WVU Heads Back West
By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 18, 2009) – After already completing one trip to Nevada, the West Virginia University wrestling team will travel back West to compete at the 15th annual Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev. Action at the Reno Downtown Convention Center will start on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 9 a.m. PT.
Once again, like the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, the Mountaineers (0-3, 0-0 EWL) will face some of the top competition in the nation from programs such as Arizona State, Oklahoma State, familiar-foe Penn State and Stanford. A total of 26 squads will be at the one-day event.
“This is another premier tournament,” coach Craig Turnbull says. “Cliff Keen, Reno, Midlands Classic and the Southern Scuffle are the premier tournaments before you get to the national tournament. We'll get two of them in. It's a great opportunity for guys who will get to wrestle in it. They'll get really valuable experience.”
Freshmen Shane Young (125) and Brandon Loro (149) will be wrestling in their first collegiate tournament. The two made their first appearance at the collegiate level last week against Penn State at their respective weight classes.
Sophomore Colin Johnston, who missed the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, will be back in action this weekend. The Eighty-Four, Pa., native sports an 8-0 overall mark, including a 3-0 record in dual meet action. The tournament could prove to be valuable for Johnston, as he has the potential to face four wrestlers ranked inside InterMat’s Top 20.
“Shane and Colin are very young in their development, Shane especially,” Turnbull adds. “Not being able to go to Vegas, this is a tournament that should really help him. For Colin, not being able to wrestle in Vegas, this is also a really important tournament for him as he starts to adjust to the 133-pound weight class and gain confidence to compete at that level.”
The team-scored event will be based on each team’s performance at the 10 different weight classes. Teams are allowed to have one scoring wrestler at each weight class, plus three additional wrestlers whose point totals will not contribute the team’s score.
WVU returns to action after falling to 14th-ranked Penn State, 33-12, on Dec. 11. Johnston and redshirt senior Chance Litton (174) won matches at their respective weight classes, while freshman Cameron Gallaher earned a victory at 197 pounds via forfeit.
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