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Old Dominion captured its first Virginia Intercollegiate State Wrestling Championship since 1994, winning the five-team tournament Saturday at James Madison University's Sinclair Gym in Godwin Hall.

ODU tallied 115.5 points and Virginia finished second with 101.5. Virginia Military Institute came in third with 55.0 points followed by George Mason's 42.0 and JMU's 40.5.

The Monarchs saw five grapplers claim individual titles, highlighted by senior Adam Wright's third consecutive title at 184 pounds. Wright, who also posted 101st career victory on his way to the championship bout, became the 17th grappler in the tournament's 36-year history and the first since Virginia's Craig Fenstermaker accomplished the feat in 1999. Wright, who wrestled scholastically at Turner Ashby High School, just seven miles from the JMU campus, defeated Virginia freshman Brent Jones in the title bout and was voted the Oustanding Wrestler for the tournament.

ODU senior Robby Gosnell successfully defended his 2005 crown in the 165-pound bout. He defeated Tyler Tisdall, a freshman from George Mason, 7-3 in the championship.

The Monarchs' other individual winners were senior Shannon Slack at 141, sophomore Nick Pullano at 157 and senior TJ Hansen at 174.

The defending champion Virginia placed second on the strength of championships won by sophomore Anthony Burke at 125, freshman Eric Albright at 133, sophomore Drew DiPasquale at 149 and sophomore Kyle Narkiewicz at 184.

Host James Madison took the only other individual crown as senior Chris Cvitan trimmed teammate and junior Brandon Scott 5-4 in the finals.

ODU's Steve Martin was voted Coach of the Year.

"The coaching staff was very pleased with the performance of our team this weekend as ODU won it's first collegiate wrestling tournament in twelve years." Head coach Steve Martin comments. "We were also pleased with Adam Wright as he collected his 101st win in the finals, and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler."

This article was posted on: January 8, 2006

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