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Pitt Cole Matthews Finishes in Fifth Place at NCAA Wrestling Championships



Pitt redshirt junior Cole Matthews finished in fifth place at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit Saturday afternoon.

Matthews, No. 6 seed, made it to the semifinals Friday night and faced off against North Carolina graduate Kizhan Clarke in the 141 weight class. This was a rematch from February, which Matthews won, giving Clarke his first loss of the season. The two wrestlers battled to the very end, before Clarke won 3-2 to move the National Championship match.

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Matthews took on No. 8 Oregon State redshirt junior Grant Willits in the first match of the consolation semifinals, with the winner moving on to the third place match.

Like the match against Clarke, Matthews and Willits fought hard in this matchup and were close throughout. Matthews started out with the lead, 3-1, getting a takedown and countering Willits escape.

Willits came back as when Matthews went for back points, Willits got a take down of Matthews to tie the match at three. Willits won the match, 4-3, after getting an escape from Matthews, making it to the third place match.

Matthews then took on No. 4 Stanford redshirt junior Real Woods in the fifth place match. Matthews went behind early, as Woods did a takedown to take a 2-0 lead.

He responded by escaping and then making a big takedown on Woods to lead 3-2. Matthews then got a near fall on Woods, giving him four more points to lead 7-2. Matthews stayed defensive the rest of the way and kept Woods from getting any more points and won the match.

This is the first placement for Matthews at the NCAA Championships in his second appearance. The fifth place finish for Matthews is the ties the highest in the 141 weight class in Pitt history, with Tyler Naumann achieving the same feat in 2010.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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