Christian Staylor Falls Just Short of All-American Status
March 16, 2007
AUBURN HILLS, MI - Christian Staylor (Chesapeake, VA) was three seconds away from placing at the NCAA Tournament Friday night, but had his hopes dashed when UT-Chattanooga senior Matt Keller "stole it away" with a last second takedown/nearfall. Head Coach Steve Martin said the thievery was tough for Staylor because he basically won the first 6:57 of the bout. The Monarch senior won three bouts on the second day of the NCAA Tournament, including an 8-3 decision over nationally ranked Nick Gallick (Iowa State).
"He had a good tournament. He wrestled hard in all of his matches," said Martin. "Not only a great tournament; he had a great season, a great career." Staylor finished his career with an 81-31 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Finishing in the top 12 this season was the best of his three trips to the national tournament.
For the day, Staylor tallied 26 match points by beating Seth Ciasuli (Lehigh) 5-0, Gallick 8-3, and Kent State's Dan Mitcheff 8-2 before falling to Keller 7-5.
His bout over Gallick was the highlight, toppling the 19th ranked grappler in the nation with ease. The Iowa State wrestler only three points by earning the first takedown of the match and a stalling point late on Staylor.
Staylor then used the momentum to take the second win in three tries against Kent State's Mitcheff. The two met early in the season in Staylor's second week as a 133-pounder and the Monarch dropped a 1-2 decision to Mitcheff. Staylor responded at the Virginia Duals with an 8-2 win and now again at the NCAA Tournament, again at 8-2.
The Keller bout had two seniors wrestling for what would prove to be ones last match ever and the others place on the podium in their final season. In the first period, Keller grabbed a quick takedown to go up 2-0 on Staylor. Before the period ended Staylor would reverse the Moc and tie the score at 2-2. In the second period, Staylor took down and earned an escape, but not before Keller got the riding time over a minute. In the waning moments of the period Staylor scored a takedown to go up 5-2.
It was the third period, though, that had Keller earn the last second takedown and a two-point nearfall with just enough riding time (1:01) to take the win over the Monarch.
"He competed harder than I've seen him compete, ever," said assistant coach Lee Pritts. "We can't be upset with him. He went out there and laid it on the line. That's what it takes to become an All-American. He fell just short."
It was Staylor's final opportunity at a national championship, but the other two NCAA Qualifiers for ODU will return as will the rest of the starting lineup for the Monarchs. The conference continues to get stronger in the national scene.
"From a conference standpoint, it was a terrific tournament," said Martin. "We should get a few more bids in the future." The CAA has seven wrestlers still alive for the final day of the tournament.