Year ends with binge

Nate Bottiger, Staff Writer

With their national tournament over the Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team’s season has ended, and now the team is set free from dietary restrictions.

As a whole, the team finished 12th out of 42 teams represented at the national tournament with a 38.5 points, just enough to pass Ashland by half a point for the 12th spot. Nebraska-Kearney won the tournament with 107 points.

Four Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers placed in the tournament with 125-pound sophomore Dave Fogle taking third nationally, the highest out of the four UPJ place finishers.

Aside from Fogle’s first round pin, he won the rest of his matches by decisions, and also received his only loss by decision.

Nathan Link finished fourth at 149 pounds. Placing seventh were 157-pound senior Zach Lundgren and 174-pound freshman Travis McKillop.

Eliminated without placing were 197-pound senior Jon Moore, 141-pound sophomore Jack Bachman and 184-pound Gary Lantz.

On top of the place-finishers, the team also had All-American wins, which head coach Pat Pecora calls “blood matches,” in Fogle, McKillop, Link and Lundgren.

Link’s All-American match was his third match the tournament in the second round of consolation bouts. Link said winning his All-American match was one of the best feelings he has experienced, and that he is proud to have taken fourth at the tournament.

“My name’s going to be on the wrestling room wall forever and that’s a great feeling.”

Lundgren and Link both won their All-American matches within minutes of each other.

“I’ll never forget the moment I walked off the mat and Nathan was there waiting for me.”

Lundgren won his All-American bout by 7-2 decision over Teddy Bristol from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Ariz.

Now that the team’s season is over, the wrestlers can finally let loose a little, and do something that none can afford to do during the season eat unhealthily.

While enjoying a nice fresh pack of his favorite Oreo cookies, junior Ryan Link said the feeling of relaxing about his weight is bittersweet.

“You dream about eating all these foods, but then you miss feeling good, eating healthy and having ripped abs.”

Other than Oreos Link said he now enjoys foods that are a little less healthy, and enjoys drinking Mug root beer.

Ryan said from his experience the wrestlers usually gain anywhere from 5-15 pounds over the first couple of weeks after the season.

Nathan Link said he has been taking full advantage of the new opportunity to inhale his food, and eat more meals a day.

“I’ve been making it to breakfast, lunch and dinner on a regular basis.”