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WVU’s Adams, Cardinale, Hall, Rea Ranked after First Wrestling Meet of 2021

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West Virginia's Peyton Hall (photo via WVU Athletics)

Following a 2-1 performance in its season-opening dual – a quad meet with Kent State, Ohio University, and then No. 8 Virginia Tech – WVU has four grapplers ranked within the FloWrestling, InterMat, Trackwrestling, and The Open Mat rankings released Tuesday. The Mountaineers are now (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) on the year.

While redshirt juniors Noah Adams and Killian Cardinale and junior Caleb Rea find their names throughout these lists for a second consecutive week, true freshman 165-pounder Peyton Hall appears in three of these four rankings for the first time in his WVU career. The Chester, WV native put together three strong wins in as many matches during his first collegiate meet over the weekend. The evaluators took notice of Hall’s big day.

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Cardinale, an Old Dominion transfer, found a new home after the ODU program was cut in in April of last year. The 125-pounder’s first meet in a new singlet didn’t go as planned. Ranked as high as No. 11 by Tackwrestling earlier this year, Cardinale went 0-2 with two very close, one-point defeats, Sunday. His lone victory was by way of a forfeit in WVU’s dual against Ohio. As such, the 2020 NCAA qualifier fell in the rankings. Flo and InterMat place Cardinale at No. 17. The Open Mat has the Bristow, Va. native ranked 15th. Trackwrestling places Cardinale outside the top-25 at No. 27.

Rea, a junior from Weirton, didn’t compete this weekend at the WVU Quad. Without having wrestled a match in 2021, Rea finds himself still ranked in two polls. The Open Mat put Rea No. 22 while Trackwrestling has him ranked 26th at 141 pounds. Rea lost his No. 20 Flo ranking from a week ago and is no longer within Flo’s top-25. The lightweight is still highly regarded from his upset win via pin over then No. 4 Dom Demas of Oklahoma last year. Demas was a 2019 and 2020  All-American who currently boasts a top-6 ranking in all four polls.

Hall used his first collegiate meet to put the wrestling world on notice. The freshman recorded a 3-0 record on the day, including two major decisions, one of which was a 9-0 decision over a then Flo-No. 22-ranked Colt Yinger. In three matches, Hall outscored opponents by a combined 31-7 margin. Hall is coming of a prep career which saw the Flo’s 29th-ranked high school recruit in the class of 2020 win four state titles. His performance in his college debut has him ranked 24th by Flo and Trackwrestling, while The Open Mat has him at No. 30. InterMat doesn’t have him ranked yet, but referenced him in one of its latest articles about freshman wrestlers who are already making an early impact on their respective squads.

The nation’s top 197-pounder, Noah Adams, preserved his status as the consensus No.1 at the weight in all four rankings. Adams looked solid in his 3-0 showing Sunday, which included a forfeit victory against Ohio. He defeated Kent State’s Colin McCracken 11-5 and Virginia Tech’s Andy Smith 7-4. Flo also moved the Coal City WV native up two spots to No. 18 in its “pound-for-pound” rankings which ranks wrestlers from top to bottom regardless of their weight. With the wins, Adams extended his win streak to 35 – which dates back to Nov. 3, 2019.

As a team, WVU did not appear in the latest NWCA Coaches Poll from Jan. 12, but Flo puts the Big 12 school at No. 21 in the country.

The Mountaineers will be back in action Sunday for another home dual at WVU Coliseum. The tri-meet will include matches with Bucknell (2 p.m.) and Big 12 foe No. 19 Oklahoma (5 p.m.).

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