WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., November 6, 2023 – The No. 2 ranked West Liberty University wrestling team kicked off the 2023-24 season with a resounding victory on Alumni Night, defeating regional rival No. 14 Pitt-Johnstown with a final score of 20-14. Demonstrating their talent and hard work, the Hilltoppers secured wins in 6-of-10 matches, with standout performances by Nico Taddy at 149 pounds and top-ranked Ty McGeary at 184 pounds.
Head Coach Danny Irwin expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I’m really happy with how the guys went out and competed”. Coach Irwin said. “They fought hard. From start to finish they had an attitude, that’s what I’m proud of. I told them, ‘Hey, we put 10 Hilltoppers out there that fight and climb and give their best effort position after position and that’s what’s going to allow us to take the next step forward.”
The event also honored notable Hilltopper alumni, including Jeff Stone, inducted into the 2023 West Liberty Hall of Fame, Rick Price, a 2023 West Virginia Chapter of National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, and John Blangor Jr., recognized on the 2023 West Liberty Wall of Honor.
Jeff Stone, a 3-time NAIA All-American, made significant contributions to Coach Dr. Vince Monseau’s legendary West Liberty wrestling teams of the mid-1990s. Rick Price, a three-time WVIAC wrestling champion, achieved the highest winning percentage in school history from 1968-71. John Blangor Jr. earned the Crosier Memorial Award as the most valuable wrestler in 1983, securing a 6th place finish in the 1985 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Tournament after joining West Liberty University.
The event drew nearly 1,000 fans, with all alumni receiving recognition. High school teams enjoyed complimentary admission, and The Jack Adams Hilltopper Athletic Club hosted WLU Wrestling alumni, family, friends, and donors in the ASRC VIP.
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