Wrestlers dominate, but still hungry

Wrestlers dominate, but still hungry

Moriah Howell

Pitt-Johnstown’s Gary Lantz goes head to head with University of Findlay’s Bradley Metz Nov. 13

Bobby Scott, Sports Editor

The No. 8 ranked Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team kicked off the regular season at home Nov. 13 by defeating No. 16 University of Findlay (Ohio) 42-6 in their first dual meet of the season.

The Mountain Cats now have a winning streak of 15 dual meets after their win against the Oilers, a team that beat the Mountain Cats last year 22-12.

The victory also gave head coach Pat Pecora his 516th career win, ranking him fourth all-time in all National Collegiate Athletic Association divisions.

“It was a good match and good way to start the season with a win in front of the home crowd,” sophomore heavyweight Josh Duplin said.

“We lost to them last year and it was good to come out strong and get some payback.”

Duplin beat University of Findlay’s Cody Hogston in 32 seconds in the last match to finish off the Oilers.

“Now we just have to put this one behind us to prepare for West Liberty University (W. Va.).”

The match started out with two forfeit victories for Pitt-Johnstown in the 125-pound weight class by number seven nationally ranked senior Dave Fogle and by sophomore Evan Link in the 133-pound weight class.

The University of Findlay got only two victories out of six matches, in the 141- and 197-pound weight class.

Senior captain Gary Lantz along with Josh Duplin scored falls and redshirt freshman Sam Molina won a decision in his match.

The most anticipated match was in the 184-pound weight class between Pitt-Johnstown’s two-time All-American junior Travis McKillop and University of Findlay’s one-time All-American Adam Waters.

The two squared off against each other in the third place match of the national tournament with McKillop coming out on top.

McKillop also came out on top last Wednesday with a 3-2 decision to give the Mountain Cats a 36-3.

“I wrestled a smart match, but I definitely should have scored more points,” McKillop said.  “I am happy with my performance but I am definitely not content by any means.”

The Mountain Cats are to host West Liberty Nov. 20.

“It is a great start to a grueling season,” McKillop said.  “It is great to see everyone getting better every day.”

“It is an improvement from our first tournament (Clarion University Open) and our season is so long that it is just about getting better each match.”

The team wrestlers are to get their first taste of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Nov. 22 at home against Kutztown University.