Jan. 23, 2012
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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army wrestlers Michael Gorman, Cole Gracey and Jordan Thome were named co-recipients of the Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week Award on Monday after leading the Black Knights to the team title at the 43rd annual New York State Championships last weekend.
Gorman, Gracey and Thome each captured an individual crown to help Army secure its first New York State team championship since 2008.
Gorman began his run through the 184-pound bracket on Saturday with a pair of bonus-point victories. The Harville, Ohio, took a 14-5 major decision from RIT's Tyler Brent, before earning a 26-11 technical fall versus Jamestown's Chris Woods. Gorman completed his perfect 4-0 weekend on Sunday, sneaking past Columbia's Shane Hughes, 6-5, and defeating Cortland's Carl Korpi, 7-2, to capture the first tournament title of his career.
Gorman, who has won five straight bouts, improves to 14-11 on the season. His two major decisions rank tied for the team lead, while his 14 wins and four bonus-point victories list among Army's leaders.
Gracey navigated the 165-pound draw en route to his first career tournament championship. The Tuttle, Okla., product began the weekend by pinning Ithaca's Grant Dickey (6:04) and earning a 15-5 major decision opposite RIT's Tory Cain. He wrapped up the title on Sunday, downing Niagara's Kris Schimek, 7-3, and slipping past Nassau's Ryan Fox, 4-3.
Gracey's perfect 4-0 weekend record extends his win streak to six straight matches. He ranks among the Black Knights' leaders with 13 wins, five pins, two major decisions and eight bonus-point victories.
Thome, meanwhile, completely dominated the competition at 133 pounds en route to his second tournament title of the season and third of his career. The Troy, Ohio, native won by injury default over Brockport's James McCabe in his first round match. He then pinned Cortland's Sean Kempf in 1:09 to reach the semifinals. Thome went out in style on Sunday, not surrendering a single point in victories over Ithaca's Dominick Giacolone (5-0) and Columbia's Kyle Gilchrist (1-0).
It marks the third AAA Athlete of the Week Award of the season for Thome, who improves to 17-7 on the season. He leads the team with seven pins and eight bonus-point victories.
Army (4-5, 2-1 EIWA) returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 24, when the Black Knights travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to face Drexel. The non-conference dual match is scheduled to get under way at 7 p.m.