Two members of the West Virginia University wrestling team competed at the 2020 U23 and UWW Junior Nationals last weekend, held at the CHI Health Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, with redshirt junior Noah Adams placing second in the U23 197 kg bracket.
Redshirt freshman Walker Heard also competed in the UWW Junior division at 70 kg.
“I’m very pleased with the way Noah and Walker wrestled,” third-year RTC coach Cody Walters said. “They wrestled very hard, but clearly had some rust from the eight-month hiatus from competition and erratic training opportunities. It’s great for these guys to compete and come back to Morgantown with a clear understanding of what they need to work on to be ready for the regular season.”
Adams, who was the first wrestler in program history to be named the Big 12 Wrestler of the Year and the second to be picked as a finalist for the WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, finished as the runner-up at 197 kg in the U23 division. The Coal City, West Virginia, native was dominant in his first two matches, outscoring his opponents 21-1.
Following a first-round bye, Adams picked up an 11-1 major decision over unattached wrestler Michael Loyola in the quarterfinals. He followed up that performance with a 10-0 win over North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman, advancing to the final round of competition. However, Adams was unable to find a victory in the championship match, falling to South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan by a score of 10-9.
Heard went 2-2 on the weekend in the UWW Junior division at 70 kg, picking up wins over unattached wrestlers James Griffin (11-0) and Jack Lang (7-6). Heard eventually fell in the consolation round of 16 to Iowa’s Bretli Reyna by a score of 11-3.
The event is hosted annually by USA Wrestling. Complete results from the U23 and Junior Nationals can be found at FloWrestling.com.