BOONE, N.C. -- Unbeaten days from Codi Russell, Thomas Flitz, Caleb Smith and Francis Morrissey, coupled with Will Formato's overtime win in a matchup of Southern Conference standouts, highlighted the season-opening performances at the App State Individual Quad event Saturday in Varsity Gym.
Wrestlers from App State, Virginia and The Citadel combined to participate in more than 100 matches in an event that featured a round-robin format, with most competitors getting in three matches and some taking the mat as many as four times.
Formato went 2-1 at 165 pounds, winning by a 16-0 tech fall against Virginia's Loudon Hurt and dropping a 7-5 decision against Virginia's Jake Keating (who had 42 wins in his first two competitive seasons) before earning a 3-1 decision against The Citadel's Dazjon Casto thanks to a takedown with six seconds left in the Sudden Victory-1 period. Formato executed a second-period escape with Casto at 57 seconds of riding time, and Casto tied the match with an escape early in the third period.
In a SoCon dual last season, Formato also won in overtime against Casto, who qualified for the 2020 NCAA Championships.
Along with Formato, the other Mountaineers with two wins Saturday were Mason Fiscella (2-1 with two pins at 197 pounds), true freshman Tristan Pugh (2-1 with two first-period pins at 149), Anthony Brito (2-1 at 141 pounds), Ramon Rodriguez (2-1 at 197), Julian Gorring (2-2 at 184 pounds), Cody Bond (2-2 at 157 pounds) and true freshman Tommy Askey (2-2 at 157).
Flitz's 3-0 showing at 174 pounds included wins by decision against Virginia's Robby Patrick (6-2), The Citadel's Cole Burke (11-6) and 2019-20 Virginia starter Vic Marcelli (7-3).
Making his official debut at 125 pounds, Russell posted a 3-0 record with an 18-1 tech fall against Virginia's Trey Lane, a 17-4 major decision against Virginia's Patrick McCormick (who went 12-5 for the Cavaliers at 125 last season) and an 11-3 major decision against Virginia's Sam Book, who entered this season with a 39-24 career record.
Smith also produced an unbeaten mark at 125, going 4-0 with a major decision, two decisions and one medical forfeit. He started his day with a 4-1 decision against McCormick.
A true freshman at 149 pounds, Morrissey had a second-period pin of The Citadel's Andrew Barnett, a 7-2 decision against Virginia's Patrick Evans and a 16-1 tech fall against The Citadel's Sabastian Collazo.
Six App State wrestlers split their two matches: Sean Carter (1-1 at 133 pounds with an early takedown in a loss to 14th-ranked Louie Hayes of Virginia and a 6-4 decision against Virginia's Evan Buchanan), Tyler Kellison (1-1 at 133), Isaac Byers (1-1 at 141), Joshua Spurlin (1-1 with one pin at 141), Jack Campbell (1-1 with one pin at 149) and Jackson Boles (1-1 at 174).