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Mountaineer grapplers (4-0) in 4-way tie atop SoCon after 32-6 win over Gardner-Webb

By Bret Strelow for App State Sports. BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — No. 19 App State took eight of 10 matches Jan. 30, and posted a 32-6 win at Gardner-Webb to remain unbeaten in Southern Conference wrestling duals.

The Mountaineers (8-2, 4-0) are one of three SoCon teams without a league loss, joined by annual contenders Chattanooga and Campbell, who are also 4-0 in the league. App State hosts Chattanooga on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. and then hosts Campbell to open a SoCon tripleheader in Varsity Gym on Sunday, Feb. 19.

In addition to a six-point win by forfeit for Jon Jon Millner at 149 pounds, the Mountaineers received bonus points in victories at 125, 157 and 174 pounds. In the only matchup of ranked wrestlers, 26th-ranked Will Formato won a 2-1 decision against 24th-ranked RJ Mosley in their seventh career meeting.

After a scoreless first period between the fourth-year starters, Formato stayed on top for the first 1:10 of the second period before allowing an escape. Formato needed only seven seconds to post a tying escape to begin the third period, and by maintaining more than a minute advantage in riding time, the lack of any third-period takedowns gave him the bonus point for a 2-1 victory.

Caleb Smith gave up the first takedown against Drew West, who had a 7-0 dual record. Smith turned a 3-2 lead entering the third into a 16-4 major decision against the Bulldogs (4-8, 2-2).

Ethan Oakley also allowed the first takedown at 133, but he used a takedown with 47 seconds left in the second period to break a 2-2 tie in his 8-3 win against Todd Carter, who was 6-1 in duals.

After Gardner-Webb pulled out a 3-2 win at 141 and the forfeit at 149, Tommy Askey recorded nine takedowns in a 23-7 tech fall at 157. Formato’s tight win pushed the lead to 21-3, and Will Miller had nine more takedowns in his 22-7 tech fall at 174.

Gardner-Webb’s Jha’Quan Anderson, previously an NCAA qualifier, used a Sudden Victory takedown to win a 3-1 overtime decision at 184, but App State’s Carson Floyd followed that with a 6-2 decision at 197. The score was tied at 2-2 entering the third against Sam Mora, but Floyd had 2:13 in riding time, and his takedown with 1:09 left created helpful separation.

Making his third career dual start at heavyweight, and coming off a title at this past weekend’s Appalachian Open, Jacob Sartorio built a 7-0 lead in his 7-2 win to close the dual.

The 2022-23 season is presented by Hungry Howie’s and Penn Station. App State has its highest-ever ranking in the NWCA Coaches. It has been as high as No. 16 in InterMat’s rankings, back in 2016-17.

No. 19 App State 32, Gardner-Webb 6

    • 125: #11 Caleb Smith (APP) def. Drew West (GWU), 16-4 maj. dec.
    • 133: Ethan Oakley (APP) def. Todd Carter (GWU), 8-3 dec.
    • 141: Zach Price (GWU) def. Heath Gonyer (APP), 3-2 dec.
    • 149: #9 Jon Jon Millner (APP) won by forfeit
    • 157: #28 Tommy Askey (APP) def. Tyler Brignola (GWU), 23-7 tech fall
    • 165: #26 Will Formato (APP) def. #24 RJ Mosley (GWU), 2-1 dec.
    • 174: #27 Will Miller (APP) def. Andrew Wilson (GWU), 22-7 tech fall
    • 184: Jha’Quan Anderson (GWU) def. Luke Uliano (APP), 3-1 dec (SV)
    • 197: Carson Floyd (APP) def. Sam Mora (GWU), 6-2 dec.
    • Hwt: Jacob Sartorio (APP) def. Abraham Preston (GWU), 7-2 dec.

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