Taylor Walsh Seizes Clarion Open Title
Nov. 3, 2013
CLARION, Pa. - Redshirt junior Taylor Walsh opened the 2013-14 season with a bang, cruising to the Clarion Open 157-pound title. He pinned his first four opponents before capping off the championship with a 7-1 decision in the finals. Three more Hoosiers finished in the top-three of their respective weight classes, including fellow finalist Ethan Raley in his 141 lbs. runner-up showing. Ryan LeBlanc (165 lbs) and Luke Sheridan (184 lbs) each won six of seven bouts on the day, both placing third.
A large contingent of Hoosiers posted 3-2 records on the day, including Alex Gregory (149 lbs), Eric Roach (149 lbs), Neal Molloy (149 lbs; unattached), Matt Irick (174 lbs) and Garret Goldman (197 lbs).
Walsh, ranked ninth nationally, breezed to the top of the stand. He pinned the first foes he stepped on the mat with before surrendering a lone point to Ohio State's Randell Languis in a 7-1 crown-clinching finals decision. Just one day into his junior season, Walsh has racked up 25 career falls (six shy of IU's all-time top-10).
Raley, a transfer from Lincoln College, was victorious in the first five bouts to start his Hoosier career. He reached the 141-pound finals before running into #31 Laike Gardner from Lehigh and placing second his Division-I wrestling debut.
The 14th-ranked 165-pounder in the country, LeBlanc, began his senior campaign with a major decision. His second major of the tournament came later in the wrestleback as part of a four-bout winning streak to complete a third-place effort.
Sheridan, tabbed #29 nationally at 184 pounds, was dealt a one-point loss by Zach Diekel of Lehigh in the first round, setting up a long journey through the wrestleback. The junior from California battled his way to six consecutive triumphs, including a bit of redemption in the third-place match. Sheridan faced off against Diekel once again, settling the score with a 6-1 decision to place third.
Indiana is back at it Saturday (Nov. 9) traveling to the Michigan State Open.
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