CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Edinboro wrestling team crowned five champions while winning the 39th Annual EWL Championships at Cleveland State's Woodling Gymnasium on Saturday. The Fighting Scots finished with 140.5 points to pace the seven-team field. Bloomsburg was second with 113 points, followed by Lock Haven with 87.5 points. In all, seven Fighting Scots qualified for the upcoming NCAA Division I National Championships.
The EWL championship is Edinboro's 13th under head coach Tim Flynn and the first since 2010. Pittsburgh had won the last four EWL crowns before moving to the ACC this year.
A.J. Schopp picked up his third straight EWL title at 133 lbs., while Mitchell Port and Dave Habat won for the second straight year at 141 and 149 lbs., respectively. Vic Avery picked up his first EWL title at 184 lbs., as dis Ernest James at heavyweight. Schopp was selected the Outstanding Wrestler, making it a clean sweep after he earlier was named the Outstanding Wrestler at the PSAC Championships.
As usual, Schopp and Port were dominant. Schopp, ranked second at 133 lbs., boosted his record to 31-1 and improved to 103-12 with a pair of technical falls and a decision. He won by technical fall 18-0 (5:00) over Nick Wilcox of Bloomsburg in the finals. He led 5-0 after one period, then chose the top to start the second period and tilted Wilcox four times for three near-fall points each time.
Port, meanwhile, kept his record spotless at 26-0 with a pair of wins, both by major decision. In a rematch of last year's finals, the top-ranked wrestler at 141 lbs. won a 12-2 major decision over Bloomsburg's Dan Neff. He posted a pair of takedowns in the first period for a 4-1 lead, boosted the margin to 9-1 after two periods with a takedown and three near-fall points, and registered another takedown in the third.
Habat, ranked 15th by InterMat and 17th by TheOpenMat.com, improved to 26-4 with two wins. The junior has now won ten straight matches. He claimed a 6-0 decision over Bryce Busler of Bloomsburg, who came in ranked 18th by TheOpenMat.com. He had a takedown in the final seconds for a 2-0 lead after one period, added an escape in the second, and recorded a second takedown in the third period.
Avery, who has battled injuries all year, posted an impressive 8-2 decision over Lock Haven's Fred Garcia in the finals at 184 lbs. Following a scoreless first period, Avery opened the second with an escape. He would add two takedowns in the period for a 5-1 advantage. Garcia started the third with an escape, but Avery recorded his third takedown of the match and owned riding time. Ranked 13th by TheOpenMat.com and 15th by InterMat, Avery boosted his record to 23-5 with three wins. He was second at 184 lbs. in 2012 before redshirting last year.
James, a senior, ran his winning streak to 14 matches with three decisions. In the finals he squared off against rival Justin Grant of Bloomsburg, who came in ranked 14th by TheOpenMat.com and 18th by InterMat. The two exchanged escapes in regulation and headed into overtime, where James prevailed with a takedown with 35 seconds gone. James is now 27-5 and ranked 12th by TheopenMat.com and 16th by InterMat. His best previous finish was second in 2012.
Kory Mines and Johnny Greisheimer also reached the finals but had to settle for second. Mines, ranked 18th by TheOpenMat.com and 19th by InterMat at 125 lbs., dropped a 2-1 decision to Rider's Robert Deutsch, who is ranked 12th and 14th, respectively. The difference came in riding time. Mines is now 22-9 and will make his first trip to Nationals.
Greisheimer met Clarion's Austin Matthews in a rematch of the PSAC finals at 157 lbs., where he claimed a 9-8 decision over the freshman. He would lose a week later to Matthews in the dual, and suffered a 9-5 loss on Saturday. Matthews used a takedown and reversal in the first for a 4-3 lead. It was 6-5 after two periods, with Greisheimer's two escapes balancing a second Matthews' takedown. In the third Matthews would escape and add an insurance takedown with just over 22 seconds remaining. Despite the loss, Greisheimer will make his third trip to Nationals. He is 24-9 and ranked 15th.
All ten Fighting Scots reached the semifinals. Vince Pickett followed up a 3-1 loss to Phil Sprenkle in the semi's to capture third place at 197 lbs. with a fall and a major decision in the wrestlebacks. With a 21-11 record, the sophomore will have to wait and see if he receives an at-large bid to Nationals.
Patrick Jennings also brought home third place at 174 lbs., going 3-1 on the day. The redshirt sophomore won a grueling matchup with Clarion's Ryan Darch in the third place match, winning by fall at 9:15. He ends the year at 12-13.
Kasey Burnett-Davis had hoped to parlay a strong showing at EWL's into a trip to Nationals at 165 lbs. the junior won his first match but proceeded to lose three straight matches to end the year at 18-12. He lost a tough 3-2 decision to Ramon Santiago of Rider in the semifinals.