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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Wrestlers represent IU at NCAA Championships

Meet signals end of distinguished career for senior Matt Powless

Four Hoosiers took the national stage this past Thursday and Friday as they competed in the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Walsh (149 pounds) suffered a 10-9 loss in his first match of the day as he wrestled against Bryce Busler of Bloomsburg University.

After receiving a bye for his first match of the wrestlebacks, Walsh came out strong against Dean Pavlou of Chattanooga, pinning him at 1:02. Walsh then advanced to the next round of consolations, where he was defeated by Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi with a score of 7-4.

“His first match, he probably was looking ahead to later matches in the tournament,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “He needed to realize that at the national tournament, you need to take one match at a time. After that, he was a really tough individual, and he had a good learning experience.”

Sophomore Ryan Leblanc (174 pounds) won his first match of the tournament against No. 10 Te Edwards of Old Dominion with a score of 4-1. He then lost his next match with a score of 6-1 against Illinois’ No. 7 Jordan Blanton.

Leblanc fought long and hard in his first round of wrestlebacks to win in double overtime with a score of 5-3 against Patrick Martinez of Wyoming. Leblanc then went on to the next round of consolations, where he was pinned by Curran Jacobs of Michigan State at 4:47.

“Leblanc showed a lot of improvement from last year,” Goldman said. “This year he not only qualified, but he won two matches. He won against someone who was seeded and against Martinez, who he lost to earlier in the season. He went 2-2, but he wrestled hard and did a good job.”

Senior Matt Powless (197 pounds) entered the tournament seeded eighth for his weight class and won his first match of the day with a 12-8 decision against James Fox of Harvard.

Powless then suffered a very close loss of 7-6 against Alfonso Hernandez of Wyoming, sending him to the wrestlebacks.

Powless then pinned John Weakley of Campbell in 3:51 in his first round of consolations.

Powless’ day and wrestling career then ended when he was pinned at 4:37 by Ohio State’s Andrew Campolattano.     

“He had a tough draw,” Goldman said. “He had a little lower seed than what we expected since he was ranked high all year. He lost his second match to a guy who won sixth place, which put him in the wrestlebacks, where he pinned his first opponent, but then in the next round he got caught and lost.

“That was unfortunate, but he put in a great career. He was still an All-American and one of the winningest wrestlers in IU history. It’s unfortunate what happened, but he still had a really good career.”

Sophomore Adam Chalfant (285 pounds) lost his first match of the tournament in overtime against the defending heavyweight national champion Zachery Rey of Lehigh with a score of 6-4.

Chalfant then received a bye in his first match of wrestlebacks, leading him to face off against Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State.

Chalfant put up a hard fight, but suffered a close loss in overtime with a score of 6-4.

“He did really well considering he just came in at Christmas,” said Goldman. “His first match, he lost in overtime to the guy who was last year’s national champion. If he had won that match, that would have put him on a little easier path, but it put him in the wrestlebacks, where he lost another match in overtime.

"He had two heartbreakers, but he wrestled really hard, and we would like to have him back for another couple years to see what he can do.”

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