Navy Stands Fifth at EIWA Championship, Six Mids Advance
March 3, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Six Navy wrestlers remain active, two in the championship bracket and four in the consolations, following the opening day of action at the 108th EIWA Championship held at Princeton's Jadwin Gym in New Jersey. While the Mids currently stand fifth, just 1.5 points behind fourth-place Penn, senior Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and junior Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) have already clinched berths to wrestle at the 2012 NCAA Championship in St. Louis, Mo. on March 15-17.
"When you exceed someone's expectations, then I think you can call it a pretty successful day," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett, who pointed to all except for one weight class who either matched or exceeded the seeding. "I'm proud of the effort. I wish we had a few more guys wrestling tomorrow, but some of our guys just couldn't get it going for whatever reason."
Defending EIWA Champion Cornell sits in the driver's seat with a 17.5-point advantage over second-place Lehigh in the team standings. Cornell has amassed 136.5 points and has all 10 of its wrestlers still in the tournament including five who are wrestling on the championship side of the bracket, while Lehigh owns 119 points and also has all 10 of its wrestlers active including four in the championship bracket. American stands third with 88.5 points, followed by Penn in fourth with 81 and Navy in fifth with 79.5.
A year ago, Navy found itself in a huge deficit after the opening round, as seven Midshipmen were "awarded" first-round byes, costing the team up to 15 points in the standings. This year, three Midshipmen received first-round byes, making for a more even playing field. Navy used that to its advantage, winning four opening-round matches including three by fall and one by tech fall.
Kalil, seeded fourth at 133 pounds, was one of the four to win his opening-round match, pinning unseeded Christian Martino of Brown at the 3:26 mark. He then rolled past fifth-seeded Mike Demarco of Rutgers in the quarterfinals by way of a major decision, 11-1, which set up a semifinals matchup against top-seeded Steven Keith of Harvard. Keith, ranked 12th by Intermat, suffered just his eighth loss of the season as Kalil scored one of the biggest wins of his career with a 3-1 victory, sending him to a finals battle against second-seeded Bryan Ortenzio of Penn on Sunday.
The victory also punched Kalil's ticket to compete at the NCAA Championship, marking his third-consecutive berth, as the top five wrestlers at 133 pounds will receive automatic bids. Sunday's matchup between Kalil and Ortenzio will mark the first meeting between the two this season. Additionally, Kalil will be looking for his 100th-collegiate win, standing at 99-49.
In addition to Kalil, Huntley, at 174 pounds, has also earned the right to represent Navy at the 2012 NCAA Championship. Huntley was one of the three Navy wrestlers to receive a bye in the opening round, however, he used the extra match of rest to his advantage as he managed back-to-back wins by way of sudden victory.
Huntley's first opponent of the day was fifth-seeded William George of Cornell, who was nearly upset in the opening round by Harvard's Josh Popple. Popple and George were knotted up at 2-2, but George managed a takedown in sudden victory to advance. Huntley turned the tables on George in their quarterfinals match with the Navy junior picking up a 6-4 triumph in sudden victory.
Not to be outdone by Kalil, Huntley also scored an upset victory over the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class, Rutgers' Greg Zannetti. While the two teams met in dual action on Jan. 22, Huntley sat out the match with an injury, while Zannetti easily defeated the Mids' James Mannier (Troy, Ohio) by major decision. Huntley again needed extra minutes, but he successfully bounced Zannetti from the championship bracket and in doing so Huntley will wrestle second-seeded Nate Brown of Lehigh in Sunday's championship.
Brown narrowly defeated Huntley, 4-3, on Jan. 14 in a dual meet in Bethlehem. While both Huntley and Brown will receive automatic bids to wrestle in the NCAA Championship, it will be Huntley's first appearance.
Navy will have four wrestlers competing in the consolation bracket on Sunday, fighting for the opportunity to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Among those four is senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.), who pinned Sacred Heart's Joe Harris in the opening bout before suffering a fall to second-seeded Garrett Frey of Princeton in the quarters. Sackett fought back to win two in a row and will battle fifth-seeded Austin Miller of Bucknell on Sunday. Sackett must place third in order to receive and automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.
Junior 165-pound Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) is seeded eighth in the tournament and was unlucky in his draw, facing top-seeded Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh in the quarterfinals. Hatchett dealt Bailey an 8-1 loss, sending him to the consolation bracket. Bailey bounced back with a 16-0 tech fall over Sam Sheppard of Sacred Heart, followed by an 8-5 victory over Penn's Lorenzo Thomas. Meeting for the third time this month, Bailey will square off against Army's Cole Gracey. Gracey has won both matches against Bailey, a 4-0 decision in the championship bout of the All-Academy Championship and by fall in the dual meet just two weeks ago. Just four wrestlers will receive automatic bids in this weight class, however, if Bailey would beat Gracey he will join Kalil and Huntley at the NCAA Championship.
