By Marty Gordon
Virginia Tech wrestling stayed undefeated in duals this season with a 36-3 win over West Virginia in Cassell Coliseum Saturday night.
Redshirt senior David McFadden recorded career win No. 100 with a 16-7 major decision over West Virginia’s Nick Kiussis. He had seven takedowns and almost three minutes of riding time McFadden is just the 13th Hokie to ever reach the 100-win plateau. That list includes current Virginia Tech wrestling director of performance Ty Walz.
The win gave the Hokies their sixth of the season and fourth in Blacksburg. Fourth-ranked Tech won nine of the 10 matches, and four Hokies scored bonus points.
Mitch Moore was the first Hokie to score bonus points on the night with a pin in 2:08. The fall was Moore’s fifth of the season, which leads the team. He improved to 4-1 in dual matches this season.
Bryce Andonian picked up his first dual-meet bonus points with a pin in 2:19. Andonian now has four falls on the season. The true freshman is now 3-0 in duals and 12-2 overall.
Hunter Bolen remained undefeated in duals this season and was the fourth Hokie to pick up bonus points. Bolen had an 18-0 tech fall in 4:10 to improve to 6-0 in duals and 16-1. Ranked second in the country by InterMat, Bolen dominated with three four-point near-falls to end the match early in the second period.
High school results
In the high-school ranks, Christiansburg completed a 1-2 weekend at the Virginia Duals in Hampton.
Smyma defeated Christiansburg 33-31 on Friday night. The Blue Demons then turned around and downed St. Peter’s Prep 46-21 before falling to South Dade 50-12 in their final dual meet.
Individually, Nathan Warden (182 pounds) and Carden Miller (195) finished 3-0 for the Blue Demons. Dawson Gragg (152), Bryan Taylor (2-1), Kip Nininger (145) and Brandon Crowder (120), all finished 2-1 for the weekend.
In other results, Chase Miller of Christiansburg took first place at this past weekend’s Virginia Duals’ Middle School Nationals Tournament.
Virginia Elite wrestlers also did well at several invitational meets. John Wesley Bolen, Barrett Collins and Stephen Bolen all took gold at the Raider Rumble in Pennsylvania, while Titus Bolen and Dillinger Collins were silver winners. Stephen Bolen brought home a bronze.
Brody Hand was named the outstanding wrestler at the Tyrant Duals in York, Penn. He finished 9-0 at the meet.
E&H to add wrestling
Emory & Henry College Director of Athletics Anne Crutchfield has announced the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling as intercollegiate sports that will begin competition during the 2020-21 academic year. The teams expand the college’s varsity sports offerings to 22 NCAA Division III programs with IDA and IHSA equestrian teams and competitive cheer and dance squads.
“The popularity of wrestling in the region, as well as across the country, will provide Emory & Henry with a new pool of student-athletes to join our athletic programs,” said Crutchfield. “We are in the process of hiring our coaching staff, and we are excited to grow our department. Our new programs will allow these dedicated student-athletes to continue their career and sport they’re passionate about while in college.”
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its 2018-19 High School Participation Survey, girls’ wrestling has climbed to the 17th-most popular high school sport and boys’ wrestling remains seventh at the high-school level in terms of participants. The combined number of high school wrestlers nationwide, including both boys and girls, grew to 268,565, an increase of 6,439 athletes (or 2.5%) in 2018-19.
Wrestling has become a growing sport in NCAA Division III for both men and women. However, Emory & Henry will be just the second school in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) to offer both men’s and women’s wrestling. Currently, only Ferrum College provides both. Washington and Lee University offers men’s wrestling while Roanoke College and Shenandoah University have recently made announcements to add the sport.
“As wrestling continues to grow, we hope to see more ODAC schools add wrestling to allow us to compete on a conference level,” said Crutchfield. “Until then, we will continue to offer high-level competition at matches on the regional and national levels.”
Crutchfield says the college plans to have a head coach for both men’s and women’s wrestling hired by the start of February.