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Will Miller
Will Miller was one of two Mountaineers to capture a championship.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Wrestling Competes at Keystone Classic

Led by individual titles from Jon Jon Millner (149 pounds) and Will Miller (174 pounds), App State Wrestling enjoyed a strong showing Sunday at the PRTC Keystone Classic in The Palestra.

With 13 of the Mountaineers’ wrestlers placing, App State totaled 115 points to finish fourth in an 11-team field, as No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 20 Penn posted the highest point totals. Tommy Askey (157) and Will Formato (165) went 5-1 to place third in their brackets.

Ranked second nationally in his weight class, Millner improved to 10-0 this season and 102-21 in his career with a 5-0 showing in Philly. He became the seventh App State wrestler to record 100-plus career wins and is now at No. 6 on the program’s career wins list.

In a bracket that included three top-15 wrestlers, Millner used takedowns in the first and third periods to secure a 5-2 decision in the 149-pound final against 15th-ranked Doug Zapf, a two-time NCAA qualifier from Penn. Millner opened the event with two first-period pins and two major decisions by a combined score of 24-2.

Miller, a sophomore, earned the first tournament win of his college career by claiming a 6-0 decision against Rider’s Shane Reitsma in the 174-pound final. Miller delivered a takedown with 1:20 left in the first period, finished that period on top, rode out the entire second period, got an escape early in the third period and ended the match with another takedown.

To reach the final, Miller had an 8-1 decision, a third-period pin, a 6-2 decision and a 4-0 semifinal decision.

App State’s other placers, outside the top three, were: Cody Bond (fourth, 157), Chad Bellis (fifth, 125), Chopper Mordecai (fifth, 174), Mason Fiscella (fifth, heavyweight), Jacob Sartorio (sixth, heavyweight), Ethan Oakley (seventh, 133), Triston Norris (seventh, heavyweight), Kaden Keiser (eighth, 149) and OJ Bost (eighth, 165).

Askey’s only loss was a 5-4 decision — decided by a riding time point — against 12th-ranked Anthony Artalona of Penn. Askey improved to 3-0 on the day and reached a semifinal against Artalona by recording a takedown with 43 seconds left in a 3-2 decision against Clayton Ulrey of Virginia Tech.

Formato followed a first-round win by fall with a 5-2 loss to No. 22 Connor Brady of Virginia Tech, then rattled off four straight wins.

Bond, Fiscella and Keiser all went 4-2, while Bellis’ 3-2 record included a third-period pin of Drexel’s Antonio Mininno, a 2020 NCAA qualifier. Mordecai also went 4-2, and the Mountaineers had three heavyweights place in the top seven.