Navy Crowned All-Academy Champion, Six Mids Win Individual Titles
All-Academy Championship Results
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Nicholas Gil (Jr / Crystal Lake, Ill.), Corey Wilding (Sr / Pittsburgh, Pa.), Zack Davis (Sr /Granger, Ind.), Drew Daniels (Sr / Overland Park, Kan.), Jadaen Bernstein (Sr / Glen Gardner, N.J.) and Michael Coleman (Sr / Hudson, Ohio) each won individual titles to lead the Navy wrestling team to the 2018 All-Academy Championship crown Saturday at McAlister Field House in Charleston, S.C. It marked the Mids’ 14th overall All-Academy Championship victory and their first since 2014.
“Bringing the All-Academy Championship trophy back to Annapolis was earned through hard work, perseverance and an unwavering determination to achieve their goal,” said Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. “I am incredibly proud of this team, but to put it in perspective, this is just a step. The decisive margin is a positive indicator of where we are now, but all 10 of these wrestlers have more and we are going to go to work to get everything from them in February and March.”
Navy has been the dominant team over the years, winning 14 of the 24 championships including 11 of the last 15. The Mids have won 93 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 67 of the 150 titles over the last 15 years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14 and ‘18, while they claimed five or more individual titles in 1997, `99, `04, `05, `07, `08, ‘10, ‘11, ‘13, ‘17 and ‘18.
Navy, who sent seven wrestlers to the finals, paced the field with 118 points and six champions (141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184). Army amassed 96.5 points and had just two champions (125, 133) among its seven wrestlers in the finals. Air Force placed third with 87.0 points and the champion at 197 pounds, followed by The Citadel in fourth with 50.5 points and the heavywight winner, while Coast Guard was fifth (28.5), VMI sixth (19.0), Merchant Marine seventh (15.5) and Norwich eighth (5.0).
While all 10 of Navy’s wrestlers placed among the top four, it was just the third time since the inaugural tournament in 1995 that Navy has crowned six or more individual champions. Navy first accomplished it in 2010 with six winners (125 Aaron Kalil, 149 Glenn Shober, 157 Bryce Saddoris, 165 Robby Neill, 174 Mike Billings, 184 Andrew Buck), while in 2013, seven Mids collected titles (133 Colton Rasche, 149 Raymond Borja, 157 Bobby Barnhisel, 165 Peyton Walsh, 174 Mathew Miller, 184 Mason Bailey, 197 Oscar Huntley).
Gil kicked things off for the Mids with the first of what would be six consecutive title wins by Navy. Ranked 19th nationally at 141 pounds, Gil scored the first points of the match with a takedown midway through the opening period and never let up as he built nearly two minutes of riding time en route to an 8-1 victory over Army’s Austin Harry. It was Gil’s second All-Academy Championship appearance, but his first title win after placing second in 2016.
“All seven of our wrestlers we had in the finals showed the character of a champion and the heart of a Navy wrestler,” said Sharratt. “Gil’s was possibly the most dominating performance of the finals. He ran the shot count to 12-0 and owned every position. He is continuing to find ways to force his skills in new and important tie-ups for him to climb towards his goal.”
Wilding, the Mids’ team captain, was one of three Navy wrestlers to make their fourth All-Academy Championship appearance. He had never placed better than third in his three previous appearances, but that luck would change Saturday night. Defending 149-pound champion Ty Buckison from The Citadel held a 1-0 advantage over Wilding heading into the final period of the finals, but the Navy senior would level the match with an escape seconds into the period. Buckiso, however, got in on Wilding’s left leg and despite his best defense, Wilding was forced to give up the takedown with 18 seconds left in the match. Wilding trimmed the deficit to one as he fought free with 10 seconds remaining. Desperately chasing the title in his final appearance, Wilding scrambled and got Buckiso to the mat as time expired ... only the officials did not initially award Wilding the takedown. Sharratt called for a video review and that review proved to be in favor of Wilding as he would be awarded the takedown, a 4-3 victory and his first All-Academy Championship title.
“Corey embodied the line-to-line, whistle-to-whistle approach once again,” said Sharratt. “His effort to score the 1, then 2 at the buzzer on a hometown opponent was motivating for everyone in the gym tonight! Corey had struggled to earn that win since high school and it is another notch in the belt of a ranked opponent he has beaten in the last 30 days.”
Like Gil, Davis also missed last year’s All-Academy Championship. Davis, however, had won a championship in 2016 at 133 pounds and was looking to add to his collection. He did so in dominating fashion, giving up just a point on the day as he pinned Merchant Marine’s Kieran Duggan in just under three minutes in the opener and scored a 12-1 major decision over Coast Guard’s Chris Sullivan in the semis. He recorded more than three minutes of riding time and held Air Force’s Alex Mossing scoreless in an 8-0 major decision to win his second All-Academy Championship.
“Davis stepped up to beat a World Team member and should now have a solid place in the National Coaches Rankings,” said Sharratt. “He was very impressive on his feet in the finals and maintained dominance in the top position where he is really a hammer.”
Daniels was one of four Navy wrestlers who were defending their All-Academy Championship titles on Saturday. And for a second straight year, Daniels would meet Army’s Andrew Mendel in the finals. Daniels, ranked 20th at 165 pounds, got out of the blocks quickly, nearly spearing Mendel to the mat where he would get the takedown and a four-point nearfall just a minute into the match. From there Daniels put it on cruise control as he earned his second title in as many years behind a 9-5 victory.
