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Hall Captures the Crown, WVU Takes Second at Clarion Open

CLARION, Pa. (November 7, 2021) – Sophomore Peyton Hall won the 165-pound championship to lead the West Virginia University wrestling team to a second-place finish at the 2021 Clarion Open on Sunday.

West Virginia concluded the event with 153.5 combined points, just eight points shy of Navy’s 161.5 for the open crown. Rival Pittsburgh rounded out the top three with 148.5 on the day, while host Clarion finished fourth with 126.

“So much fun to finally be competing, as it was exactly what we needed as a team. Lots of matches against someone other than another Mountaineer,” coach Tim Flynn said. “We have a lot to work on before we compete against Oklahoma and congrats to Peyton and all the guys who placed.”

After getting a bye into the round of 32, Hall started the day by defeating Buffalo’s Noah Grover in a 3-1 decision before taking out Navy’s Val Park, 7-1, to move onto the quarterfinals. The Chester, West Virginia, native registered his first major decision (11-3) of the season against Avery Shay and went on to face Hofstra’s Holden Heller in the final four. Heller jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period, but Hall came back with two takedowns to close out the period up 4-3. He added three more points in the final seconds of the match to earn a 7-4 decision and a trip to the finals to face Maryland’s John Best.

The 2021 NCAA qualifier found himself down again midway through the second period. Best and Hall were scoreless in the first period before Best escaped for the one-point lead. Then with 15 seconds left in the second period, Hall ducked Best’s right hand and made his move for the takedown. He tacked on another point for the escape in the third period as he held on for the 3-1 decision to become the tournament champion at 165 pounds.

Eight Mountaineers joined Hall in the top six of their respective weight classes. Junior Scott Joll (174) took third, redshirt junior Alex Hornfeck (157) placed fourth, followed by sophomore Caleb Dowling (157) taking fifth, and redshirt sophomores Jeffrey Boyd (149), Anthony Carman (184), and Michael Wolfgram (HWT) all securing sixth. 

In addition, a pair of freshmen reached the top six wrestling unattached at 133 pounds in their collegiate debuts. Garett Lautzenheiser captured third, while Jordan Titus claimed sixth. Freshmen Blake Boyers, Mike Dolan, Trey Johnson, Tristan Kemp, Jace Schafer, and Nathan Wickersham also made their first appearances competing at the college level.

Next up, WVU returns to Morgantown for its home opener and first Big 12 match of the season on Saturday, Nov. 13, against No. 16 Oklahoma inside the WVU Coliseum. The dual is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Press Release: WVU Athletic Department

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