ST. LOUIS Army sophomore Matt Kyler finished sixth at 141 pounds and earn All-America honors at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis.
Already assured of finishing no lower than sixth place, Kyler took on fourth-seeded Nathan Morgan from Oklahoma State in Saturday’s consolation semifinals. Morgan took an 8-3 decision that sent Kyler to face ninth-seeded Nick Gallick of Iowa State in the fifth-place match, where he fell one point short, 3-2, to settle for sixth place.
Kyler, became Army’s first All-American since Phillip Simpson won the honor three-straight times from 2003-2005, including a runner-up finish during his senior season.
Kyler finished the season with a 43-8 win-loss total to set the Academy record for single season victories, breaking the old mark set by current assistant coach Brad Fenske during the 1995-96 campaign when he finished 42-9.
“Matt had a great couple days and I am really proud of the way he competed throughout the tournament,” said Army head coach Chuck Barbee. “He came up big in some pretty high-pressure situations and put a big exclamation point on what was already a tremendous season for not only him, but the whole team.”
Nick Gallick (Iowa State) dec. Matt Kyler (Army), 3-2
In the fifth-place match, Gallick scored first with a two-point takedown, but Kyler escaped to cut the deficit to 2-1 after the first period. Kyler chose to start the second period down and quickly escaped to even the score, 2-2, heading into the third period. Gallick started in the down position and slipped away from Kyler with 30 seconds to go in the match to take the 3-2 lead. Gallick avoids Kyler’s final attempts at a takedown to hold on for the one-point victory.
Nathan Morgan (Oklahoma State) dec. Matt Kyler (Army), 8-3
Morgan grabbed an early 2-0 lead with a takedown, before Kyler escaped to make the score, 2-1. Morgan registered another takedown to lead 4-1 after the first period. Starting the second period in the down position, Kyler escaped to make it 4-2 deficit, but another Morgan takedown built his lead back up to 6-2. Kyler escaped one more time to remain in striking distance, 6-3, entering the final period. Morgan, however, gets away for a final escape and picks up another point for over a minute riding time advantage to seal the victory.