Wrestler of the Week

BOONE — Appalachian State junior Codi Russell has been named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week following his dramatic, tone-setting win against Lock Haven.

On Jan. 16, Russell trailed 3-2 entering the third period against 29th-ranked DJ Fehlman at 133 pounds but secured a 5-3 decision thanks to a tiebreaking takedown with 53 seconds left.

It was a matchup of two returning NCAA Championships qualifiers, with Russell getting a critical victory after suffering losses to Fehlman during a 2019 dual between the two teams as well as when they met at last year's NCAAs in Pittsburgh.

With Lock Haven having top-30 wrestlers at the 125, 133 and 141 spots in the lineup, the Bald Eagles had a chance to post a big lead in the early going. Russell's victory meant that App State tied the dual with his win and trailed only 7-3 after two matches.

The Mountaineers (5-2) went on to win 29-10 against a team that entered the dual with an unofficial ranking of No. 31 in the NWCA Coaches Poll.

A reigning SoCon champion from Atlanta, Ga., Russell improved to 18-8 this season and 53-33 in his career. He is 6-1 in App State's duals this season and ranked 29th in his weight class by TrackWrestling.

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