@AU_Wrestling Goes 2-1 at UNC Duals

AU wrestles against North Carolina on Friday.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.Michael Sprague started a productive day with an overtime upset and joined Jeric Kasunic with three victories Friday as American University went 2-1 at the UNC Duals at historic Carmichael Auditorium.

The Eagles, now 3-2 in duals and ranked 24th in the nation by TrackWrestling.com, beat the No. 21 and host Tar Heels 18-13, bested No. 23 Duke 26-14 but lost the late match to 15th-ranked Wyoming 28-10.

"So today was a day with mixed emotions," said AU head coach Teague Moore. "I'm very happy and proud of Michael's performance today. Knocking off a No. 4 and going 3-0 was what he has earned through his effort day-to-day. This is just touching his potential, and I believe he can prove it on the NCAA stage. 

"Jeric also had a great day of wrestling. He overcame a tough UNC competitor who he beat for a national freestyle title last summer, and it took a deep effort to make that happen. Again he proved that he can be a national champion when he wrestles to his best.  

"The two dual wins were hard fought and they took a 10-man effort. We learned more about our wrestlers and attitude that it takes to win. 

"Our loss today was humbling," said Moore. "We got out-wrestled in some of our best positions, and that brought us back to reality. We need to feel good about our wins but be willing to work on our weaknesses if we want to succeed.

"UNC was a great host for a great event, and we appreciate what they did to make a great event happen."

Sprague, ranked 18th by IntermatWrestle.com at 149 pounds, opened the day with an upset win over 4th-ranked Troy Heilmann of North Carolina and AU went on to beat the host in a dual that featured seven bouts that were decided by two points or less, including three that went to overtime.

Sprague led Heilmann, 4-3, after two periods. Heilmann got an escape early in the third to tie the match. Sprague won the bout with a takedown in the opening minute of overtime to give the Eagles the win.

Eric Hong followed with his own sudden-victory win at 157, scoring four points in the third period to send the bout to overtime. Anthony Wokasch, got a third-period takedown at 165 to give the Eagles another victory, besting Anderson Pope, 4-2.

Hong and Wokasch each earned their first collegiate dual-match wins in those bouts.

UNC pulled within 9-7 in the team score with wins at 174 – Adis Radoncic got an overtime win over Conner Allshouse, and at 184, when 20th-ranked Chip Ness won by technical fall.

Kasunic, ranked 12th by Intermat, got a third-period takedown to get a 2-1 win at 197, before Brett Dempsey fell, 3-2, in the heavyweight bout. The Tar Heels pulled ahead 13-12 in the team score when James Szymanski used a four-point final period to edge Gage Curry, 6-5.

But 10th-ranked Josh Terao rallied from a first-period deficit to beat No. 19 Zach Sherman, 5-2, at 133, and Jack Mutchnik extended a 4-1 lead after two periods to earn a 6-1 victory over Dalton Macri to finish off the Eagle victory.

Against Duke, the match was tied 14-14, but Curry, Terao and Kizhan Clarke swept the final three bouts to lift American to the victory.

Curry had two takedowns in the first period to take a 4-2 lead at 125 and went on to earn an 8-2 win over Thayer Atkins.

Terao had four takedowns in the first two periods against Josh Finesilver on his way to an 11-3 major decision, and Clarke earned his first collegiate dual-match win with a dominating 21-3 technical fall over Jeremiah Reitz. Clarke led 9-2 after two periods and closed out the match with a pair of four-point near falls in the third period.

Sprague opened the dual with the Blue Devils with a major decision at 149. Duke pulled ahead with two victories but suffered a forfeit to Allshouse at 174. AU lost at 184 before Kasunic got an 8-0 major decision over Alec Schenk at 197.

No. 6 Jacob Kasper of Duke edged Dempsey in the heavyweight bout, 2-0, scoring only on an escape point and riding time in the third period, pulling the Blue Devils even in the team score.

Sprague opened the final dual with a 5-2 win over Wyoming's Sam Turner, but the Cowboys won the next four bouts. Two of the Cowboys' wins came with wrestlers who were nationally ranked (No. 16 Archie Colgan at 157, No. 12 Branson Ashworth at 165) and Wyoming took a 16-3 lead after two wins by technical fall.

