Five Mountaineers Head West for NCAA Championships
Brackets AT THIS LINK
By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 17, 2009) – Five West Virginia
University wrestlers, including a pair of four-time qualifiers in
fifth-year seniors Kurt Brenner (174) and David Jauregui (149), earned
bids to the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday, March 19-21
in St. Louis, Mo. Session one on day one of the tournament begins at
Brenner and Jauregui are just two of 13 Mountaineers in program
history to qualify four times for the national tournament.
Brenner’s first match of the tournament, after a first-round
bye, comes against Penn’s Scott Giffin, a redshirt sophomore. Giffin,
who owns a 16-10 record, took sixth place at the EIWA Championships.
Brenner, ranked No. 10 nationally in the final InterMat
rankings, earned an automatic bid after winning the 174-pound title at
the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championships on March 7. The
174-pound crown is the second of his career and third overall (won the
184-pound title in 2008). The Freedom, Pa., resident, who boasts an 18-4
record this season, becomes only the fifth wrestler in school history to
win at least three EWL titles since the Mountaineers joined the league
Last year, Brenner was one win away from All-America status at
184 pounds. He defeated Stanford’s Zack Giesen and Purdue’s A.J. Kissel
en route to a team-best 3-2 postseason record.
Jauregui concluded the EWL Tournament with a third-place
showing. He defeated Pitt’s Mark Powell, 3-2, in the opening round, but
dropped a close decision to the eventual 149-pound champion, Lock
Haven’s Matt Fittery. Jauregui has won seven of his last 10 matches
and holds a 14-4 overall mark. At last year’s NCAA Tournament, he won
two matches, including a 7-3 decision over Edinboro’s Daryl Cocozzo.
After a first-round bye, Jauregui is scheduled to face Hofstra’s
Paul Gillespie. A redshirt freshman, Gillespie owns a 19-13 and won the
149-pound title in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships. If
Jauregui wins, he’ll either get a rematch against Lock Haven’s Matt
Fittery or a bout against No. 2 ranked Bubba Jenkins of Penn State.
Making his third appearance at the NCAA Tournament will be
fifth-year senior heavyweight Dustin Rogers. Ranked No. 11 nationally,
Brenner also took third place at the EWL Tournament. He earned an 18-1
tech fall over Lock Haven’s Gabe Murtorff, but fell to Cleveland State’s
Rashard Goff, ranked 20th at the time. Sporting a 19-5 mark, Rogers
leads the team with six wins by fall, also a career best. Against ranked
opponents, the Corning, Calif., resident boasts a 6-4 mark.
Rogers, who also earned a first-round bye, received a tough
draw. He will face Cornell’s Zach Hammond in the second round. Hammond,
a redshirt senior, owns an 18-12 mark and finished in fifth place at the
EIWA Championships. Four of his victories have come by fall. Should
Rogers advance, he could face the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in Iowa
State’s David Zabriskie.
Rogers won two matches at last year’s NCAA Tournament, taking a
4-2 decision against Old Dominion’s Andrew Totusek and a 7-4 victory
over Minnesota’s Ben Berhow, an opponent Rogers defeated earlier this
season at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Redshirt junior Donnie Jones earned his second-straight trip to
the national tournament after finishing runner-up at 165 pounds at the
EWL Championships. Jones defeated Cleveland State’s Rob Michaels 7-3 in
the second round, but fell to Edinboro’s Jarrod King in the title match.
Prior to the loss, Jones had won 10-straight matches, including five by
Jones’ first match of the tournament comes against No. 3 ranked
Ryan Morningstar of Iowa. Morningstar, who finished runner-up at the Big
Ten Championships, boasts a 27-5 mark; 22 of his wins have come by
Redshirt freshman Ryan Goodman (157) will be making his first
appearance at the NCAA Tournament after grabbing third place at the EWL
Championships. The Latrobe, Pa., resident finished the season with an
8-9 record after registering a 3-1 mark at the league tournament. By
qualifying, he continues the Mountaineers’ streak of sending a
157-pounder to the national tournament each year since 2000.
Goodman will see a familiar face in his first career NCAA
Tournament match – No. 2 ranked Mike Poeta of Illinois. The two last met
on Jan. 9, with Poeta earning a tech fall at the 5:17 mark. The Illinois
wrestler owns a 13-0 record and won the Big Ten title on March 7.
WVU and Edinboro were the only two EWL programs to qualify at
least five wrestlers for the national tournament.
Live text coverage of the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships can
be seen by logging onto InterMatwrestle.com and clicking on the 2009
Championships Coverage Page.
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