“Daniels was on the offense today and outshot and outscored every opponent he faced,” said Sharratt. “He has been getting stronger and winning the battle.”
Back on the mat for the first time since the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2, eighth-ranked Jadaen Bernstein (Glen Gardner, N.J.) didn’t miss a beat. The senior 174-pounder pinned his first two opponents before meeting Army’s Ben Harvey for the second year in a row in the championship. Bernstein built an early lead, but a takedown by Harvey as the first period came to a close had the match even at 4-4. An early escape by Bernstein followed by a takedown gave the veteran wrestler the advantage the rest of the way as he cruised to his second All-Academy Championship crown by way of a 14-8 victory.
“Jadaen winning the Outstanding Wrestler award was a fitting way for him to complete his final All-Academy Championship,” said Sharratt. “He is a crowd favorite and a coaches favorite across the country. His competitive fire is without parallel and he is a humble champion. Tonight was a very controlled and aggressive match that was over an oppoenent ranked inside the top 30.”.
Navy’s final title match of the night came at 184 pounds. Coleman, ranked 17th, won the weight class a year ago in what was his first appearance at the championship and he would go on to win his final appearance, as well. Coleman surrendered just one point to Army’s Noah Stewart en route to a 6-1 victory.
“Coleman was awesome in the finals from the mindset of a champion,” said Sharratt. “He has been so dominant over the last 30 days that it was great for him to be tested a little. He is extremely dynamic and has not been pushed out of his comfort zone for some time.”
Freshman 133-pound Cody Trybus (Elkton, Md.) took second in a 5-1 loss to Army’s Lane Peters, while rookie 125-pound Aslan Kilic (Marietta, Ga.)built a 13-2 lead over VMI’s Clifton Conway before pinning him at 4:57.
“We brought home a bronze medal at 125 pounds and the most falls in the least amount of time,” said Sharratt. “There can be no doubt we want gold, but this was a step forward in getting Aslan to the place we want him to be. He has a competitive mindset and with that mindset, training partners and coaching, we will get there.
“Trybus wrestled very well and has more to learn from today than maybe anyone else. He is a talented wrestler and is on the edge of a breakthrough. I see it and he knows it.”
Senior 197-pound Steban Cervantes (Poway, Calif.) and senior heavyweight Austin Faunce (Lake Oswego, Ore.) both placed fourth in their respective weight classes.
“Steban has a month to prepare for the conference championship and earn his second trip to the NCAA Championship,” said Sharratt. “He is still a step behind, but I saw him push through some of his blocks in today’s matches. He’s not where he wants to be or where we know he will, be but his effort and attitude will overcome the adversity he has in front of him.
“Austin really stepped up for the team after sustaining a small, but painful injury. He never flinched in his commitment to carry the flag forward. As he fell in today’s battle, be certain he fell forward.”
The Midshipmen will be back in action Friday evening when they travel to Norfolk, Va. to battle Old Dominion at 7:00 pm.
24th Annual All-Academy Championship
Jan. 27, 2018 • McAlister Field House • Charleston, S.C.
1. 118.0 - Navy
2. 96.5 - Army
3. 87.0 - Air Force
4. 50.5 - The Citadel
5. 28.5 - Coast Guard
6. 19.0 - VMI
7. 15.5 - Merchant Marine
8. 5.0 - norwich
125 – Trey Chalifoux (Army) dec Tony Decesare (Air Force), 5-2
133 – Lane Peters (Army) dec Cody Trybus (Navy), 5-1
141 – #19 Nicholas Gil (Navy) dec Austin Harry (Army), 8-1
149 – Corey Wilding (Navy) dec Tyler Buckiso (The Citadle), 4-3
157 – Zack Davis (Navy) major dec Alex Mossing (Air Force), 8-0
165 – Drew Daniels (Navy) dec Andrew Mendel (Army), 9-5
174 – #8 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy) dec Ben Harvey (Army), 14-8
184 – #18 Michael Coleman (Navy) dec Noah Stewart (Army), 6-1
197 – Anthony Mclaughlin (Air Force) dec Rocco Caywood (Army), 5-2
285 – Michael McAleavey (The Citadel) fall Victor Raigozza (Merchant Marine), 1:36
125 – Aslan Kilic (Navy) fall Clifton Conway (VMI), 4:57
133 – Owen McClave (Coast Guard) dec Hunter Starner (VMI), 6-2
141 – Doug Gudenburr (The Citadel) dec Garrett O’Shea (Air Force), 4-2 SV
149 – Dane Robbins (Air Force) dec Will Lucie (Army), 3-1
157 – Luke Weiland (Army) tech fall Chris Sullivan (Coast Guard), 15-0
165 – Alex Lopouchanski (Air Force) tech fall Nick Remke (Coast Guard), 18-3
174 – Michael Billingsley (Air Force) dec A.J. Aeberli (Coast Guard), 6-1
184 – Zen Ikehara (Air Force) dec Jon Wagner (Coast Guard), 2-1
197 – Sawyer Root (The Citadel) dec Steban Cervantes (Navy), 7-5
285 – Matt Wagner (Air Force) major dec Austin Faunce (Navy), 10-2
Most Outstanding Wrestler - Jadaen Bernstein, Navy
Falls Award - Aslan Kilic, Navy (2, 7:17)
### Go Navy ###