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Tommy Askey
Tommy Askey won his matchup by major decision.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Wrestling Suffers First SoCon Loss

App State split the 10 matches with a senior-led Campbell squad in a showdown of top-30 teams, posting five straight victories from 133 to 165 pounds, but four veterans for the Camels closed out the dual with victories to give them a 22-16 win against the Mountaineers on Friday night.

In front of a large, loud crowd with two traditional SoCon powers squaring off, App State (4-3, 1-1) jumped out to a 16-5 lead over Campbell (8-3, 2-0) thanks to consecutive wins from Ethan Oakley (14-8 decision at 133), Ike Byers (4-0 decision at 141), Cody Bond (1-0 decision at 149), Tommy Askey (15-5 major decision at 157) and Will Miller (8-2 decision at 165).

With four ranked or title-winning seniors rounding out their lineup, the Camels used a three-point decision at 174 pounds, a six-point fall at 184, a three-point decision at 197 and a six-point fall in the heavyweight division to turn an 11-point deficit into a six-point team victory — Campbell was penalized one team point for its post-victory conduct at heavyweight.

In a battle of top-25 wrestlers at 133, Oakley trailed 7-1 against Domenic Zaccone before getting his first takedown with 1:01 left in the second period, and he trailed 8-5 heading to the third period. A go-ahead takedown with 1:28 left, followed by a four-point near fall, gave Oakley a sizable lead in a 14-8 decision that pushed his career dual record to 16-0.

Byers, a fifth-year redshirt junior making just the third dual start of his career, won a 4-0 decision over Chris Rivera in the next match. After a scoreless first period, Byers was tough on top, delivering a 99-second ride before an injury stoppage occurred as Byers turned Rivera on his back with a mat return. Rivera was able to continue, and a review produced two near-fall points for Byers. His riding time advantage clinched a 4-0 victory.

App State delivered back-to-back shutouts thanks to Cody Bond’s 1-0 victory against Chris Rivera at 149. Bond took the lead on a second-period escape, and with his talents on top, Rivera opted to start neutral in the third. There were no takedowns in the third, allowing Bond to secure the victory.

Askey led 3-2 going to the third period against Chris Earnest and delivered a bonus-point win thanks to a reversal and three takedowns in the third period. In another matchup of top-30 wrestlers, Miller then continued the strong run with a first-period takedown to set the tone in an 8-2 decision against 28th-ranked Dom Baker.

The 2023-24 season is presented by Hungry Howie’s and Penn Station. App State is back in action Sunday, when it hosts SoCon foe VMI (6-7, 0-2 SoCon) at 2 p.m. for Heroes Day in Varsity Gym.

Campbell 22, App State 16
125: #25 Anthony Molton (CU) def. Chad Bellis (APP), 19-4 tech fall
133: #23 Ethan Oakley (APP) def. #20 Domenic Zaccone (CU), 14-8 dec.
141: Ike Byers (APP) def. Chris Rivera (CU), 4-0 dec.
149: #20 Cody Bond (APP) def. Justin Rivera (CU), 1-0 dec
157: #17 Tommy Askey (APP) def. Chris Earnest (CU), 15-5 maj. dec.
165: #27 Will Miller (APP) def. #28 Dom Baker (CU), 8-2 dec.
174: #19 Austin Murphy (CU) def. Luke Uliano (APP), 8-3 dec.
184: Caleb Hopkins (CU) def. Tomas Brooker (APP), fall (0:54)
197: #16 Levi Hopkins (CU) def. Carson Floyd (APP), 7-3 dec.
HWT: #8 Taye Ghadiali (CU) def. Jacob Sartorio (APP), fall (1:24)
° Campbell penalized one team point for conduct at heavyweight