Navy Wrestling Wins Fourth-Consecutive All-Academy Championship
Feb. 5, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Led by three-time title winners Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.), the Navy wrestling team claimed its 11th All-Academy Championship title Sunday evening in Colorado Springs, Colo. Nine of Navy’s 10 wrestlers placed among the top three, including four who won individual crowns and another two who took second place.
Navy came into the tournament having won two-straight All-Academy Championship crowns, both by more than 30 points over the second-place finisher. Sunday’s competition would be much different, as the title came down to the final weight class. Navy held a 105.5-105.0 advantage over Air Force heading into the final two bouts of the evening. Navy junior heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) faced Coast Guard freshman Joel Wyman to decide third place, while top-seeded Odie Delaney of The Citadel met Air Force’s Jared Erickson in the championship match.
“I told Danny heading into the match that I wasn’t sure if the Air Force kid could beat The Citadel’s kid. Delaney (The Citadel) is a pretty tough customer,” said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “But I stressed that we needed him to beat Wyman and if he could pin him, we would lock up the team win.”
After being upset by Army junior Christian Botero in his opening match of the day, Miller would not disappoint his coach or teammates. Not only did he beat Wyman, he pinned the youngster at 4:38 to seal the victory for the Midshipmen, 109.5-105.0
Ironically, despite just the 4.5 advantage, Navy beat the Falcons head-to-head in six of the seven weight classes in which they met. The Mids took wins at 125, 133, 141, 157, 165 and 184 against Air Force, while dropping their bout at 197 pounds.
Air Force, meanwhile, claimed a pair of titles at 149 and 174 pounds, while three placed as the runner-up. The win by Delaney at heavyweight not only sealed Air Force’s fate, it catapulted The Citadel ahead of Army in the final standings, as the Bulldogs edged the Black Knights, 81.0-80.0, to finish third. VMI placed fourth (24.0), followed by Coast Guard 911.5), Merchant Marine Academy (10.0) and Norwich (0.5).
Navy has been the dominant team in the 18-year history of the tournament, winning 11 of the 18 championships including eight of the last nine. The Mids have won 68 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 42 of the 90 titles over the last nine years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, ‘10, ‘11 and ‘12, while they have claimed five or more individual titles in 1997, `99, `04, `05, `07, `08, ‘10 and ‘11.
“I was really proud of the effort the team gave today,” said Burnett, who has won eight All-Academy titles in his 12 years. “We learned a great deal from this weekend and we look forward to using the next couple of weeks to prepare for Army.”
Kalil was Navy’s first title-winner of the day, picking up a 4-0 victory over Army junior Jordan Thome, 4-0. Kalil, who won 125-pound titles as a sophomore and junior, opened the day by pinning Coast Guard’s Anthony Signorello before punching his ticket into the finals by way of a 7-4 decision against Air Force’s Dylan Hyder.
Kalil, who moved into 15th on the Mids’ all-time wins list with a 94-49 record, is now just one of eight wrestlers in program history to win All-Academy titles three times, joining Greg Gingeleskie (1997-98-99), Mark Conley (2000-01-02), Tanner Garrett (2004-05-06), Joe Baker (2006-08-09), Bryce Saddoris (2008-10-11) and Matt Stolpinski (2005-06-07-08).
Rebertus is also part of the three-time All-Academy champions list (2009-11-12) after he pounded his way through the competition to claim the 184-pound title for the second-straight season. Rebertus opened with a 14-3 major decision against The Citadel’s Josh Tuck and followed up with a 3-1 decision over Erik Schott of the Merchant Marine Academy. Tuck came into the tournament boasting an impressive 20-9 record as a two-tie Centennial Conference placewinner. Rebertus captured what will be his final All-Academy title by way of fall over Army senior Mike Gorman at 2:18.
Taking a giant step towards the 100-win milestone, Rebertus improved his career record to 98-33, just two wins shy of becoming only the 12th wrestler in school history to win 100 matches. With 98 wins, he stands 11th on Navy’s all-time wins list, passing Steve Kovach 9200-03), Craig Delloroso (1984-87) and Frank Shaffer (1980-83) Sunday in the wins column.
After being denied in the championship match a year ago, senior Dustin Haislip (Inwood, W.Va.) earned his first All-Academy Championship title via a 3-1 decision over top-seeded Carter McElhany of Air Force at 141 pounds. Haislip, the No. 2 seed, pinned Zeb Stewart of VMI in the opener before putting away Army’s Casey Smith in the semis.
