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College Update for Feb. 1: Slippery Rock cuts eight sports, including wrestling; Gallick takes over No. 1 at 141



By Jason Bryant
jbryant@intermatwrestle.com

Second-year head coach Derek DelPorto was doing everything right. His wrestlers were getting good grades, overachieving and Slippery Rock was beating teams they "had no business beating."

An 8-8 record with just 1.5 scholarships, Slippery Rock was improving. "Was" is the unfortunate term. It means past tense.

After 2005-06, Slippery Rock wrestling will be referred to only in past tense. Monday afternoon, Slippery Rock University announced the discontinuation of eight varsity sports from its athletic department to ease the continued strain on the University's budget.

For DelPorto, Slippery Rock's last All-American, placing eighth at heavyweight in 1998, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

"Where do they (the University) want to see us. Is success relative? With 1.5 scholarships and one coach, do they expect us to be a national powerhouse?" DelPorto said in a phone interview with InterMat on Tuesday.

DelPorto was in his first real season as a head coach. Last season, DelPorto was named the head coach after Jim Harshaw left to head back to the University of Virginia.

"It frustrates me because deep down, I did everything I could and more in the two year stint I was here. It's a credit to the kids," he said.

NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer sees a growing problem with schools cutting athletics, not just wrestling, to ease budget concerns.

"The primary thing we're pushing for is that too many universities are making decisions to solve short-term problems that have long-term consequences," Moyer said Monday.

Now a lame-duck team, DelPorto has to keep his wrestlers' heads up.

"It hasn't hit home quite yet, but I tried to go in (to the meeting) with the most positive outlook; I basically told them that if the doctor came to you and said you have three months to live, would you lay down and be miserable for that three months or would you try to make that time the best?" DelPorto said.

"You can take away our program, but you're not going to take away our pride and we're going to go out and try to represent Slippery Rock for the very last time in its history."

Two of Slippery Rock's most notable wrestling alums are names the wrestling public knows well. Current USA Wrestling president Stan Dziedzic is a former World Champion and Slippery Rock alum, as is current Oklahoma head coach Jack Spates.

The program's best years were under Fred Powell, and in 1974, The Rock finished 10th in the nation at the Division I tournament.

Slippery Rock has eight duals left this season, including four this weekend at the East Region Duals at Duquesne.

Gallick beats Ware, again
Nate Gallick has pretty much owned Teyon Ware, especially during the regular season. While Ware did have the victory in last season's finale at the NCAA championships at 141 pounds, Gallick beat Ware 4-3 Iowa State's victory over Oklahoma in Norman over the weekend.

The win puts Gallick's career record against Ware at 6-1, 5-1 in official matches. Iowa State coach Bobby Douglas was pleased with the Cyclones' performance in Norman.

"It was a great win," Douglas said in an Iowa State press release about the match. "This is the best we have wrestled all year. Gallick's match was one for the books, Bertolino's upset of Wes Roberts -- our guys wrestled very well today."

Iowa State couldn't keep the momentum going against Oklahoma State. The second-ranked Cowboys pounded the Cyclones 26-14 in a bout that saw the Cyclones win three of the 10 matches, two over Oklahoma State reserves.

Regardless, Gallick's win over Ware in the All-Star Meet can officially be put to rest by the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA rankings. Ware was #1 until the "official" loss to Gallick.

Streak officially over
While the losing streak ended with a 19-19 tie with VMI last week, Davidson's 21-year winless streak against Southern Conference opponents came to a screeching halt on Tuesday night. While the 23-17 victory over a banged-up Appalachian State team isn't the stuff dreams are made of, it's good enough for Davidson alums.

The current freshmen weren't even born the last time Davidson won a Southern Conference match, which was in 1985 against The Citadel. Travis Hunter was winless at 133 on the year according to the Davidson Sports Information web site, but his overtime win over Tim Goodwin clinched the dual and gave Bob Patnesky his first SoCon win since taking over full-time.

Davidson alum John Hughes e-mailed InterMat on Wednesday and could hardly contain his enthusiasm. We hope he doesn't mind us quoting him.

"Not too many victories like these since I graduated," Hughes said in the e-mail. "ASU might have had injuries and other issues, but it still is significant."

We agree.

While we're at it
Portland State picked up its first win over a Division I opponent this season, beating an injury-riddled Fresno State team 24-22 over the weekend. To the Vikings credit, it was Adam Duryee's fall at 149 over Dustin Rocha that gave Portland State just enough bonus points in the 10-match split with the Bulldogs. Fresno forfeited 157 and 165.

Portland State picked up two victories that day, also beating Pacific, a Division III team in Oregon, for the second time this season.

Minnesota repels upset bid
It's the third week in a row that unbeaten Minnesota sits atop the national polls and J Robinson's Golden Gophers got past a formidable opponent, Penn State, over the weekend.

Minnesota, 16-0, won six of the 10 matches including a one-point decision by Travis Lang over Tim Haas at 125 and Mack Reiter's 5-3 win over Jake Strayer at 133. Matt Nagel repelled David Erwin's upset bid emphatically, pinning the true freshman in 50 seconds.

The Gophers host Wisconsin and Indiana before traveling to Oklahoma City for the ESPNU/DoubleSport Invitational on February 12 and a re-match with Oklahoma State.

Benton reaches 100
Pitt-Johnstown's Thad Benton earned career victory 100 with a 9-0 major decision over Gannon's Joe Cavalier in the Mountain Cats' 44-3 victory on Jan. 25.

Coming up
A solid weekend of wrestling, including a great Division II matchup with UPJ taking on Findlay and a battle of arch-rivals in Division III takes to the mat when Wartburg faces Augsburg.

Penn State takes on Iowa State in Ames on Sunday at Ames High School in a battle of teams ranked in the Top 10.

Out East, Hofstra takes on Lehigh and Cornell while the Central Michigan vs. Buffalo match has a nice matchup at 197 pounds, with top-ranked Wynn Michalak taking on fourth-ranked and undefeated Kyle Cerminara.

Illinois and Northwestern face off in an intra-state battle between a pair of Top 20 teams.

Oklahoma's at Missouri in the Big 12.

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