ODU Wrestling Heads North Sunday For Pair of Duals

February 01, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 1, 2008

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NORFOLK, Va. -- The No. 19/22 Monarchs wrestling team takes a road trip for a pair of duals this Sunday, February 3. The grapplers will face George Mason (9-3-0/5-2-0) in CAA action at 11:00 am in Fairfax, Va. and then travel to Washington, D.C. for a dual against American University (3-10-0) at 2:00 pm.

Super Sunday CAA Action
ODU looks to improve on their 4-1 CAA record when the face the Patriots of George Mason this Sunday at 11:00 am. Following the dual against GMU, ODU will travel to nearby Washington, D.C. for a match against the Eagles of American. Both teams boast at least one nationally ranked grappler, and American will wrestle the #1 ranked 197-pounder in the nation.

The 22nd ranked Monarchs start against Mason, a team that has started 9-3-0 in duals this season and is 5-2 in CAA action. Freshman Cayle Byers is ranked and will face junior David Mendoza at 197 lbs. Mendoza will then be tested against American as he has to face #1 Josh Glenn.

ODU leads the all-time series against American by a commanding 26-4 margin while they trail the all-time series with George Mason by just one dual, 8-9.

Leading the Nation
Redshirt sophomore Kaylen Baxter has backed up his success as a freshman with an even better second year. He leads the nation in wins with 34 total and has only lost nine matches this season.

Right behind Baxter in the nationwide leaders in wins is teammate Ryan Williams. The junior has totaled 32 wins and is leading the team in major decisions with 10.

Both wrestlers are in the program's top 20 in career wins. Williams ranks 9th with 91 total victories and Baxter is tied for 20th with 68.

Coming to the Ted
ODU will host one more home match at the Ted Constant Convocation Center this season. Earlier this season, ODU earned the biggest win ever in the building, dropping Delaware State 48-0. They followed up that win with their first ever victory over Bucknell, 30-6.

For the final home match of the season, the Ted will play host to its first ever Colonial Athletic Association wrestling match on February 10, as ODU hosts Rider University immediately following the women's basketball game against William & Mary. The match will begin at approximately 5:00 pm as the teams battle for the edge in the all-time series, currently knotted up at 3-3-1. Old Dominion dropped the Broncs twice last season.

Top 25 Team
ODU earned its first national ranking since the 1990-91 season earlier this year as W.I.N. Magazine ranked the Monarchs 22nd in the nation. Since then, ODU has been a staple in the top 25 and has recently earned the programs best ever national ranking, at 19th in the nation by W.I.N.

The Monarchs are also ranked 22nd in the nation in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA rankings. Old Dominion has been in InterMat's Top 25 for eight straight rankings.

Nationally Ranked Individuals
For the first time in school history, Old Dominion had six grapplers ranked nationally by Amateur Wrestling News. Much of the starting lineup has been in the national polls for the duration of the season. Only at 157 and Hwt have the Monarchs not been listed by a poll at least once this season.

Three Monarchs are ranked by all four national polls. James Nicholson (125), Kyle Hutter (133) and Chris Brown (165) are ranked by InterMat, AWN, W.I.N. Magazine, and wrestlingreport.com. Kyle Hutter remains in the polls after upsetting his third nationally ranked opponent in his last three events. He dropped #13 Dan Mitcheff (Kent State) and #15 Eric Albright (UVa) by decision at the Duals and last weekend pinned #15 David Marble of Bucknell.

Kaylen Baxter, Ryan Williams and Brown have maintained slots in the top 25 throughout the season. Brown dropped #1 Hawkeye 165-pounder Mark Perry earlier in the season, boosting his personal record and Baxter has tallied a nationwide best 34 wins already this season.