Meanwhile, Navy won its third-consecutive title at the 157 pound weight class and fifth in the last six years thanks to an 8-7 victory by Navy junior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.). Coming in as the top seed, Barnhisel pinned Coast Guard’s Ben Greene to get things rolling on Sunday and followed up with a 5-1 win over Pierre Frazile of The Citadel. Barnhisel claimed his title win against second-seeded Josh Kreimier of Air Force.
Senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.) was one of six Navy wrestlers to punch his way into the finals. Things looked dim for Sackett in his first match of the day against Army’s Scott Filbert, as he trailed by a handful of points heading into the final period, where he was able to catch Filbert in a cradle and score the pin. Sackett followed up with a 5-2 win over third-seeded Greg Rinker of Air Force to earn a shot at the individual title. The Navy senior, however, would come up short in his quest for the championship, as top-seeded Richard Alarcon of The Citadel scored a 2-0 victory in the tie second breaker.
Junior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) came up short in the 165-pound title match, dropping a 4-0 decision to Army’s Coleman Gracey. Bailey, who was the top seed in the weight class and finished third in last year’s tournament, owned Josh Miller of the Merchant Marine Academy in his opener, dropping Miller by tech fall, 17-0. Bailey then clipped Air Force’s Colby Kluesner in the semis, 2-1, to earn his shot at the title.
Meanwhile, Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.), Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) and Miller placed third for the Midshipmen, while sophomore Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) finished fourth. Huntley faced an extraordinarily tough weight class that saw him lose a tough 3-1 decision to 19th-ranked Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of The Citadel in the semis, but come back to deal No. 1 seed Matthew Brock of VMI a 4-3 loss to finish third.
The Mids will use the next two weeks to prepare for their biggest dual of the year, the annual Star Match against Army. The two teams will square of at Alumni Hall in Annapolis on Feb. 17 beginning at 7:30 pm. Navy owns a commanding 45-5-5 record against the Black Knights and has won 11 in a row. The Mids have lost just once in the last 48 matches in the series (43-1-5).
18th Annual All-Academy Championship
Feb. 5, 2012 • Clune Arena • Colorado Springs, Colo.
1. 109.5 Navy
2. 105.0 Air Force
3. 81.0 The Citadel
4. 80.0 Army
5. 24.0 VMI
6. 11.5 Coast Guard
7. 10.0 Merchant Marine Academy
8. 0.5 Norwich
125 – #1 Richard Alarcon (The Citadel) won by dec Tyler Sackett (Navy) 2-0 TB2
133 – #1 Aaron Kalil (Navy) won by dec #2 Jordan Thome (Army) 4-0
141 – #2 Dustin Haislip (Navy) won by dec #1 Carter McElhany (Air Force) 3-1
149 – #1 Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) won by fall Ryan Bilyeu (Army) 2:28
157 – #1 Bobby Barnhisel (Navy) won by dec #2 Josh Kreimier (Air Force) 8-7
165 – #2 Coleman Gracey (Army) won by dec #1 Mason Bailey (Navy) 4-0
174 – #4 Clay Gable (Air Force) won by dec #2 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) 6-4
184 – #1 Luke Rebertus (Navy) won by fall #3 Mike Gorman (Army) 2:18
197 – #3 Derek Stanley (Army) won by dec #1 Kelby Smith (The Citadel) 3-2
HWT – #1 Odie Delaney (The Citadel) won by fall #3 Jared Erickson (Air Force) 4:27
125 – #3 Greg Rinker (Air Force) won by fall #2 Scott Filbert (Army) 1:12
133 – #4 Dylan Hyder (Air Force) won by major dec #3 Kyle Casaletto (The Citadel) 9-0
141 – #4 Jordan Dix (The Citadel) won by dec #3 Casey Smith (Army) 14-8
149 – #3 Peyton Walsh (Navy) won by dec David Yost (VMI) 6-3
157 – #4 Pierre Frazile (The Citadel) won by dec #3 James Rafferty (Army) 3-2
165 – #4 Colby Kluesner (Air Force) won by dec #3 Carry Joseph (VMI) 5-1
174 – #3 Oscar Huntley (Navy) won by dec #1 Matthew Brock (VMI) 4-3
184 – Josh Tuck (The Citadel) won by fall #2 Greg Isley (Air Force) 4:00
197 – #2 Josh Mohr (Air Force) won by fall #4 Paul Rands (Navy) 1:56
HWT – #2 Dan Miller (Navy) won by fall Joel Wyman (Coast Guard) 4:38
### Go Navy ###