Richards SoCon Tourney's Most Outstanding Wrestler
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com
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Richards SoCon Tourney’s Most Outstanding Wrestler

BOONE, N.C. – VMI’s Neal Richards was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler Sunday after winning the 174-pound individual championship at the 2019 Southern Conference Wrestling Championships, hosted by Appalachian State University. The red-shirt junior automatically qualifies for the NCAA Division I Tournament, with the chance to earn All-American honors.

Richards, the top seed in his weight bracket, earned a first-round bye. He defeated Kyle Homet in the second round by technical fall (23-8) to reach the finals. Richards won by a major decision in the finals, besting second-seeded Andrew Morgan 16-6 to win his first SoCon title.

Richards has now won 21-straight matches entering NCAA Championship competition. He has a 28-3 record with 10 pins, six technical falls and six major decisions.

Chris Beck reached the consolation semifinals at 197 pounds. Coming in as the sixth-seed, he fell just 2-1 to #3 Anthony Perrine of Gardner-Webb. In the consolation bracket, Beck outlasted Finlay Holston of Davidson 7-3 before again losing just 2-1, this time to Rod Jones of Chattanooga.

The last Keydet to win his weight class at the Southern Conference championships was Josh Wine at 285 pounds in 2011. Adam Britt (2003) was the last VMI grappler to be named the SoCon’s Tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Richards will compete March 21-23 in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the chance to become VMI’s first All-American since Leslie Apedoe in 1999 at 285 pounds.

 Final standings
1. Campbell: 95
2. Appalachian State: 92.5
3. Chattanooga: 62
4. The Citadel: 42.5
5. Gardner-Webb: 23.5
6. Davidson: 22.5
7. VMI: 17

125

  • Quarterfinal - Derek Shockey (VMI) 0-2 received a bye
  • Semifinal - Alonzo Allen (Chattanooga) 1-1 won by tech fall over Derek Shockey (VMI) 0-2 (TF-1.5 5:51 (19-2))
  • Cons. Semi - Derek Shockey (VMI) 0-2 received a bye
  • 3rd Place Match - DeAndre Swinson-Barr (Appalachian State) 1-1 won by decision over Derek Shockey (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 6-4)

133

  • Quarterfinal - Codi Russell (Appalachian State) 3-0 won by tech fall over Cliff Conway (VMI) 0-2 (TF-1.5 4:54 (19-4))
  • Cons. Round 1 - Charles Kearney (The Citadel) 12-13 won by fall over Cliff Conway (VMI) 0-2 (Fall 3:52)

141

  • Quarterfinal - Blake Mulkey (Gardner-Webb) 2-2 won by decision over Dom Gallo (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 6-2)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Dom Gallo (VMI) 0-2 received a bye
  • Cons. Semi - Nathan Boston (Campbell) 21-12 won by decision over Dom Gallo (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 3-1)

149

  • Quarterfinal - Matthew Zovistoski (Appalachian State) 3-1 won by major decision over Zach Schmitt (VMI) 0-2 (MD 12-1)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Chase McKinney (Gardner-Webb) 1-2 won by decision over Zach Schmitt (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 4-3)

157

  • Quarterfinal - Rian Burris (The Citadel) 19-12 won by decision over Darren Ostrander (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 5-0)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Ryan Resnick (Chattanooga) 3-1 won by fall over Darren Ostrander (VMI) 0-2 (Fall 4:48)

165

  • Quarterfinal - Micheal Elliott (Appalachian State) 2-1 won by tech fall over Luke Nicksic (VMI) 0-2 (TF-1.5 4:36 (16-0))
  • Cons. Round 1 - Drew Nicholson (Chattanooga) 1-2 won by major decision over Luke Nicksic (VMI) 0-2 (MD 15-7)

174

  • Quarterfinal - Neal Richards (VMI) 2-0 received a bye
  • Semifinal - Neal Richards (VMI) 2-0 won by tech fall over Kyle Homet (Gardner-Webb) 3-1 (TF-1.5 7:00 (23-8))
  • 1st Place Match - Neal Richards (VMI) 2-0 won by major decision over Andrew Morgan (Campbell) 24-8 (MD 16-6)

184

  • Quarterfinal - Conor Fenn (Davidson) 2-2 won by decision over Max Gallahan (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 7-1)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Max Gallahan (VMI) 0-2 received a bye
  • Cons. Semi - Dominic Lampe (Chattanooga) 3-1 won by decision over Max Gallahan (VMI) 0-2 (Dec 5-2)

197

  • Quarterfinal - Anthony Perrine (Gardner-Webb) 1-2 won by decision over Chris Beck (VMI) 1-2 (Dec 2-1)
  • Cons. Round 1 - Chris Beck (VMI) 1-2 won by decision over Finaly Holston (Davidson) 0-2 (Dec 7-3)
  • Cons. Semi - Rod Jones (Chattanooga) 3-1 won by decision over Chris Beck (VMI) 1-2 (Dec 2-1)

285

  • Quarterfinal - Michael McAleavey (The Citadel) 14-15 won by tech fall over Trey Momon (VMI) 0-2 (TF-1.5 3:58 (16-0))
  • Cons. Round 1 - Trey Momon (VMI) 0-2 received a bye () (Bye)
  • Cons. Semi - Connor Tolley (Chattanooga) 1-2 won by major decision over Trey Momon (VMI) 0-2 (MD 10-2)