PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Appalachian State Wrestling concluded its 2018-19 season with appearances by sophomore Codi Russell and junior Cary Miller on the second day of the NCAA Championships.
Russell dropped a 6-1 decision against Lock Haven’s DJ Fehlman at 133 pounds, and Miller lost a 3-0 decision to Northwestern’s Conan Jennings in the heavyweight division. Making their first NCAA appearances, they were joined in Pittsburgh by two-time NCAA qualifiers Randall Diabe and Matt Zovistoski.
Russell’s 22-12 record included a Southern Conference title that automatically earned him his first NCAA berth, and he advanced to Friday’s second day of competition at PPG Paints Arena thanks to a second-period pin of Ohio’s Mario Guillen on Thursday night. It was the Mountaineers’ first win by fall at the NCAA Championships since Mike Longo (141 pounds) had one in 4:08 against Arizona State’s Matthew Kraus in 2016.
Fehlman led 2-1 after one period before using an escape and takedown in the second period to take control.
Miller, who also qualified automatically as a SoCon Champion, went 24-13 this season to improve his career record to 64-34. He advanced to Day 2 with a 3-2 decision against Virginia Tech’s Billy Miller and faced a difficult challenge against Jennings, who had a big size advantage.
Miller chose the neutral position instead of attempting to escape from the down position after a scoreless first period, and Jennings’ escape to open the third period accounted for the only points until he sealed the outcome on a takedown with 15 seconds left. Miller made progress toward a potential takedown earlier in the match, but the ruling of a stalemate eliminated that scoring chance.
Diabe, another SoCon champion, completed a 77-48 career that included a 26-7 mark as a senior with a pair of one-point losses in Pittsburgh. Matt Zovistoski finished a 27-15 junior season with two matches as an at-large qualifier, and his career record stands at 73-39.
Diabe, Miller, Zovistoski and Russell helped Appalachian State claim a share of a fourth straight Southern Conference regular season championship in 2018-19.
CODI RUSSELL (No. 26 seed, 133 pounds)
1st round: L, DQ, vs. (7) Austin DeSanto, Iowa
Consolation: W, fall in 4:10 vs. (23) Mario Guillen, Ohio
Consolation: L, 6-1 dec. vs. (24) DJ Fehlman, Lock Haven
CARY MILLER (No. 27 seed, heavyweight)
1st round: L, 18-6 maj. dec. vs. (6) Amar Dhesi, Oregon State
Consolation: W, 3-2 dec. vs. (22) Billy Miller, Virginia Tech
Consolation: L, 3-0 dec. vs. (12) Conan Jennings, Northwestern
RANDALL DIABE (No. 15 seed, 197 pounds)
1st round: L, 4-3 dec. (TB-2) vs. (18) Jake Woodley, Oklahoma
Consolation: L, 3-2 dec. vs. (31) Brett Perry, Buffalo
MATT ZOVISTOSKI (No. 29 seed, 149 pounds)
1st round: L, 10-2 maj. dec., vs. (4) Brock Mauller, Missouri
Consolation: L, 16-1 tech. fall vs. (13) Anthony Artalona, Penn