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Two Key Components of App State Wrestling Announce Return

Jonathan Millner, a two-time All-American, and Cody Bond, another SoCon champion during his college career, announced Friday that they plan to return to App State and compete for the Mountaineers during the 2022-23 season.

Millner and Bond will be entering their sixth years in Boone — due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shortened 2020-21 season didn’t count against the eligibility of an NCAA wrestler. Since they enrolled, the Mountaineers have won three SoCon regular-season titles under the direction of head coach JohnMark Bentley.

Millner has started the last three years at 149 pounds, winning three SoCon championships, and Bond won a SoCon championship at 157 pounds in his first season as a starter before making the final and traveling to Detroit as an NCAA Championships alternate to end the 2021-22 season.

Millner placed sixth in Detroit after posting an eighth-place finish at the 2021 NCAA Championships in St. Louis to become the 20th overall All-American and second two-time NCAA All-American in App State Wrestling history. He ended the 2022 season with a 24-4 mark to improve his career record to 92-21, including 71-9 in his three years as a starter (with six of the losses coming during NCAA competition).

“My time here at Appalachian has been incredible, and I am extremely blessed to have accomplished all that I have,” Millner said. “I want to thank God, my family, coaches and teammates because I wouldn’t have made it this far without them. Ultimately, I have realized that I have not achieved all of my goals. I have decided to return to App State and wrestle my final year. See you guys back in Varsity gym for one last ride!”

After a 1-1 opening day at this year’s NCAAs, Millner went 4-0 on Day 2 with an 8-1 decision against eighth-seeded Max Murin of Iowa to earn All-America honors and a 9-4 decision against fifth-seeded Kyle Parco of Arizona State in the next match. His five victories helped App State claim a top-30 finish as a team at the NCAAs.

Bond has posted a 32-14 overall record and 14-1 record in SoCon duals during his two years as a starter. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2021 thanks to his SoCon title and possessed a top-33 national ranking throughout a 2021-22 season in which he went 19-8. Bond reached the SoCon final and dropped a 5-4 decision with the lone automatic NCAA berth at stake against The Citadel’s Dazjon Casto, who went on to win three matches against ACC opponents in Detroit.

Bond traveled to the NCAAs as a second alternate and worked out repeatedly with Millner to help him on his path to the medal stand.

“The past five years have been nothing short of amazing,” Bond said. “I am excited to announce that I will be returning to represent the ‘A’ for another year! Goals stay the same — can’t wait to see you guys soon!”