ST. LOUIS – Campbell senior wrestler John Weakley lost to #8-seed Matt Powless on Friday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, concluding his senior season at 31-12. Powless won the match by pin at 3:51. The 31 wins move Weakley into fifth place in the Campbell record books for most individual wins in a single season. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Weakley was the runner-up in the 197-pound division at the Southern Conference championships earlier this month.
Weakley dropped his first match at the NCAA Championships on Thursday morning to A.J. Kissel of Purdue, but rebounded to win two wrestleback matches that advanced him to Friday competition.
Weakley opened against Big 10 place-winner A.J. Kissel, who finished sixth in the Big 10 Championships for Purdue earlier this month. Weakley recorded an early reversal, but he eventually fell in a 12-2 major decision to the Purdue all-time leader in career pins.
Dropping into the wrestleback division, Weakley faced a familiar opponent in Kelby Smith of The Citadel. It was the fourth time the two wrestlers faced off this season, with Weakley winning the first match by 12-6 decision at the Southern Scuffle and Smith taking the regular season matchup 6-4 and then the SoCon championship match 3-2. In another tight match between the two wrestlers, Weakley earned a season split in the individual series, prevailing by a 6-5 decision over his conference rival and ending Smith's season at 34-9.
Weakley then had another rematch in store when he went up against George Mason's Bagna Tovuujav, who carried a 20-4 record into the match. Weakley had pinned Tovuujav earlier this year when the two met at the NC State Duals. After trailing early, Weakley rallied to tie the match and send it to overtime. Thirty seconds into the sudden victory period, Weakley recorded a takedown to win the match by 6-4 decision and improve his individual record to 31-11.