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
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
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.