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Boiling Springs, N.C. - In the Gardner-Webb wrestling program's first year as associate members of the Southern Conference, the Runnin' Bulldog grapplers posted a 6-12 dual match record and a 2-5 record in conference dual match action for the season.

Battling injuries all season long, the Runnin' Bulldogs were able to post a sixth-place finish at the 2012 Southern Conference Wrestling Championship in March, scoring a team total of 21 points as three wrestlers placed in fourth-place or higher in their respective weight classes. However, for the first time in the program's 12-year Division I history, the Runnin' Bulldogs did not send a wrestler to the NCAA National Championships.

In the program's first ever postseason conference championship tournament, redshirt-junior Travis Porter, who suffered a fall in the True Second match at 197 pounds at the conference championship tournament, took third-place overall, while fellow teammates Alex Medved (157 pounds) and Justin Guthrie (165 pounds) each placed fourth in their weight classes.

Alex Medved and Guthrie each posted 19 overall wins on the season to lead the team, while redshirt-senior Michael Slaughter finished his career out at GWU on a high note with 16 total combined wins at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively.

Guthrie led the team with six pins on the season, while Alex Medved and freshman Scott Reilly, who wrestled unattached all season long and redshirted for GWU, each recorded four falls on the season.

The future looks bright for the Runnin' Bulldog grapplers, as freshmen Justin Kozera recorded 13 wins at 285 pounds on the season, while fellow newcomer Davante Andujar, who filled in at 149 pounds for most of the year due to an injury to Ryan Medved, tallied 11 total wins on the season.

In his final season as the leader of the Gardner-Webb wrestling program, head coach Richard Wince looked to help lead the Runnin' Bulldogs into a strong first season in the Southern Conference.

After GWU kicked off the season with a 28-12 home win over Belmont Abbey in early November, the Runnin' Bulldog grapplers' competed at both the Hokie Open and the Citadel Open on November 6th, which was highlighted by Guthrie's sixth-place finish at 165 pounds at the Hokie Open.

Gardner-Webb returned to dual match action five days later, as the Runnin' Bulldog wrestlers suffered a 40-3 loss to Chattanooga in their first-ever Southern Conference dual match in the program's history.

The Runnin' Bulldogs then competed at three straight open tournaments, the Navy Classic, the Pembroke Classic and the Davidson Open, before returning to dual match action in early December.

Back in dual match action, Gardner-Webb fell at home to Appalachian State, 41-2, before heading north to compete in the UB Quad Meet where the Runnin' Bulldogs sandwiched in a win against Niagara County Community in between losses to Buffalo and Bloomsburg at the one-day event.

Gardner-Webb opened up the new calendar year at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn. and then traveled to Raleigh, N.C. to do battle at the Wolfpack Duals on January 7th.  At the duals, GWU downed Shippensburg, 29-17, and then was handed back-to-back losses to N.C. State, 32-12, and Bloomsburg, 39-3.  However, the Runnin' Bulldogs bounced back to defeat fellow Southern Conference associate member SIU-Edwardsville 32-13 to finish the day at 2-2 overall.

With a dual match record of 4-6 overall, the Runnin' Bulldogs met up with VMI for a Southern Conference showdown on January 20th, in Lexington, Va.  The Keydets held on for the 22-15 win to drop GWU to 1-3 in conference action and extend their winning streak to three straight bouts over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

After stepping out of dual match action for the 2012 Appalachian Open to wrap up the month of January, GWU returned home to host Campbell and Millersville on February 4th.  The Runnin' Bulldogs suffered their fourth conference loss of the season to the hands of Campbell, 17-16, as the Fighting Camels took the match win by way of a tiebreaker. 

Not deterred, Gardner-Webb dominated Millersville in the afternoon session, earning a 39-12 win to improve to 5-8 overall in dual match competition.

After three straight losses at Duke and at home versus the Citadel and Indiana, Gardner-Webb won all but one match to defeat Davidson on the road, 36-3, on February 16th to put the Runnin' Bulldogs at 5-11 overall with one match remaining.

In their final regular season match of the year, and Coach Wince's final home match of his 23 years at GWU, the Runnin' Bulldogs battled the Ohio Bobcats tooth and nail, winning five of the 10 bouts on the night.  However, in the other five wins for Ohio, four were falls and one was a major decision victory, giving the Bobcats the 28-18 match win.

With the dual match season over, the Runnin' Bulldogs set their sights on the 2012 Southern Conference Wrestling Championship on March 3rd in Chattanooga, Tenn. 

GWU posted at least one win in six of the 10 weight classes and were led by redshirt-juniors Travis Porter, Alex Medved and Guthrie, who all recorded two wins apiece on the day.

While there will be a new leader in charge next season with the retirement of Coach Wince, the future looks strong for the Runnin' Bulldog wrestling program who will return eight starters from this past season and a large group of young grapplers who will push for mat time all season long.

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