Pitt Wrestlers At EWLs

The Pitt wrestling team ended the regular season in second place in the Eastern Wrestling League for the second straight year, but the Panthers have another chance to finish on top at the EWL Championships Saturday at Lock Haven.

Pittsburgh junior Jimmy Conroy and fifth-year senior Zach Sheaffer defend their crowns at 133 and 285 pounds, respectively, while five freshmen will compete at the event for the first time.

The Second Number Two After starting out 4-0 in EWL action, Pitt battled archrival West Virginia to a 15-15 tie before falling to Edinboro in the final dual meet in the regular season to drop into second place.

Repeat Performers Conroy, the 20th-ranked wrestler in the 133 weight class, looks for his second EWL title after defeating Lock Haven's Billy Ashnault, his former high school teammate, 3-1 last year. Sheaffer is vying for his third EWL heavyweight crown. He won his first title as a freshman and added to the trophy case last season as a junior with a 4-2 win over Bloomsburg's Mike Spaid.

Fountain of Youth The Panthers have relied on their youth for much of the season, starting as many as five freshmen at a time. At the EWL Championships, Pitt will again call on the future of the program as it will start five rookies. Chris Albright (125), Tyler Nauman (141), Karl DiCiantis (174), Zac Thomusseit (184) and Matt Wilps (197) will all be fighting to get their tickets punched for a trip to St. Louis for the 2008-09 NCAA Championships.

Last Year at the EWLs Four Panthers were crowned champions at the 2008 EWL Championships hosted by Pitt. Conroy was a first time winner while Drew Headlee, Keith Gavin and Sheaffer each won an individual title for the second time in their career.

Keep on Keepin' On Redshirt freshman Tyler Nauman won his 25th match of the season in exciting fashion, a fall over Edinboro's Steve Waite. With that win, Nauman moved into 10th place on the all-time wins list for freshman and into sole possession of seventh place on the single-season pins list.

Ranked Panthers Three Panthers enter this week's matches ranked among the top 20 in their respective weight classes. Junior Jimmy Conroy is 20th in the 133-pound class, redshirt freshman Tyler Nauman is 12th at 141-pounds and senior heavyweight Zach Sheaffer is 13th in the heavyweight class.

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