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Scots send 3 to semis

Port, Habat, Avery earn All-American honors

Video first published to on March 20, 2015

Story is a exclusive.

ST. LOUIS – Edinboro head coach Tim Flynn doesn’t get overjoyed with PSAC championships or EWL titles because he and his wrestlers are aiming for national championships.

For three Fighting Scots, that dream is still alive.

Entering the third session of the 2015 Division I Wrestling National Championships at the Scottrade Center, Edinboro had four wrestlers alive in the championship bracket and at the conclusion of the session Friday morning, Mitchell Port, Dave Habat, and Vic Avery remained.

Mitchell Port had a solid start to his Friday as the redshirt-senior earned a 9-4 decision against #7 Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers in the quarterfinals. The Bellefonte, Pennsylvania native had a 4-3 lead after the first period and pulled away from Ashnault registering two takedowns and two escapes in the final two periods.

“Last year I kind of messed up in the quarterfinals,” Port said. “Felt real good, but I didn’t fight too well. I was more focused on not getting tired instead of scoring points. So this time I made sure I focused on getting my hand raised and scoring more points than the other guy.”

The victory earns Port All-American honors for the second-straight season and advances him to the semi-finals tonight. He will face #11 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion.

Moments after Port’s departure, Habat took the adjacent mat and enjoyed much of the same results. The Parma, Ohio native was deadlocked at zero with #11 Tywan Claxton after two periods of action, but Habat exploded in the third period, scoring nine points and tacking on a 10th with riding time, for a 10-0 major decision against the Ohio grappler.

Six of Habat’s 10 total points were score by nearfalls. The win earns him his second All-American accolade and puts him in the semi-finals tonight against #2 Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern. Tsirtsis handed Habat one of his only two losses this season, a 2-1 decision in a tiebreaker, in the Midlands Championships.

“He was shooting in the first, but he just wasn’t converting,” Flynn said after the session. “He just kind of wore the guy down and in the third period he just tore it up.”

Redshirt-junior Vic Avery dominated his quarterfinal match from the start to the finish. The Foxboro, Massachusetts native faced off against #5 Taylor Meeks of Oregon State and led from the start to the finish on his way to a 14-5 decision. Avery logged two takedowns, one late in the second period and the other in the third, where he secured the takedown before letting Meeks fall out of bounds.

Avery earns his first All-American status with the victory, but has his hands full tonight as he faces #1 Gabe Dean of Cornell with a spot in the national championship match at 184 lbs. on the line.

Edinboro’s trio of semi-finalists is only the second time Edinboro has sent three to the semis, the other time was in 2009.

It was a rough start to the day for Kory Mines. The redshirt-senior fell by a 16-1 tech. fall in 5:25 to Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State in the quarterfinals at 125 lbs. Mines scored his lone point early in the third period before Tomasello scored the winning takedown.

Mines will wrestle #2 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell in a consolation match tonight.

In the consolation bracket, ninth-seeded A.J. Schopp had a busy morning. Schopp wrestled twice in the session. The redshirt-senior won by fall in 3:17 against Jade Rasuer of Utah Valley before registering another fall against Gary Wayne Harding of Oklahoma State in 1:24.

Schopp enters battle with #12 George DiCamillo in another consolation match at 133 lbs.

“The kids are all doing well,” Flynn concluded. “Our goal is to help them reach their goals. If we can keep them focused, then I think good things will happen.”

The fourth session of the championships commences tonight at 7 p.m. local time, 8 p.m. on the east coast. The session consists of two consolation rounds and the semi-finals. The entire session is live on ESPN or ESPN3.


KORY MINES  — 125 lbs. (#12 seed) (33-8)

First Round – won by dec. over Ares Carpio, Arizona State 10-5

Second Round – won by dec. over Sean Boyle, Chattanooga (#5 seed) 12-7

Quarterfinals – lost by tech. fall to Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State (#4 seed) 17-1 (5:25)

A.J. SCHOPP – 133 lbs. (#9 seed) (22-3)

First Round – lost by dec. to Caleb Richardson, Penn 4-2

Consolation First Round – won by dec. over Geoff Alexander, Maryland 2-1

Consolation Second Round – won by fall over Jade Rauser, Utah Valley 3:17

Consolation Third Round – won by fall over Gary Wayne Harding, Oklahoma State 1:23

MITCHELL PORT – 141 lbs. (#2 seed) (35-1)

First Round – won by maj. dec. over Mitchell Bengston, North Dakota State 17-4

Second Round – won by inj. def. over Jamel Hudson, Hofstra (#15 seed)

Quarterfinals – won by dec. over Anthony Ashnault, Rutgers (#7 seed) 9-4

DAVE HABAT – 149 lbs. (#3 seed) (35-2)

First Round – won by dec. over Josh Kindig, Oklahoma State 7-0

Second Round – won by maj. dec. over Cody Ruggirello, Hofstra (#14 seed) 12-2

Quarterfinals – won by maj. dec. over Tywan Claxton, Ohio (#11 seed) 10-0

VIC AVERY – 184 lbs. (#13 seed) (32-6)

First Round – won by dec. over Nikko Reyes, Illinois 3-0

Second Round – won by dec. over Jack Dechow, Old Dominion (#4 seed) 3-3 tb2 (RT adv.)

Quarterfinals – won by maj. dec. over Taylor Meeks, Oregon State (#5 seed) 14-5

VINCE PICKETT – 197 lbs. (17-18)

First Round – lost by maj. dec. to Nathan Burak, Iowa (#6 seed) 18-4

Consolation First Round – lost by dec. to Alex Polizzi, Northwestern (#11 seed) 7-0


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