Kasunic blanked Cody Vigoren, 6-0 and Dempsey scored a 10-2 major decision at heavyweight to bring AU within 16-10. But Wyoming won the final three bouts, including a tech fall at 141 by No. 2 Bryce Meredith to cap the win.

American travels next weekend to 8th-ranked Lehigh on Friday at 7 p.m. and Brown on Sunday at noon. The Eagles have their first home event of the season on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. when they host Navy.



149 - #18 Michael Sprague (AU) dec. #4 Troy Heilmann, 6-4 (SV-1)            AU leads 3-0

157 - Eric Hong (AU) dec. Kennedy Monday, 8-6 (SV-1)                                AU leads 6-(-1)*

165 - Anthony Wokasch (AU) dec. Anderson Pope, 4-2                                 AU leads 9-(-1)

174 - Adis Radoncic (UNC) dec. Conner Allshouse, 8-6 (SV-1)                      AU leads 9-2

184 - #20 Chip Ness (UNC) tech. fall Prince Hyeamang, 16-0 (4:17)            AU leads 9-7

197 - #12 Jeric Kasunic (AU) dec. Daniel Chaid, 2-1                                      AU leads 12-7

285 - Cory Daniel (UNC) dec. Brett Dempsey, 3-2                                         AU leads 12-10

125 - James Szymanski (UNC) dec. Gage Curry, 6-5                                     UNC leads 13-12

133 - #10 Josh Terao (AU) dec. #19 Zach Sherman, 5-2                               AU leads 15-13

141 - Jack Mutchnik (AU) dec. Dalton Macri, 6-1                                          AU wins 18-13

*UNC deducted one team point for mat control



149 - #18 Michael Sprague (AU) major dec. Brandon Leynaud, 8-0             AU leads 4-0

157 – #10 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) dec. Eric Hong, 10-3                                AU leads 4-3

165 – Zach Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Bryce Dempsey, 10-2                    Duke leads 7-4

174 – Conner Allshouse (AU) won by forfeit                                                 AU leads 10-7

184 – Kaden Russell (Duke) major dec. Michael Eckhart, 13-4                     Duke leads 11-10

197 – #12 Jeric Kasunic (AU) major dec. Alec Schenk, 8-0                            AU leads 14-11

285 – #5 Jacob Kasper (Duke) dec. Brett Dempsey, 2-0                                Match tied 14-14

125 – Gage Curry (AU) dec. Thayer Atkins, 8-2                                             AU leads 17-14

133 – #10 Josh Terao major dec. Josh Finesilver, 11-3                                 AU leads 21-14

141 – Kizhan Clarke (AU) tech. fall Jeremiah Reitz, 21-3 (6:43)                   AU wins 26-14



149 - #18 Michael Sprague (AU) dec. Sam Turner, 5-2                                 AU leads 3-0

157 – #16 Archie Colgan (WYO) dec. Eric Hong, 9-2                                     Match tied 3-3

165 – #12 Branson Ashworth (WYO) tech. fall Anthony Wokasch, 18-3      WYO leads 8-3

174 – Kyle Pope (WYO) dec. Michael Eckhart, 12-8                                      WYO leads 11-3

184 – Chaz Polson (WYO) tech. fall Conner Allshouse, 16-0 (3:00)              WYO leads 16-3

197 - #12 Jeric Kasunic (AU) dec. Cody Vigoren, 6-0                                     WYO leads 16-6

285 – Brett Dempsey (AU) major dec. Sam Eagan, 10-2                              WYO leads 16-10

125 – Drake Foster (WYO) dec. Gage Curry, 7-4                                           WYO leads 19-10

133 – #12 Montorie Bridges (WYO) major dec. #10 Josh Terao, 10-2          WYO leads 23-10

141 – #2 Bryce Meredith (WYO) tech. fall Jack Mutchnik, 18-3                    WYO wins 28-10


Other Matches

Army West Point 23, Duke 20

North Carolina 28, Army West Point 12

Wyoming 38, Army West Point 3

Wyoming 34, Duke 7

Wyoming 21, North Carolina 17


Individual rankings from IntermatWrestle.com