HAMPTON — In the National College Division of the Virginia Duals at Hampton Coliseum, Old Dominion enjoyed a successful first day Friday. The Monarchs narrowly defeated Arizona State 20-19, then registered a 29-9 win against Rutgers to advance to the semifinals.
The Monarchs will meet nationally ranked Kent State at 2 p.m. Saturday.
For ODU coach Steve Martin, the win against Rutgers was particularly satisfying.
"They beat us pretty good earlier in the season (20-13 on Dec. 2)," Martin said. "All the kids battled, and that's what we need to do to win."
Then there's the recruiting aspect.
"We were hoping to get the draw against Missouri," he said.
The top-seeded Tigers are ranked ninth in the nation, and wrestling against a team like that is good for recruiting. Defeating the No. 26 Scarlet Knights didn't hurt on that end.
"This will help us in Jersey," Martin said. "Kids (recruits) like to see that we can win these kinds of matches."
Looking ahead to Kent State, the coach was cautiously optimistic. "I tell our kids to get out there and battle," Martin said. "If they do that, then we can live with the results."
Tristan Warner earned two pins in the 165-pound division, while John Nicholson (157) scored two major wins (19-5 against ASU and 17-5 versus Rutgers). Scott Festejo (133) earned a pin and a major victory, while Jerome Robinson (125) and Te Edwards (174) also won twice for the Monarchs.
In the American College Division, the Apprentice School lost its first match 49-6 to Nassau (N.Y.) Community College. The Builders had a better outing in their consolation match, defeating Anderson (S.C.) 30-12.
Sterling Briscoe (141), the Builders' lone winner in the Nassau match, won a 5-2 decision against Anderson. Marcus Chevres (133) and Montrell Barbine (174) scored pins, while Justin Martz (184) and Stuart Roes (197) earned decisions. Heavyweight Ian Jones won by forfeit.
The highly anticipated matchup between Poquoson's Thomas Payne and Will Mason from Cape Henry Collegiate never materialized.
Mason, ranked No. 18 nationally by InterMat and the 120-pound division winner at the recent Beast of the East tournament in Delaware, would have been a formidable matchup for Payne, who is ranked second in Group AA for Virginia, according to virginiawrestling.com.
But Payne ended up wrestling at 126, where he defeated Cape Henry's Scott Cunningham, a top-ranked independent.
Something to prove
In spite of New Kent's dominance of within the Bay Rivers District, the Trojans' choice to wrestle in the prestigious National Division looked to be a precursor to punishment.
But the Trojans defeated Nazareth (Pa.) 37-23 in their first match. The teams exchanged forfeit wins in the opening matches before a parade of New Kent wrestlers — B.C. LaPrade, 120 pounds (pin); Corey Todd, 126 (16-0 technical fall); Trey Gregory, 132 (pin); Austin Fuller, 138 (10-5); Brett Flora, 145 (4-1); Nolan Schultz, 152 (4-0); Devontae Fitzgerald, 160 (5-3) — gave the Trojans 33-6 lead. Devin Maffei won in the 182-pound class.
New Kent lost 73-0 to New Jersey powerhouse South Plainfield to set up a consolation match against Franklin County. The Trojans built a 30-18 lead, but Franklin County stormed back to win the last four matches and a 36-30 decision.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun