MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Feb. 14, 2021) – The West Virginia University wrestling team completed the 2021 Cowboy Challenge in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with three runner-up finishes on Sunday.
The eight-man bracket for each weight class featured competition from host Oklahoma State, Missouri and Wyoming, as redshirt junior Noah Adams (197), redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan (133) and freshman Peyton Hall (165) each earned second place-finishes in their respective pools, while redshirt freshman Michael Wolfgram placed third in the heavyweight bracket.
“We had some really solid wrestling and not so solid wrestling,” third-year coach Tim Flynn said. “There was some good stuff and some bad stuff. That has been the story all year.”
No. 19 Sullivan, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, led the way for the Mountaineers with a 2-1 mark in the 133-pound division. He started with a pin over Andrew Nieman of Oklahoma State before posting an 11-4 decision over Missouri’s Trey Crawford to advance to the finals. Sullivan’s only loss of the day came against No. 1 Daton Fix of Oklahoma State, as Fix pinned him 10 seconds into the third period.
“Ryan had a really good day,” Flynn said. “He ran into the guy who is ranked No. 1 in the country. He is better than him right now, but he went out and attacked. He is getting better. He knows where he has to be. Who he wrestled today, that’s the benchmark.”
At 165 pounds, No. 21 Hall scored a third-period pin over Missouri’s Martell Boone before dropping a 14-2 major decision to No. 4 Travis Wittlake of Oklahoma State in the final round of competition.
Adams, ranked No. 4 nationally, won a hard-fought, 3-2 decision over No. 13 AJ Ferrari of Oklahoma State before running into No. 12 Stephen Buchanan of Wyoming for the second consecutive week in the 197-pound finals.
Tied at 2-2 heading into the final two minutes of action, Adams looked to avenge his lone loss of the season, as Buchanan snapped his 39-match win streak in a dual contest on Feb. 6. He used a reversal to regain control with 30 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough, as Buchanan escaped to score a late takedown for the 5-4 lead. With the takedown, Buchanan claimed the riding time point for the 6-4 victory.
“Noah had a pretty good day,” Flynn said. “He beat a highly ranked kid in the semifinals. He had the lead in the finals and lost another tight one to the Wyoming kid. They just have tight matches. He is not where he needs to be, but he is awfully close. He needs to stay on offense, stay in position and fine tune a little bit more.”
Wolfgram, who had a first-round bye in the heavyweight division, suffered a 3-1 setback to Oklahoma State’s Konner Doucet before earning a 16-2 major decision over Seth Nitzel of Missouri in the third-place match.
Additionally, junior Jackson Moomau (184), redshirt sophomore Alex Hornfeck (157), sophomore Scott Joll (174) and redshirt freshman Jeffrey Boyd (141) each recorded a win in their respective weight brackets to place fourth overall.
Of note, five other Mountaineers competed in a Gold and Blue singlet at the Cowboy Challenge, while freshman Anthony D’Alesio made his Mountaineer debut in the 174-pound bracket.
Looking ahead, West Virginia will cap its regular season at home on Friday, Feb. 19, with a match against Iowa State. Start time against the Cyclones is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Cowboy Challenge Results:
No. 19/20/13/19 Ryan Sullivan (WVU) wins by fall Andrew Nieman (OSU), F 2:17
No. 19/20/13/19 Ryan Sullivan (WVU) dec. Trey Crawford (Missouri), 11-4
No. -/1/1/1 Daton Fix (OSU) wins by fall No. 19/20/13/19 Ryan Sullivan (WVU), F 5:10
Jeffrey Boyd (WVU) wins by fall Ethan Turner (Missouri), F 4:15
No. 24/-/20/21 Dusty Hone (OSU) dec. Jeffrey Boyd (WVU), 4-2
No. 30/-/-/33 Chase Zollmann (Wyoming) wins by fall Jeffrey Boyd (WVU), F 4:33
No. 30/-/-/33 Chase Zollmann (Wyoming) major dec. Caleb Rea (WVU), 11-0
Ethan Turner (Missouri) wins by fall Caleb Rea (WVU), F 4:31
Darren Green (Wyoming) dec. Caleb Rea (WVU), 8-3
Jarod Kadel (OSU) dec. Brayden Roberts (WVU), 9-6
Warren Carr (Wyoming) dec. Brayden Roberts (WVU), 7-6
Alex Hornfeck (WVU) major dec. Daniel Manibog (OSU), 11-2
No. 13/16/16/12 Wyatt Sheets (OSU) dec. Alex Hornfeck (WVU), 8-2
Jalin Harper (OSU) dec. Alex Hornfeck (WVU), 3-2
Jalin Harper (OSU) dec. Caleb Dowling (WVU), 5-0
Caleb Dowling (WVU) dec. Chance McLane (OSU), 3-2
Daniel Manibog (OSU) dec. Caleb Dowling (WVU), 4-2
No. 21/-/24/22 Peyton Hall (WVU) wins by fall Martell Boone (Missouri), F 6:28
No. 4/4/5/4 Travis Wittlake (OSU) major dec. No. 21/-/24/22 Peyton Hall (WVU), 14-2
Scott Joll (WVU) dec. Ellis Pfleger (Missouri), 13-6
No. 11/12/14/7 Dustin Plott (OSU) dec. Scott Joll (WVU), 9-6
Sean Harman (Missouri) major dec. Scott Joll (WVU), 13-5
No. 11/12/14/7 Dustin Plott (OSU) major dec. Anthony D’Alesio (WVU), 11-3
Ellis Pfleger (Missouri) dec. Anthony D’Alesio (WVU), 6-3
Jackson Moomau (WVU) major dec. Christian McCutcheon (OSU), 10-0
No. 6/9/7/10 Dakota Geer (OSU) tech. fall Jackson Moomau (WVU), 17-2 [TF-3:46]
Duwayne Villapondo (Missouri) major dec. Jackson Moomau (WVU), 13-3
Anthony Carman (WVU) tech. fall JaQuan Jackson (OSU), 15-0 [TF-4:12]
No. 19/-/23/20 Tate Samuelson (Wyoming) dec. Anthony Carman (WVU), 5-2
Anthony Carman (WVU) major dec. Daniel Jezik (OSU), 9-1
No. 4/4/7/5 Noah Adams (WVU) dec. No. 13/10/14/13 AJ Ferrari (Oklahoma State), 3-2
No. 12/12/6/20 Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming) dec. No. 4/4/7/5 Noah Adams (WVU), 6-4
Konner Doucet (Oklahoma State) dec. Michael Wolfgram (WVU), 3-1
Michael Wolfgram (WVU) major dec. Seth Nitzel (Missouri), 16-2
Rankings are listed as follows: NCAA Coaches’ Panel/Intermat/FloWrestling/The Open Mat
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications