June 4, 2012
AKRON, Ohio – Matt Wilps, a senior next season for the Pitt wrestling team, went 4-1 to post a runner-up finish at the University Freestyle Nationals this past weekend at the University of Akron Field House. Two other Pitt wrestlers also placed at the event as Anthony Zanetta took fourth and Shelton Mack was sixth.
The lone loss for Wilps (96 kg) came in the finals to Kent State’s Dustin Kilgore, the 2011 national champion. Kilgore, who took an Olympic redshirt this past season, and Wilps, who took fifth for his first All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Championships, will compete again at the 2012 University World Team Trials on Aug. 17-18 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Prior to his loss in the finals, Wilps reeled off four straight wins to open the tournament. Included in those victories were two-period sweeps over Micah Burak (2012 All-American from Penn) and Cole Shafer (2011 national qualifier from Iowa State).
Wilps didn’t lose a period until his semifinal matchup with Deron Winn. He bounced back from a 3-0 loss to win the final two periods 1-0, 2-0.
Zanetta, competing for the first time since making the round of 12 at the 2012 NCAA Championships, went 4-2 in the 55 kg bracket. He opened with a 5-0, 2-1 win over Austin Miller (Invictus Wrestling) before falling to David White (Binghamton) in the second round. Once in the consolation bracket, Zanetta won three straight matches, including a 1-1, 7-2 victory over two-time Colorado state champion Matt Gurule to advance to the consolation finals.
Mack has had a great summer wrestling season, placing in all three events he has entered. The sixth-place finish this past weekend adds on to his runner-up showing at the Junior World Team Trials and a fourth-place finish at the Fila Junior Nationals.
Mack had a tough string of opponents this past weekend, as two of his three losses included a pair of national qualifiers.
His three wins were highlighted by the latest match in his growing rivalry with Edinboro’s A.J. Schopp. Mack beat Schopp in the dual meet last season, but dropped two other matches, including an overtime decision in the Eastern Wrestling League finals. This time, freestyle proved to be to Mack’s advantage as he won via shutout, 2-0, 3-0.
Other notable wins for the Panthers:
70 kg: Donnie Tasser beat Joey Kielbasa (3rd at MAC Championships for Central Michigan), (1-0, 5-0)
74 kg: Troy Reaghard beat Ben Dorsay (Maryland starter), (2-1, 1-0)
79 kg: Tyler Wilps beat Dominic Prezzia (West Virginia starter), (0-1, 1-0, 2-1)
84 kg: Max Thomusseit beat Casey Newburg (national qualifier from Kent State), (3-0, 1-3, 5-1)