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Penn State Holds Varsity Wrestle Offs

By Brian Siegrist | Nov. 05, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

University Park, Pa. The Penn State wrestling team held it's annual varsity wrestle-offs Sunday in front of nearly 500 fans in Rec Hall. Winners emerged from all 10 weights, but with over a month remaining before the first dual meet competition the line-up is far from finalized and the event served mostly as a preview of a young and talented Nittany Lion squad. "We were happy with our conditioning and early season technique," head coach Troy Sunderland said. "We were real happy with the performance of the freshman class today, but we have a long way to go and a lot of things to work on." Among those making a splash for the freshman class was James Woodall who won the wrestle-off at 157 pounds. Woodall was among nine underclassmen who won their wrestle-off on the day, however most positions will be determined with further competition in the wrestling room. "James has improved a lot from the first time I wrestled him," Sunderland said. "He controlled his matches today and really looked tough." Also winning the wrestle-off at their weight on the day were red-shirt freshman Josh Moore and his sophomore brother Scott as they won at 125 and 133, respectively. Red-shirt sophomore Nate Parker won an injury ravaged dual with red-shirt freshman Marat Tomaev at 141 pounds. Parker won the first meeting, 4-3, as Tomaev suffered a large gash on the forehead that required stitches and then won the rematch by injury default as Tomaev suffered a knee injury. Preliminary examinations found no serious damage to the knee. Sophomore Nate Wachter looked strong in winning at 149 pounds as did fellow sophomore Doc Vecchio at 165. Red-shirt sophomore Mark Becks was impressive in winning 174 and red-shirt junior Jeff Knupp recaptured his 184 pounds. Wachter, Vecchio, Becks and Knupp all started for Penn State last year. Brothers Ryan and Pat Cummins captured 197 and heavyweight, respectively. Senior Andrew Butville and junior Kevin Shippos did not compete due to injury, but are expected to be strong contenders for positions at 165 and heavyweight.