A pair of Mountaineer wrestlers are out of contention for an NCAA Championship, but their postseason run isn’t over yet.
In Thursday’s opening round, Killian Cardinale, the No. 5 seed in the 125-pound class, took down 28-seed Korbin Meink from Campbell with an 11-2 major decision. His second NCAA Tournament win came later that evening. Cardinale fell behind 6-0 early but came back to forced sudden overtime at 8-8. He secured the second session victory with a takedown to stay alive in the winner’s bracket.
Then Friday, Cardinale matched up with No. 4 seed Brandon Courtney from Arizona State, the national runner-up from a season ago. Courtney survived with a 3-2 victory.
Cardinale, the Big 12 Champion in his division, still has an opportunity to add another piece of hardware. He is still vying for a podium finish and will take on the winner of Brody Teske (Northern Iowa)/Patrick McKee (Minnesota) in wrestlebacks.
Peyton Hall, the conference runner-up, is the No. 9 seed in the 165-pound weight class. He defeated Riley Smucker, the No. 24 seed from Cleveland State, in a 10-5 decision in Thursday’s opening round. Despite going scoreless in the second period of his second-round match, Hall battled to a 7-3 victory over No. 8-seed Philip Conigliaro of Harvard to send him to the quarterfinals.
For the first time of his collegiate career, Hall matched up with the No. 1 seed. Evan Wick of Cal Poly had control after a 6-0 start. He earned the win by a 6-2 decision.
Like Cardinale, Hall is still gunning for a podium finish. He will also compete in wrestlebacks later in the session.