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Wrestling has four Cavaliers place at the Lehman Open

In their first action of 2022, graduate students Jarod Verkleeren and Quinn Miller both achieve second place finishes.

<p>Virginia graduate student Quinn Miller had a big day at the Lehman Open, placing second in his weight class</p>

Virginia graduate student Quinn Miller had a big day at the Lehman Open, placing second in his weight class

To begin the new year, Virginia wrestling competed at the Lehman Open Friday. After splitting duals against No 23. Northwestern and SIUE, the Cavaliers had four place winners against a competitive field in Lancaster, Pa. 

Graduate students Jarod Verkleeren and Quinn Miller led the way for Virginia, as they both placed second in their respective weight classes. Additionally, senior Patrick McCormick and fifth-year student Denton Spencer managed to achieve third-place finishes. 

McCormick, the lone Virginia wrestler to compete at 125 pounds, “wrestled the best he has all year,” Coach Steve Garland said. 

McCormick began the day with two major decision victories by scores of 10-2 and 14-3. In the quarterfinal, he picked up a 3-1 decision victory before losing in the semifinal 5-3. McCormick then defeated Air Force senior Jared Van Fleet by disqualification in the third-place match. 

At 133-pounds, freshmen Erik Roggie and Joe Haynes represented the Cavaliers. Haynes' one win was a strong 7-0 decision victory while Roggie had a 15-0 technical fall victory and pin against Iowa State junior Corey Cabanban in 3:39. 

Freshman Kyren Butler led the way for Virginia at 141 pounds as he picked up three wins on the day. After being defeated in the round of 32, Butler picked up an 8-2 decision victory. After a win due to medical forfeit, Butler got a 6-2 victory for his third win of the day. After a strong showing, Butler was defeated in a close 5-3 match in his second consolation quarterfinal match. Additionally, junior Nick Coy and fifth-year Scott Kiyono wrestled at 141-pounds, but both had early exits in the consolation round of 16. 

Next, Verkleeren delivered one of the best Cavalier performances of the day at 149-pounds. He began his day with three straight dominant tech fall victories to advance to the quarter-final. Verkleeren continued his excellent performance with a 4-0 victory and then a pin in 2:26 to advance to the final in “dominating fashion.” In the final, Verkleeren lost a close 4-3 match to No. 23 Army senior PJ Ogunsanya. 

At 157-pounds, Spencer delivered another place winner performance for Virginia. Spencer began his day with a pin in 1:31 before picking up two decision victories to advance to the semifinal. He then faced No. 28 senior Markus Hartman who pinned Spencer and sent him to the third-place match where Spencer won by medical forfeit. Spencer has been impressive in tournaments this season as he achieved a second-place finish at the Mat Town Open. 

Graduate student Jon Errico also competed at 157 pounds and finished the day with a 3-2 record. The highlights of Errico’s day were his two decision victories and a 16-6 major decision win before he was knocked out in the second consolation quarterfinal in a close 7-6 defeat. 

After a round of 32 defeat, 165-pound freshman Gavin Cagle picked up a 13-4 major decision and 6-4 decision victories before losing in the consolation round of eight. 

The 174-pound weight class featured seniors Krystian Kinsey, Vic Marcelli and sophomore Hudson Stewart. Stewart had four decision victories on the day before being defeated by No. 29 Army sophomore Ben Pasiuk. 

As for the other Cavaliers, Kinsey finished 1-2 on the day while Marcelli finished 3-2. At 184-pounds freshman, Vikram Ostrander lost both of his matches. 

197-pound sophomore Gabe Christenson debuted as a Cavalier after transferring from Iowa. Christenson started the day with a technical fall and decision wins before losing in the quarterfinals 8-6. In the consolation bracket, Christenson defeated junior teammate Channing Connors 8-6. Prior to that, Connors had a pin and decision victory in the consolation bracket. 

Freshman Colden Dorfman also wrestled at 197-pounds picked up two major decision victories and a victory by forfeit before falling to No. 25 Army senior JT Brown by technical fall. 

At 285 pounds it was Quinn Miller who led the way for Virginia. Miller picked up three decision victories to advance to the semifinal. Miller advanced to the final after a win due to forfeit before being pinned by No. 7 Air Force sophomore Wyatt Hendrickson. The second-place finish marked Miller’s second time placing at the Lehman Open after winning the tournament in the 2019-2020 season. 

285-pound sophomore Jessie Knight picked up a pin in the consolation bracket while junior Mateusz Kudra finished the day 1-2. 

“We had a really solid day today. Our guys were grateful to be able to compete and it showed out there,” said Garland. 

The Cavaliers will return to action in Hampton, Va. for the Virginia Duals on Jan 14.