RALEIGH, N.C. – Senior Josh Wilson won the 149-pound title and seven Utah Valley University wrestlers placed Sunday at NC State's Wolfpack Open.
"We're progressing and I'm pretty excited about with what the guys are doing," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "All of the guys wrestled hard and we had some good matches. I felt like the tournament accomplished what we needed it to."
Wilson, who is UVU's lone returning NCAA Qualifier and is ranked 18th by InterMat, went to perfect 5-0 on Sunday to earn his first title of the young season.
Wilson started his day off with a 10-1 major decision over Matt Buckworth (unattached). He then defeated Campbell's Cory Wagner (8-1), Appalachian State's Dylan Cottrell (4-2) and 2011-12 NCAA Qualifier Virginia's Gus Sako (5-1) to reach the finals. In the title bout he then beat North Carolina's Christian Barber by decision, 3-1.
Behind Wilson, redshirt sophomore Adam Fager also had a solid performance, as he took second in the heavyweight bracket.
Fager began his tournament with four straight wins, three of which that were by fall. He pinned King College's Jeff Crawford in 54 seconds, VMI's Juan Adams in 3:39 and Gardner-Webb's Justin Kozera in just 26 seconds in the semifinal match. He also defeated Virginia Tech's Ty Walz by decision in the quarters before dropping the championship bout by fall to NC State's Nick Gwiazdowski, a 2012 All-American.
Also placing at the open tournament for UVU were twin brothers Jade Rauser (125) and Val Rauser (133), Avery Garner (141), Chase Cuthbertson (157) and Monte Schmalhaus (174). Both Rauser brothers placed third with identical 4-1 records while Garner, Cuthbertson and Schmalhaus all finished sixth. Garner went 5-2 on the day while Cuthbertson and Schmalhaus each finished with 4-2 records.
In all, 11 wrestlers competed for UVU on Sunday, as Glenn Terrano (141), Abner Cook (165), Derek Thomas (184) and David Prieto (197) were also in action. Cook finished 3-2 while Terrano, Thomas and Prieto each went 2-2. Ethan Smith (165) was also at the tournament but ended up getting scratched from competing.
The Wolverines will take the next couple of weeks off but will return to the mat Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Las Vegas, Nev., to take part in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.
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