For The Dominion Post
WHEELING — Morgantown-area wrestlers put together a strong start Jan. 18 at the OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships, at Wesbanco Arena.
In all, competitors from University and Morgantown high schools combined for a 12-9 record in their first-round bouts, with the Hawks leading the way at 8-4. Ten of those combined wins were decided by fall.
University’s Jace Stockett delivered one of the more impressive performances of the day right out of the gate. The top seed in the 106-pound weight class, Stockett pinned his opponent 10 seconds in to advance to the second round.
As has been the case all year, Jake Staud (120) and Jacob Simpson (126) followed up Stockett’s success with wins of their own, both via pin. Simpson, the two seed in the 126 class, took down MHS’s Michael Gale in 30 seconds.
Brise Bennett added a pin in the 132 class to secure the fourth UHS win by fall, a streak that would be broken with a pair technical falls in each of the following two classes.
Braeden Pauley secured victory with an 18-3 score in his bout with John Marshall’s Dakoyta Thatcher. Two-seed Owen Zeiders rolled Jesse Fulton, of Toronto, 17-1.
Morgantown was not without its share of success on day one. Cameron Lawrence (113), Alex Shriver (170), Josh Hite (220) and Neil McKnight (285) all recorded pins in their opening bouts.
Hite’s effort, against Weir’s Greg Hawkins, was one of the few upsets of the day, as he took down the eight seed in the 220 class, in 1:35.
The 10 seed at that weight, Ben Gribble, of UHS, was one of two Hawks in the higher weights to have a successful first day. Gribble recorded a pin 27 seconds into his match, while Josh Sanders (195) pinned his foe in 33 seconds.
Early team standings show University in eighth place overall, with 31 points, while Morgantown is tied for 17th, at 12 points.
Today, the tournament will continue, featuring action in both the championship and consolation brackets. The OVAC champions will be crowned Saturday.
106 – Stockett (UHS) pin 0:10 Heaver (River)
113 – Lawrence (MHS) pin 1:37 Demaria (Brooke)
McComas (Beaver Local) pin 3:13 Matthews (UHS)
120 – Staud (UHS) pin 2:33 Lundy (Oak Glen)
126 – Simpson (UHS) pin 0:30 Gale (MHS)
132 – Bennett (UHS) pin 2:46 Milhoan (Meadowbrook)
138 – Pauley (UHS) T-fall 18-3 Thatcher (John Marshall)
Smith (Toronto) dec. 11-6 Weimer (MHS)
145 – Zeiders (UHS) T-fall 17-1 Fulton (Toronto)
152 – Humphreys (Park South) pin 0:29 Shipp (MHS)
Simms (Cambridge) dec. 2-1 Miller (UHS)
160 – Barnhart (Brooke) pin 4:32 Rudmann (UHS)
Amos (Paden City) pin 1:46 Sinclair (MHS)
170 – Shriver (MHS) pin 1:38 Herrmann (Steubenville Cent. Cath.)
195 – Sanders (UHS) pin 0:33 Miller (Shenandoah)
Hoover (Martins Ferry) pin 0:19 Yost (MHS)
220 – Hite (MHS) pin 1:35 Hawkins (Weir)
Gribble (UHS) pin 0:27 Weekely (Wellsville)
285 – McKnight (MHS) pin 1:28 Hoepfner (Bellaire)
Hitchens (Shenandoah) dec. 5-2 Fowler (UHS)