DETROIT, Mich. – Sophomore Peyton Hall became the 34th All-American in program history to lead the West Virginia University wrestling team on day two of the NCAA Championships inside the Little Caesars Arena, on Friday night.
Despite dropping a 6-2 decision to No. 1-seed Evan Wick of Cal Poly in the quarterfinals, Hall bounced back in the wrestlebacks’ bracket and took down No. 19-seed Justin McCoy of Virginia five times to grab an 11-3 major decision and secure his spot on the podium.
The Chester, West Virginia, native joins Jimmie Cox, Mike Mason, Sam Kline, Brandon Rader, and Noah Adams as the sixth WVU wrestler from the state of West Virginia to be named an All-American. In addition, Hall is the first WVU grappler to take home the honor at 165 pounds; Mark Banks reached the feat twice at 167 pounds back in 1990 and 1991.
Hall will duel No. 8-seed Carson Kharchla of Ohio State for seventh place in tomorrow’s first session after falling to No. 4-seed Dean Hamiti of Wisconsin, 10-6. Fans can catch Hall’s match during Saturday’s first session at 11 a.m. ET on ESPNU.
Of note, West Virginia has produced at least one All-American in each of the last three years (Noah Adams – 2020, Killian Cardinale – 2021, Hall – 2022) under coach Tim Flynn to match a similar stretch of success that the program last achieved from 2005 to 2007, which was a part of a six-year period that began in 2002, during legendary coach Craig Turnbull’s tenure.
At 125 pounds, Cardinale dropped his opening bout to No. 4-seed Brandon Courtney of Arizona State by a score of 3-2. Courtney claimed the first takedown of the match to go up 2-0, before Cardinale escaped to pull within one and added another in the second period to lock up the match at 2-2. Cardinale closed in on Courtney’s right leg twice but couldn’t get a hold of the left in either instance, as Courtney survived with a third-period escape.
The Bristow, Virginia, native moved on to the third round of wrestlebacks, where he would need to defeat fellow Southern Scuffle finalist and No. 8-seed Patrick McKee of Minnesota to guarantee himself All-America status for the second year in a row. McKee and Cardinale were scheduled to duel for the 125-pound crown at the annual Scuffle back in January until Cardinale declared a medical default and allowed McKee to claim the title.
Cardinale jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first period and had everything in hand until McKee used his momentum to get Cardinale in a half-nelson from the escape position and secure the pin in 3:25, eliminating the 2021 All-American of contention.
125: Brandon Courtney (Arizona State) dec. Killian Cardinale (WVU), 3-2
165: Evan Wick (Cal Poly) dec. Peyton Hall (WVU), 6-2
125: Patrick McKee (Minnesota) won by fall Killian Cardinale (WVU), [T – 3:25]
165: Peyton Hall (WVU) major dec. Justin McCoy (Virginia), 11-3
165: Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) dec. Peyton Hall (WVU), 10-6