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No. 15 UPJ wrestlers lose PSAC Championship to No. 8 Mercyhurst

By Chris Caputo, UPJ Athletics

In a battle for the PSAC Dual Meet Championship, eighth-ranked Mercyhurst University built a 20-6 lead after seven bouts and held off a Mountain Cat comeback in a 23-15 victory over 15th-ranked Pitt-Johnstown on Wednesdays Senior Night in the Sports Center.  Pitt-Johnstown had its 11-match winning streak snapped and slipped to 13-2 overall and ended its first season with a 5-2 mark in the conference.


Prior to the match, Pitt-Johnstown recognized this years seniors: Dave Cawley (141 lbs.), Dave Fogle (125 lbs.), Gary Lantz (165 lbs.), and Zak Newton (197 lbs.).


An 8-5 win by eighth-ranked Dave Fogle over 2012 National Qualifier Ryan Bohince at 125 gave the Mountain Cats an early 3-0 advantage.


However, Mercyhurst answered with four straight victories to open-up a 14-3 lead at the midway point of the match. 


The Lakers quickly went in front with National Qualifier Kody Youngs 11-3 major decision over Luke Palamides at 133 lbs.  Seventh-ranked Dylan DUrso defeated Sam Hanau 7-3 at 141 lbs., and eighth-ranked Jeremy Landowski dealt his cousin a 5-3 loss.  The Lakers then got another major decision.  This time, it was a 10-1 victory by Francis Mizia over Heath Coles at 157 lbs. to increase it 14-3.


Gary Lantz ended the Mercyhurst run with a 7-1 decision over Clint Schaefer at 165 lbs., but the Lakers bounced right back in a big way with Clint Schaefers fall over John Blankenship at 1:30 to increase it to 20-6 with three bouts remaining.


An 8-0 major decision by second-ranked Travis McKillop over Dakota DesLauriers at 184 lbs. and Zac Bennetts 17-2 technical fall over Brian Beattie at 197 lbs. cut the Pitt-Johnstown deficit to 20-15 to set up the battle at heavyweight.


The Mountain Cats need a pin from Josh Duplin to get a victory and a share of the PSAC tile, but Andrew Welton held off Duplin, 3-0, to give the Lakers a 23-15 victory and the outright conference championship.


Mercyhust extended its winning streak to 13 consecutive matches and improved to 18-1 overall and completed the PSAC schedule with a perfect 7-0 mark.


Pitt-Johnstown will host the 2014 NCAA Division II Super Region I Tournament in the Sports Center on March 1-2, before traveling to the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships on March 14-15.


125 lbs. #8 Dave Fogle (UPJ)  Decision  Ryan Bohince (MU)  8-5  3-0 UPJ

133 lbs.  Kody Young (MU)  Major Decision  Luke Palamides (UPJ)  11-3  4-3 MU

141 lbs.  #7 Dylan DUrso (MU)  Decision  Sam Hanau (UPJ)  7-3  7-3 MU

149 lbs.  #8 Jeremy Landowski (MU)  Decision  Cole Landowski (UPJ)  5-3  10-3 MU

157 lbs.  Francis Mizia (MU)  Major Decision  Heath Coles (MU) 10-1  14-3 MU

165 lbs.  Gary Lantz (UPJ)  Decision  Clint Schaefer (MU)  7-1  14-6 MU

174 lbs.  August Mizia (MU)  Fall  John Blankenship (UPJ)  1:30  20-6 MU

184 lbs.  #2 Travis McKillop (UPJ) Major Decision  Dakota DesLauriers (MU)  8-0  20-10 MU

197 lbs.  Zac Bennett (UPJ)  Technical Fall  Brian Beattie (MU)  17-2  20-15 MU

285 lbs.  Andrew Welton (MU) Decision  Josh Duplin (UPJ)  3-0  23-15 MU

Courtesy UPJ Athletics

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times