Sitting in the same position as Bailey is two-time NCAA qualifier Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.), who is ranked 14th at 184 pounds. Rebertus began the day with a milestone victory, earning his 100th-collegiate win by way of a fall over Bucknell's Jamie Westwood. He needed sudden victory in his quarterfinals match against sixth-seeded Cameron Croy of Harvard, who he defeated, 7-5, before coming up just a point short of upsetting second-seeded Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, 2-1.
Rebertus, who boasts a 101-34 career record, will face Penn's Erich Smith on Sunday. The top four placewinners in this weight class will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Finally, heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) will face fourth-seeded Maciej Jochym on Sunday in the consolation semifinals. Seeded sixth, Miller dropped his first match of the day to third-seeded Steven Graziano of Penn, 3-2, but has dominated the competition in the consolation bracket. He pinned Sacred Heart's Renaldo Cuko in just over a minute and earned a 16-0 tech fall over Rutgers' Daniel Hopkins, who is seeded seventh. Miller must finish third to receive an automatic bid to the dance.
Those wrestlers who bowed out of the tournament include 141-pound senior Dustin Hasilip (Inwood, W.Va.), 149-pound freshman Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.), 157-pound junior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) and 197-pound sophomore Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.).
The 108th EIWA Championships will continue on Sunday beginning at 10:00 am with the consolation semifinals. Consolation finals are slated to begin at 11:00 am, while the championship matches are on tap for 3:00 pm.
125 - 3, TBD
133 - 5, Aaron Kalil
141 - 6
149 - 6
157 - 6
165 - 4, TBD
174 - 4, Oscar Huntley
184 - 4, TBD
197 - 5
285 - 3, TBD
125 Tyler Sackett (7 seed)
1R -- won by fall, Joe Harris, Sacred Heart, 3:49
QF -- lost by fall, (2) Garrett Frey, Princeton, 1:29
C2R -- won by fall, Robert Dyar, Columbia, 2:37
CQF -- won by major dec., Alexander Abreu, Lehigh, 8-0
CSF -- (5) Austin Miller, Bucknell
133 Aaron Kalil (4 seed)
1R -- won by fall, Christian Martino, Brown, 3:26
QF -- won by major dec., (5) Mike Demarco, Rutgers, 11-1
SF -- won by dec, (1) Steven Keith, Harvard, 3-1
CH -- (2) Bryan Ortenzio, Penn
141 Dustin Haislip (unseeded)
1R -- lost by major dec., (6) William Ashnault, Rutgers, 12-4
C1R -- lost by dec., Zachary Tanenbaum, Brown, 3-1 sv
149 Peyton Walsh (unseeded
1R -- lost by dec., (4) Steve Santos, Columbia, 9-2
C1R -- won by dec., Richard Bailey, Brown, 8-2
C2R -- lost by major dec., (3) Christopher Villalonga, Cornell, 13-1
157 Bobby Barnhisel (5 seed)
1R -- won by tech fall, Joseph Evangelista, Sacred Heart, 19-2
QF -- lost by major dec., (4) Daniel Kolodzik, Princeton, 11-3
C2R -- lost by dec., Brian Tanen, Lehigh, 9-7
165 Mason Bailey (8 seed)
1R -- bye
QF -- lost by dec., (1) Brandon Hatchett, Lehigh, 8-1
C2R -- won by tech fall, Sam Sheppard, Sacred Heart, 16-0
CQF -- won by dec., (4) Lorenzo Thomas, Penn, 8-5
CSF -- (6) Coleman Gracey, Army
174 Oscar Huntley (4 seed)
1R -- bye
QF -- won by dec., (5) William George, Cornell, 6-4 sv
SF -- won by dec., (1) Greg Zannetti, Rutgers, 3-1 sv
CH -- Dave Foxen (unseeded), Brown
184 Luke Rebertus (3 seed)
1R -- won by fall, Jamie Westwood, Bucknell, 4:22
QF -- won by dec., (6) Cameron Croy, Harvard, 7-5 sv
SF -- lost by dec., (2) Robert Hamlin, Lehigh, 2-1
CSF -- Erich Smith, Penn
197 Paul Rands (unseeded)
1R -- lost by major dec., (4) Daniel Mitchell, American, 10-2
C1R -- won by major dec., Nicholas Mills, Columbia, 9-1
C2R -- lost by dec., (6) James Fox, Harvard, 7-2
HWT Dan Miller (6 seed)
1R -- bye
QF -- lost by dec., (3) Steven Graziano, Penn, 3-2
C2R -- won by fall, Renaldo Cuko, Sacred Heart, 1:17
CQF -- won by tech fall, (7) Daniel Hopkins, 16-0
CSF -- (4) Maciej Jochym, Cornell
1R - First Round; 2R - Second Round QF - Quarterfinals; SF - Semifinals; CH - Championship; C1R - Consolation First Round; C2R - Consolation Second Round; CQF - Consolation Quarterfinals; CSF - Consolation Semifinals
### Go Navy ###