CHARLESTON, S.C. – Fifth-year senior Ryan Mosley earned Most Outstanding Wrestler and joined classmate Hunter Gamble as a qualifier for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships to lead Gardner-Webb to a fifth-place finish at the 2017 SoCon Wrestling Championships.
Gamble (McDonough, Ga. / Union Grove HS) and Mosley (Stone Mountain, Ga. / Shiloh HS) punched their tickets to the national tournament with outstanding efforts on Saturday. The Runnin' Bulldogs will await word on potential at-large bids for the event – which will be held March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Mosley, seeded No. 4 at 157 pounds, picked up wins over the No. 1 and No. 2 seed en route to his first Southern Conference title – and second appearance in the NCAA Championships. Mosley also qualified in 2015, but at 149 pounds.
He was at his best in the title bout vs. Campbell's Austin Kraisser, getting a takedown and an escape – and overcoming an illegal hold call and an escape by Kraisser to win by 3-2 decision. Mosley was physical in defending over the closing minutes to take the win.
Mosley upended top-seeded Aaron Walker of The Citadel in the semifinals, taking a 3-1 sudden victory to advance. With the match tied, 1-1, Mosley took a shot and downed Walker for the win. It was Mosley's first win over Walker after three previous tries.
The win avenged a loss in last year's SoCon Championships and put Mosley squarely in contention for a return trip to the NCAA Championships. The former Shiloh (Ga.) High star dispatched Appalachian State's Gavin Londoff by a 4-2 decision in the quarterfinals.
Gamble wrestled well in his final SoCon Championship appearance, working hard for a 16-0 tech fall win over VMI's Christopher Beck in the quarterfinals (5:35) at 184 pounds.
Gamble fell to top-seed Bryce Carr from Chattanooga in the semifinals, with the two engaging in a grueling double-overtime war. Carr went for a quick shot in the second sudden victory period and came away with a 4-2 win.
Gamble bounced back in the consolation semis, shutting out Davidson's Konner Pritchard by a 6-0 score – advancing to the consolation finals and a chance at third place in a weight class with three allocations.
He took that chance, qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the second time – and the first time since 2013 at a lighter 174 pounds. Gamble won the third-place bout in dominant fashion, bolting to an early lead and taking care of Appalachian State's David Peters-Logue with a 13-4 major decision.
Austin Trott entered Saturday's competition vying to become the first Gardner-Webb wrestler to qualify for the NCAA Championships more than twice since Dustin Porter did so four times – twice at 197 and twice at 285.
The senior from Kingsland, Ga., wasted little time getting into high gear, pinning The Citadel's Martin Duane in just 2:07 for a quarterfinals win at 174 pounds.
Trott took on Chattanooga's Sean Mappes in the semifinals and seized control of the match when he chose top to begin the second period. Trott worked Mappes to the ground and saw the riding time clock tick in his favor for the entire 2:00 time frame.
Trott successfully defended several shots from Mappes in the final period – and that riding time advantage paid off for a 1-0 decision.
Trott fell in the finals to SIU Edwardsville wrestler Jake Residori in a low-scoring 4-1 decision – and will await word on a potential at-large bid.
Senior 285-pounder Boyce Cornwell led his quarterfinals match and was in good shape, but was injured and pinned moments later to fall into the consolation round.
The Conyers, Ga., standout endured and bounced back, fighting through the injury for a 13-0 major decision to advance to the consolation semifinals. He squared off with No. 2 seed Jared Johnson from Chattanooga in that bout, and fought hard – but eventually fell by a 7-0 decision.
Landon LoAlbo (125), Philip Anderson (133) and Joby Armenta (149) also picked up wins in the consolation round after falling in the quarterfinals – but each was dispatched in the consolation semifinals.
Gardner-Webb finished just ahead of The Citadel in the final team standings. Campbell captured its first Southern Conference wrestling crown and was followed by defending tourney champion Appalachian State, SIU Edwardsville and Chattanooga.
GARDNER-WEBB FINAL INDiVIDUAL RESULTS
125: Landon LoAlbo (1-2)
Freddie Rodriguez (SIUE) pinned Landon LoAlbo (GWU); (4:13)
Landon LoAlbo (GWU) dec. Charles Kearney (CIT); 4-1
Vito Passone (APP) major dec. Landon LoAlbo (GWU); 20-7
133: Philip Anderson (1-2)
John Muldoon (SIUE) dec. Philip Anderson (GWU); 10-5
Philip Anderson (GWU) major dec. Dustin Runzo (DAV); 16-4
Jonathan Ryan (CAM) dec. Philip Anderson (GWU); 8-5
141: Ryan Hull (0-2)
Irvin Enriquez (APP) tech. fall Ryan Hull (GWU); 20-5 (7:00)
Chase Zemenak (UTC) major dec. Ryan Hull (GWU); 18-6
149: Joby Armenta (1-2)
Matthew Zovitoski (APP) major dec. Joby Armenta (GWU); 12-0
Joby Armenta (GWU) dec. Stevan Smith (VMI); 6-4
Tyler Buckiso (CIT) major dec. Joby Armenta (GWU); 9-1
157: Ryan Mosley (3-0) – 2017 SoCon Champion
Ryan Mosley (GWU) dec. Gavin Londoff (APP); 4-2
Ryan Mosley (GWU) dec. Aaron Walker (CIT); 3-1 (SV-1)
Ryan Mosley (GWU) dec. Austin Kraisser (CAM); 3-2
165: Tyler Marinelli (1-2)
Tyler Marinelli (GWU) tech. fall Ruston Hill II (CIT); 16-0 (3:49)
Quentin Perez (CAM) dec. Tyler Marinelli (GWU); 10-4
Clayton Bass (SIUE) major dec. Tyler Marinelli (GWU); 10-2
174: Austin Trott (2-1)
Austin Trott (GWU) pinned Martin Duane (CIT); (2:07)
Austin Trott (GWU) dec. Sean Mappes (UTC); 1-0
Jake Residori (SIUE) dec. Austin Trott (GWU); 4-1
184: Hunter Gamble (3-1) – 2017 NCAA Qualifier (3rd Place | Allocation)
Hunter Gamble (GWU) tech. fall Christopher Beck (VMI); 16-0 (5:35)
Bryce Carr (UTC) dec. Hunter Gamble (GWU); 4-2 (SV-2)
Hunter Gamble (GWU) dec. Konner Pritchard (DAV); 6-0
Hunter Gamble (GWU) major dec. David Peters-Logue (APP); 13-4
197: Kyle Ash (0-2)
Willie Bivens (CAM) dec. Kyle Ash (GWU); 6-4
Taylor Thomas (VMI) dec. Kyle Ash (GWU); 5-2
285: Boyce Cornwell (1-2)
Jake McKiernan (SIUE) pinned Boyce Cornwell (GWU); (5:18)
Boyce Cornwell (GWU) major dec. Thomas Shea-Roop (VMI); 13-0
Jared Johnson (UTC) dec. Boyce Cornwell (GWU); 7-0