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Tyler Wilps return to Pitt wrestling program significant for Panthers

Photo used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

Pitt wrestling got a boost in the Southern Scuffle this past weekend with the return of All-American Tyler Wilps. Wilps had been out all season with a broken arm suffered in practice. He talked about the injury briefly here, only saying it was 'something stupid' without clarifying. But regardless of what happened, it's great news for the program to get him back.

Wilps, of course is one of the team's best wrestlers. He was an NCAA All-American last year and even not having wrestled this season until this past weekend, was still ranked as high as fifth by a few publications. This weekend in the Southern Scuffle, he finished fourth at the 174-pound weight class.

His replacement, senior Troy Reaghard, has, admittedly, done pretty well in Wilps' absence. Reaghard is 4-2 in duals on the season and, overall, has been pretty solid. He hasn't recorded any major decisions in dual meets, though, and was on the losing end of one to Penn State's Matt Brown earlier this year. As a point of reference, Reaghard lost 17-6 to Brown, while Wilps almost beat him this past weekend, losing by a single point, 6-5.

Pitt should improve with the return of Wilps, who had 11 major decisions last year and none against him, on his way to a 32-7 overall record. In addition to not losing very much, he just gives the team a threat to pick up additional points via major decisions/pinfalls.

Wilps missed out on some of Pitt's biggest opponents this season in Top 15 teams Edinboro, Lehigh, and Penn State. But his return comes just in time for the Panthers' ACC season, which gets underway this weekend and will surely help as the team tries to win the regular season title.

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