the depth our program is starting to build. He knocked off West Liberty's starting 141-pounder in convincing fashion. He is an absolute workhorse, who comes to practice everyday with a smile," explained the Cardinals head coach.
At 157, Rivera battled hard for his two wins. He was able to decision Maverick Meeks of Ohio Valley, 8-7, before the sophomore pulled out a 5-3 win over teammate Kollin Clark for the title.
"Today was awesome day! It's an amazing feeling to win my first tournament, and it's great to see the extra individual work paying off," said Rivera.
Irwin added, "Rivera has been really putting in the work, never misses an individual and always sells out on everything. I am really proud to see it pay off for him today."
Returning to the lineup after being out recently, freshman Pasiuk had his way with a 13-2 major decision over Alderson Broaddus' Sam Solomon. Pasiuk took his second title of the year after he led 3-1 at 4:17 in the championship match when West Liberty's Chris Cook had to injury default.
"Pasiuk scored in a couple spots that he wouldn't have in the past and this has to give him a much needed boost as he heads towards his first postseason," commented Irwin.
The final individual title came to another hard-working Cardinal in heavyweight Bloor. The redshirt sophomore pinned Ben Willard of Ohio Valley in 2:42, before he defeated Ronnie D'Amico from West Liberty, 11-7.
"I have been wrestling with confidence and I showed it out on the mat today," explained Bloor. "I had a lot of fun wrestling this weekend when I get to my offense and I was able to keep it rolling."
Irwin concurred, "Seth is starting to roll out there as he knows exactly where he needs to be and has shown quite a bit of discipline against some solid competitors to make it happen."
The two WJU runners-up were Tyler Jenkins (165) and Clark (157). Jenkins won an 8-2 opening bout, before he lost the title match in the first period to Ohio Valley's TJ Lambiotte. Clark defeated West Liberty's Josh Cornell, 11-4, before he dropped the close title match to Rivera.
The Cardinals had Jaylen Hill (141), Tyler Hogue (149), Peyton Geary (174) and Devin Uzelac (285) all claim third place finishes.
WJU has the week off until it travels to take part in the Baldwin-Wallace Open next Saturday morning.
West Virginia Collegiate Open Team Scores
1. WJU 80.5
2. West Liberty 77.5
3. Ohio Valley 67.5
4. Alderson Broaddus 52.5
5. West Virginia Tech 11.5
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