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COLLEGE WRESTLING
Panthers make a first impression at the Virginia Duals
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Ferrum College freshman Tate Dunlany (right) grapples with a foe from Washington and Lee University during the Panthers’ home dual against the Generals from earlier this season. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HAMPTON -- Ferrum College's wrestling team's first appearance in the Virginia Duals proved to be a memorable one.

The Panthers, who are in their inaugural season of intercollegiate competition, won three of four matches for a third-place finish in the American College Division at the Hampton Coliseum.

The tournament, which completed its 34th year over the weekend, is one of the oldest events in the country. It is considered the "Granddaddy of All Wrestling Tournaments.'

The Panthers (4-2 dual match record), coached by Nate Yetzer, won its first match on Friday night by edging Liberty University, a club team, 19-18.

Liberty, which competed at the NCAA Division I before downgrading its program several seasons ago, was seeded fourth in the bracket.

On Saturday, Ferrum would defeat the Flames again by one point, 22-21, to claim third place in the eight-team bracket.

The match ended with the score tied at 21, but Ferrum was awarded the victory on the first tie-breaking criteria: most wins -- the Panthers won six bouts to the Flames' four.

Liberty led 21-15 heading into the 285-pound bout, but the Panthers tied the score when Tate Dunlany pinned Zach Newton at 5:57. The win was worth six team points.

Also winning for Ferrum were Robert Cunningham at 125 (9-8 decision), Logan Meister at 141 (3-1 decision), John Lancaster at 149 (5-4 decision), Josh Alston at 165 (11-8 decision) and Corbin Ramos (7-1 decision).

Ferrum's earlier win over Liberty ended with the score even at 18, but the Panthers earned the victory on the second tie-breaking criteria: most pins -- one for Ferrum, none for Liberty.

Dunlany scored the bout's lone pin at 5:47 over Newton.

Ferrum trailed 18-12 heading into Dunlany's bout. His victory by pin was worth six team points.

"In both matches (against Liberty), we needed a (pin) by Tate and he came through in a big way,' Yetzer said.

Other winners were Cunningham (7-4 decision), Meister (4-3 decision), Alston (8-2 decision) and Ramos (12-10 decision).

The Panthers were defeated by eventual champion University of North Carolina-Pembroke, an NCAA Division II squad, 28-13, in Saturday's semifinals.

UNC-Pembroke was the No. 1 seed in the division.

Cunningham (by forfeit), Zimmerman (by major decision 16-6 at 133) and Dunlany (by decision 5-3) were victorious for Ferrum.

Ferrum rebounded from the setback to best the Apprentice School (Newport News), 32-10, in an elimination match to earn its berth in the consolation finals.

The Panthers won bouts in eight of the 10 weight classes.

Claiming victories for Ferrum were Cunningham (pin), Zimmerman (2-1 decision), Meister (22-7 technical fall), Daniel Reynolds (6-2 decision at 157), Thomas Smith (pin at 174), Ramos (pin) and Darreus McCrea (9-4 decision at 197).

Cunningham finished the tournament with a 4-0 record.

Ferrum's next competition is Saturday at the Builder Open hosted by the Apprentice School.

Action begins at 9 a.m. at Woodside High School in Newport News.

Ferrum has a home dual match against UNC-Pembroke scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24

 
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