PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh wrestling program can confirm the signings of two successful and experienced student-athletes as transfers, head coach Keith Gavin announced.
Two-time Florida state champion and Big Ten veteran Elijah Cleary and Pittsburgh native and four-time NCAA qualifier Gage Curry will join the Panthers for the 2021-22 season.
Cleary has started at 157 pounds for the Ohio State Buckeyes the last two seasons, while Curry returns to his hometown after standing on the EIWA podium for the American Eagles last season and qualifying for the NCAA Championships in four straight seasons at 125 pounds.
Both Cleary and Curry join Pitt’s program as sixth-year student-athletes who are utilizing the extra year of eligibility offered by the NCAA after the pandemic.
A native of Winter Park, Fla., Cleary commits to Pitt after accumulating 55 wins at Ohio State and 25 in a starting role the last two years. He represented Ohio State at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships and won matches at the event in 2020 and 2021.
Pittsburgh product Curry becomes a Panther after a stellar career at American. He totaled 77 wins as a four-year starter for the Eagles, including a third-place finish at the 2021 EIWA Championships that secured his fourth consecutive trip to nationals. Curry is also a four-time EIWA Academic Achievement honoree and won 159 matches at North Hills H.S. and won a WPIAL title during his prep career.
With the additions of Cleary and Curry, the Pitt wrestling program will enter the 2021-22 season with one of the nation’s most experienced and accomplished rosters, with as many as five sixth-year seniors with NCAA experience in the lineup.
Last season, Coach Gavin led Pitt to its best NCAA team finish (11th place) since 1970. Five Panthers qualified for nationals and won matches in St. Louis, with each of them set to return for 2021-22, including NCAA finalists Nino Bonaccorsi and Jake Wentzel.
Sixth-year student-athletes Micky Phillippi and Gregg Harvey return as captains, while a healthy NCAA veteran in Cole Matthews will also be back after battling through a torn ACL and meniscus last season.
Original Source: Pitt Wrestling