Wrestlers pin down last home match

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UPJ's Travis McKillop rides his opponent at the wrestling team's last home event Feb. 11.

Nate Bottiger

Nate Bottiger, Staff Writer

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown hosted a Feb. 11 match against Anderson University, for their last home event and senior night, which they won 52-0.

The senior night match began with the introduction of Pitt-Johnstown’s six seniors, Greg Grimes (heavyweight.), Nathan Link (149 pounds), Zach Lundgren (157 pounds), Doug Maiorana (133 pounds), Myers Miller (157/165 pounds) and Jon Moore (197 pounds).

David Fogle started the match with a major decision at 125 pounds.

The match was followed by three straight pins by Maiorana, No.5 Jack Bachman and Link.

Pecora said Link used a beautiful cement mixer to get the fall over Anderson University’s Melchisedac Lavergne.

Link’s pin was followed by a major decision and a decision at the 157- and 165-pound weight classes, and then, at 174 pounds, Travis McKillop won by technical fall.

Both Gary Lantz, 184 pounds, and Grimes at heavyweight received forfeits.

Between the two forfeits, Jon Moore won by fall against Anderson University’s Jordan Denmark at 197 pounds.

Junior Ryan Link said that it was good seeing a shutout on senior night.

“It was very emotional,” Ryan Link said.

“Seeing all of our seniors wrestle including my brother Nathan tonight for the last time was great, but hard at the same time.”

The match also marked head coach Pat Pecora’s 499th win, which means Pecora can acquire his 500th win if the team beats Shippensburg on Tuesday.

Pecora said he was proud of his seniors and his whole team, and that it was a great senior night, which Pecora described as perfect.

Pecora attributed his many wins to all the hard work and talented wrestlers that he has coached.

Pecora said when he thinks about it, it makes him think about all of the wrestlers who have been a part of each of those wins.

Tom Kleban, Pitt-Johnstown fan and longtime friend of Pecora, said there is not a doubt in his mind that Pecora will earn his 500th win against Shippensburg University.

Ryan Link said the only way he could describe Pecora: was “He’s the man”.

Link said he believes Pecora is one of the all-time best coaches in all of sports and divisions.

“Our team wrestles for him every match, and for the 500th win, we need to be at our best,” Link said.

“He deserves it.”