West Virginia wrestling closes NCAA Championships with two All-American finishers

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A pair of West Virginia wrestlers captured All-American honors and tallied top-seven finishes to close out their week at the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

WVU true freshman Ty Watters claimed the top finish for the Mountaineers at the event, as he finished 5-2 over the course of the week en route to a fourth-place finish in the 149-pound bracket. Watters advanced to the championship bracket quarterfinals, where he fell to Virginia Tech's No. 4-seed Caleb Henson, who has since advanced to the 149-pound bracket championship match.

Watters would recover strong, reeling off three consecutive victories in the Blood Round and the consolation bracket quarterfinals and semifinals -- in the latter round, he earned a pinfall victory over four-time All-American and No. 2-seed Kyle Parco of Arizona State. Watters would finish up competition in the third-place match in the 149-pound class, dropping a 3-2 decision against Tyler Kasak of Penn State

Watters is just the third-ever wrestler in program history to secure a fourth-place finish at the NCAA meet, and the first to earn the accomplishment since Dominick Black in 1991. He became the third-ever true freshman in WVU history to claim All-American honors with his finish, joining former Mountaineer grapplers Brandon Rader (2006) and Zeke Moisey (2015).

He is also the first Mountaineer to secure both a Big 12 Championship as well as a top-8 finish on the mat at nationals and just the 13th in program history to manage a conference title and All-American honors in the same season.

Meanwhile, senior Peyton Hall nabbed a win in the seventh-place bout against No. 8-seed Antrell Taylor of Nebraska. He was able to secure All-American honors with his performance, capping his fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships.

The pair of All-American selections marks the first time since 2005 that a duo from WVU has earned that accolade in the same season, and is the fifth-consecutive season for the program producing at least one All-American. It also marks the eighth occurrence -- and first since 2005 -- that multiple wrestlers landed on the podium at the event for WVU.