Monarchs Will Compete in ODU Invitational, Missouri Open This Weekend

November 19, 2004
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 19, 2004

NORFOLK, VA -The Old Dominion wrestling team kicks off their regular season this weekend with a pair of tournaments.  The Monarchs will host the ODU Invitational Saturday, while some of the team will be participating in the Missouri Open in Columbia, MO.  The ODU Invitational will be held at the ODU Field House Gym, beginning at 9:00 AM.  Admission is free.


The ODU Invitational will be a showcase for ODU's younger wrestlers, and will feature squads from the Newport News Apprentice School, Delaware State and UNC-Pembroke. The more experienced Monarchs will be at the Missouri Open. 


"The ODU Invitational gives us a good chance to test out our younger wrestlers in front of a hometown crowd," Head Coach Steve Martin said.  "We look forward to getting a chance to compete again at home.


"Our more experienced wrestlers will be competing against Big 10, Big 12 competition at the Missouri Open.  The Missouri Open will give us a chance to see where our athletes stand nationally."


Last year, the Monarchs dominated the ODU Invitational, taking eight of the ten weight classes.


ODU 2004-05 Season Preview:

The Old Dominion wrestling team will look to use several key transfers and an impressive group of freshmen, as well as a new coaching staff of NCAA All-Americans, to rebound from last season's 7-12 record.  Head Coach Steve Martin, taking over the Monarchs after Gray Simons retired after 17 years, along with new assistants Lee Pritts, Cory Ace and John Testa, brought in a highly regarded group of wrestlers during the off-season who should make immediate contributions.


Redshirt sophomore Christian Staylor (Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge) joins the Monarchs squad after a couple of seasons at Arizona State.  Staylor re-unites with Coach Martin, who coached him at nearby Great Bridge High School.  Staylor will start at the 125-pound weight class, with hopes of being an All-American.  At the 133-pound weight class will be four-time Virginia AA State Champion, freshman B.J. Compton (Christiansburg, VA), who also looks to start off his college career by turning some heads.


Shanon Slack (Richmond, VA), a junior, will transfer in from Fresno State to wrestle at 141 and expects to achieve All-American status as well.  Three other new faces could also do some damage: Freshman Hunter Davenport (Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge) will wrestle at 149 lbs, transfer Nick Pullano (Chesapeake, VA/Great Bridge) comes from Tennessee-Chattanooga to wrestle at 157 lbs and Heavyweight freshman Alec Eaton (Westminster, MD), the Maryland state runner-up.


Junior John Dolida (Bridgewater, NJ) will be the starter in the Heavyweight weight-class.  Dolida battled through injuries last season to post a 5-11 overall record in the position at 197.  Rob Valentine (Alexandria, VA), who posted a 2-10 record as a freshman, along with newcomer Andrew Jordan (Newark, DE) should compete for starting time this season at 197.


The Monarchs will be built around three returning starters.  Robby Gosnell (Warrenton, VA) will start at 165, after wrestling at 174 last season, going 18-15 overall.  John Adams (Chesapeake, VA/Deep Creek) is the team's only senior and will start at 174 this season after going 25-16 in the 165 weight class in 2003-04.  Adam Wright (Dayton, VA) will start at 184 lbs, after going 30-9 last season and finishing third in the CAA tournament and being selected as the third alternate in the NCAA Tournament.


ODU will face a challenging schedule this season, competing in tournaments such as the ODU Invitational, the Missouri Open, Mat Town USA Invitational, the Midlands, Virginia Duals, the Rubbermaid Carolina Open, the Southern Scuffle and the Virginia State Intercollegiate Tournament.  The Monarchs will play host to CAA powerhouse Hofstra, and face tough competition from NC State, UNC-Greensboro, VMI, George Mason and others.


After last season's 7-12 overall record, 5-3 CAA record and 7th place finish in the CAA Championships, the Monarchs will look to be a threat in 2004-05, with a fully reloaded team and a new coaching staff of former NCAA All-Americans looking to return ODU to national prominence. 


The Monarchs By Weight Class:

125:  Christian Staylor (Chesapeake, VA) will start at this weight class.  Staylor went 26-14 and was selected as a NCAA Tournament wildcard for Arizona State last season.  Jared Smith (Newport News, VA), a starter in the class much of last year, will be a solid back-up.

133:  B.J. Compton (Christiansburg, VA) will be the starter.  Compton, a freshman, had a stellar high school career, compiling a 178-12 overall record, with 100 pins.  He was a four-time district champ, region champ and state champ.  Andy Lacroix (Salem, NH), who saw some time in both the 125 and 141 weight classes last year, will serve as back-up.

141:  Shanon Slack (Richmond, VA) will start in this weight class.  Slack, a transfer from Fresno State, went 7-12 a year ago, recording a pin and a major decision, wrestling in both the 133 and 141 weight classes.  Slack was an All-American in high school, compiling a 105-17 career record.  Look for Redshirt Freshman Donald Motley (Chesapeake, VA/Deep Creek) to be a key back-up.

149:  Hunter Davenport (Chesapeake, VA) will be the starter.  Davenport was a three-time district, region and state champ under Coach Steve Martin at Great Bridge High School.  Sophomore Brian Roznowski (Yorktown, VA) will challenge for starting time.

157:  Nick Pullano (Chesapeake, VA) is the starter at 157.  Pullano redshirted last season at Tennessee-Chattanooga, compiling an 18-8 record.  He left Great Bridge High School with a 93-30 career record.  Jacob Forestiere (Yorktown, VA) will challenge for starting time this year.

165:  Robby Gosnell (Warrenton, VA) is expected to start in this weight class.  Gosnell, a junior, compiled an 18-15 record last season, with a pin, tech fall and five major decisions to his credit.

174:  Senior John Adams (Chesapeake, VA) will be the starter at 174.  Adams, in the 165-weight class last season, compiled a 25-16 record.

184:  Junior Adam Wright (Dayton, VA) will start at 184.  A third alternate for the NCAA Tournament last year, Wright compiled a 30-9 record in 2003-04, with seven pins, four tech falls and six major decisions.

197:  Sophomore Rob Valentine (Alexandria, VA) and freshman Andrew Jordan (Newark, DE), will compete for starting time this season.

HWT:  Junior John Dolida (Bridgewater, NJ) is the starter at Heavyweight this year.  Alex Eaton (Westminster, MD) will be a back-up at Heavyweight this season.  Eaton placed second in the county, regionals and in the state last season at Meade High School.