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WVU’s Peyton Hall Back on Track Following Loss to Open Season



WVU Wrestling Peyton Hall

CLARION, Pa.— Many were surprised at the result of the final match of WVU wrestling’s Peyton Hall at the Mountaineer Quad on Nov. 12.

Hall, the then-No. 17 ranked wrestler in the country at 165 pounds, was pinned by Duke’s Gaetano Console in 1:19, which was West Virginia’s only loss of the match in a 40-6 drubbing of the Blue Devils. 

The defeat also came after Hall steamrolled through his first two opponents from Kent State and Cleveland State. 

Hall recognized the defeat, but instead of staying down, the Mountaineers senior rebounded quickly, beating Clarion’s Trevor Elfvin by a 19-4 technical fall in West Virginia’s victory on Thursday and posting a perfect 5-0 record to claim the Shorty Hitchcock Classic 165-pound championship this past weekend.

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“It’s wrestling. It’s going to happen,” Hall said. “Sometimes, you’re going to get caught in a weird position. You can either let it ruin the rest of your season, or move on and take it match by match. I’m confident in my training, and I just have to get back on a win streak.”

Mountaineers head coach Tim Flynn noted Hall’s reaction in the days following the loss and credited his three-year captain for using a veteran approach to bounce back.

“He went back and watched film from years prior,” Flynn said. “He really changed some things with his technique, and it has definitely showed. Plus, the young kids look to see how wrestlers like Peyton respond to a loss. You can hang your head and mope, or get back to work and fix it like he did.”

Hall’s quick fix has turned in strong results in just over a week’s time, as the Chester, West Virginia, native capped off his Hitchcock Classic run with a 21-5 technical fall victory over Millersville’s Brandon Connor in the championship round.

Having now won six straight matches, Hall has jumped his overall record to 12-2 this season and will likely see his ranking jump for the coming week.

But, this current status is only the start of a season-long journey for Hall, who is aiming to get back on the podium at the NCAA Championships after being eliminated with a 1-2 record back in March. 

Hall reached All-American status with an 8th place finish at the tournament in 2022 as a sophomore, marking the first time a West Virginia wrestler achieved the mark at 165 pounds. He was also the Big 12 Tournament runner-up and was named the Mountaineers’ Most Outstanding Wrestler.

“It’s been two seasons, and I’ve got it on my mind,” Hall said. “I want to get there again. I’ve made a lot of changes to my lifestyle and I’m a lot more disciplined. I think if I keep working on my skillset, I’ll get back there.”

Hall said he also made it his goal to help lead his teammates to individual success and achieve higher accolades for the Mountaineers as a team.

West Virginia placed 12th out of 13 squads at last year’s Big 12 Tournament before finishing 34th at the NCAA Championships.

“A lot of guys are stepping up and are willing to get into that leader role,” Hall said. “It’s not just one or two guys getting wins, it’s all 10 of us going out and doing our best to get these wins. This is the best team that I have been a part of since I’ve been in college, and I’m excited to see how this season plays out.”

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