Out of the Gate

A pair of Mountaineer wrestlers have earned national rankings due to their excellent starts.

WVU's Brandon Rader has been named the Eastern Wrestling League wrestler of the week for his performance in his first career dual meet against No. 12 Missouri on December 20.

The Parkersburg, W.Va., native improved his season record to 16-2 by pinning No. 19 Chris McCormick just 1:11 into the match. The true freshman is currently ranked No. 13 by TheWrestlingMall.com in the 141 pound weight class and 15th by W.I.N. Magazine. Rader was ranked 17th last week by Intermat Wrestling.

Joining Rader with a hot start is senior Matt Lebe (157 pounds), who is seeded fourth in his weight class at the upcoming Midlands Classic tournament.

Lebe, who sports a 15-1 record and a number five national ranking by Intermat, is the only Mountaineer in the top eight seeds at the Midlands, which is one of the premier open tournaments in the country. It will take place Thursday and Friday, and is hosted by Northwestern.

Also competing for WVU at the Midlands Classic are Larry Hall (149), Jared Villers (197) and Eric Mullen (165). Junior Zac Fryling (157) is wrestling unattached at the tournament.


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