Wrestling Finishes in Third; Six Monarchs Place at Reno TOC
RENO, Nev. – The Old Dominion wrestling team had six wrestlers place at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Thursday. Michael McGee, Kenan Carter, Shane Jones and Seldon Wright took third place at the competitive event. The team earned a third place finish with 116 points, they finished ahead of No. 18 Wyoming, No. 15 Arizona State, Stanford, Cal Poly and other Division I squads.
"It was a good opportunity for not just our 10 starters to get high level competition, but bringing eight other guys along, it was good for them to find areas where they need to improve on and take it back to the wrestling room and work on that to get better," explained head coach Steve Martin. "I was pleased seeing guys wrestleback to take third after tough losses in the semifinals."
Opening the day with back-to-back pins, McGee went on to earn another win by decision before facing No. 8 Rayvon Foley of Michigan State. McGee and Foley grappled into overtime, but the Spartan won in sudden victory, 11-9. In the third place bout, McGee dominated Gage Curry by a 11-5 decision to finish the day 4-1.
At 133 pounds, Steven Simpson went 4-2 on the day to take sixth in his weight class. Simpson saw top-five opponent and 2017 Reno TOC Champion Daton Fix in the quarterfinals, where he dropped his first match of the day. Simpson collected two wins by major decision, a pin and a win by decision.
Opening the tournament with three straight wins, Perry took a medical forfeit at 141 pounds.
Finishing third, Carter won four straight bouts before facing No. 13 Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State in the semifinals. Carter bounced back in the third place bout to earn a 6-0 win over Peyton Omania. Also competing at 149, Kevin Budock was eliminated from the event after dropping two straight matches.
At 157, Larry Early won his opening match by technical fall. Early then medical forfeited the remainder of the tournament.
"We thought it was in the student-athletes best interest to take the medical forfeits," said Martin. "They are fine but in one week these guys will be back wrestling so we want them rested. We are focused on March."
Finishing in third, Jones won three matches by bonus points before facing No. 10 Chandler Rogers of Oklahoma State in the semifinals. After dropping a match to Rogers, Jones earned a 6-4 win over Anthony Wokasch in the third place match to go 4-1 on the day.
At 174, Wright finished in third after a 4-1 day in Reno. The senior defeated No. 24 Drew Hughes of Michigan State by a 6-3 final score in the third place bout after a setback in the semifinal match against No. 7 Jacobe Smith of Oklahoma State. Also at 174, Dean Drugac dropped two straight.
Antonio Agee came back to place sixth after tearing through the consolation bracket with four straight wins. In the fifth place bout, Agee dropped a close 6-5 decision to American’s Tanner Harvey. En route to the sixth place finish, Agee picked up three wins by bonus.
At 197 pounds, Tim Young picked up three wins, including two pins. The junior went 3-2 on the day.
Will Hilliard opened the tournament with three straight pins before a setback against Grandview’s Cooper Thomas at heavyweight. Hilliard bounced back with a major decision win. He took a medical forfeit in his next match. Also at heavyweight, Ali Wahab won three bouts and dropped two.
"McGee wrestled very well but relaxed a bit at the end of regulation against the No. 8 wrestler in the country. McGee will go to Midlands and learn from that match," said head coach Steve Martin. "I thought Simpson wrestled well and won a lot matches. Carter wrestled very well but has to get a little better to beat the high level athletes. Jones wrestled a great tournament and I think he wrestled up to his ability level. Agee was in a few barn burners throughout the day but overall wrestled well. Now, we will reset for Midlands and our next dual meet."
The team finished behind #3 Oklahoma State and Michigan State.