WALESKA, Ga. — The St. Andrews University wrestling team took third place at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championships at Reinhardt University (Ga.) over the weekend.
St. Andrews finished third our of six teams with 51 team points behind AAC Champion Reinhardt with 131 points and West Virigina University Institute of Technology took second with 65 team points.
The Knights had three wrestlers — sophomore Noah Walker at 149 lbs., senior Kavoris Perry at 174 lbs. and junior heavyweight Aaron Vaughan — compete in the finals of their respective weight class but could not bring home the gold.
Vaughn qualified for the NAIA Nationals as he unanimously received the top wild card from the coaches to qualify for the nationals.
The Knights junior heavyweight won two matches to advance to the finals. Vaughan won his semi-final bout in overtime over John Hill of Reinhardt to advance to the championship match against Truett-McConnell’s Jeff Chandler.
Chandler got the first take down of the match to take an early lead over Vaughn early on before tacking on another take down late as Vaughan attempted a throw to win the match, 5-2.
Walker advanced to the finals at 149 lbs. after winning his first two bouts. The Knights sophomore took on Reinhardt’s Dawson Hunt in the championship. Walker lost his rematch with Hunt, 15-8 — when the two wrestlers meet earlier in the year, Walker beat Hunt 11-8 in a decision match.
The Knights sophomore, who is 7-1 in duals on the season, was selected as the fourth wild card from the AAC. Walker’s name will be sent to the NAIA to be reviewed and voted on to see if he will receive an at-large bid to nationals.
Perry won his semi-final bout over Allen’s Anthony Fullard before falling to nationally ranked Michael Carew of Reinhardt in the finals by technical fall, 17-1.
Fellow senior Argie Burnette placed third for the Knights at 184 lbs. by pinning Allen University’s Rashaan McKensie at 4:35 as he went 1-1. Senior Brennan Patton took fourth place at 133 lbs. going 1-2 on the day, falling 8-1 in his third place bout against WVU Tech’s TJ Bean. Patton lost to eventual champion Randy McCrary of Allen in the semi-finals 10-4.
Freshmen Chase Payne and William Adame both finished fourth at 157 and 125 respectively. Adame won his rematch with Allen’s Davon Powell by decision in consolation action before falling for third 8-2 to WVU Tech. Payne went 1-2 and lost a heartbreaker 3-2 for third to Allen. Senior Tyler Evers finished third for the Knights at 197 while St. Andrews had eight total placers on the day.
Patton and Walker made the all-conference academic team with 3.25 GPAs.
St. Andrews, 4-6, will now prepare for the NAIA Nationals from March 2-3 in Des Moines, Iowa.