Edinboro has highest NCAA finish since 2009

DES MOINES, Ia. -- Mitchell Port's quest to become Edinboro's fifth Division I national champion came down to riding time. The redshirt sophomore, seeded fourth, battled second-seeded Kendric Maple of Oklahoma on even terms at the NCAA Division I National Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena, but Maple would claim the title at 141 lbs. on a 4-3 decision.

With Port capturing second place at 141 lbs. and A.J. Schopp finishing fourth at 133 lbs., Edinboro finished 14th with 37.5 points. It is the highest finish since the 2009 team finished sixth, and marked the eighth straight year in the top 25. Penn State won its third straight national championship.

The difference in Port's match came down to a riding time advantage of 2 minutes, 4 seconds for Maple, a two-time All-American who ended the year with a 31-0 record. The match was nothing like the first meeting between the two, with Maple winning 14-11 at the Midlands Championships. Port came in riding a 19-match winning streak.

Maple recorded the lone takedown 47 seconds into the match. The redshirt junior was able to keep Port down until he built up over a minute in riding time before Port escaped with 46 seconds left to make the score 2-1.

Maple started the second period in the down position, and while Port was able to wipe out the riding time point at that moment, Maple's escape with 1:28 left made it 3-1. That was the only scoring in the period.

Port chose down to begin the third period, but he was unable to get out until 53 seconds remained. By that time Maple had been able to boost the riding time to 2:04. Port pressured Maple over the remaining time, but was unable to come close to taking down the Sooner. He would tie the match momentarily when Maple was called for his second stalling warning, but by that time only five seconds remained. Port's last moment attempt at a single leg shot failed, as Maple's riding time point accounted for the winning margin.

Port ends his sophomore season with a 34-4 record and earned All-American honors for the first time with his second place finish. A year ago in his first trip to Nationals he came up one win shy of All-American honors while reaching the round of 12.

Port was attempting to join the likes of Sean O'Day, Josh Koscheck, Gregor Gillespie and Jarrod King as Division I national champions. It marks the second year in a row the Fighting Scots had a wrestler finish in the runner-up spot. Last year Chris Honeycutt placed second at 197 lbs. Port has two years to take the next step and win a national championship.


Login or Register to post a comment