Six Mids Place at 108th EIWA Championship, Two Qualify for NCAA Championship
March 4, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. — Anchored by the efforts of 2012 NCAA qualifiers Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.), along with four additional placewinners, the Navy wrestling team finished fifth out of 14 teams at the 108th EIWA Championship held at Jadwin Gym on the campus of Princeton University this weekend. Both Kalil and Huntley qualified in their respective weight classes following Saturday’s action, as Kalil (133 pounds) will be making his third appearance at the championship and Huntley (174 pounds) will make his debut.
In one of the most exciting team finishes in recent memory, the team title went down to the final match of the tournament, a heavyweight bout between top-seeded Ryan Flores of American and second-seeded Zachery Rey of Lehigh. Flores pulled out the match with a takedown in sudden victory, giving Cornell a slim 2.5-point team victory over Lehigh.
Cornell held a 17.5-point advantage over Lehigh going into Sunday’s competition, but a flagrant misconduct call against fifth-seeded William George in the consolation semifinals eliminated not only George from the competition, but the points he had accrued over the course of the tournament which closed the gap between the Big Red and the Mountain Hawks.
Cornell and Lehigh both took three individual crowns, while American won two and Penn and Brown accounted for the remaining two titles. Cornell amassed 151.5 points to win its sixth-straight team title, while Lehigh placed second with 149 pounds. American fell in at third with 103 points, followed by Penn in fourth with 94.5 points and Navy in fifth with 85 points. The remaining field placement was as follows: Columbia (78.5), Rutgers (74.5), Harvard (59), Army (57.5), Borwn (48), Princeton (44), Franklin & Marshall (29), Bucknell (28.5) and Sacred Heart (6).
“Overall we performed well this weekend,” said 12th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “We had five guys who equalled or surpassed their seed and only two who did not live up to where they were picked to finish. “I’m thrilled for Aaron and Oscar who have earned the opportunity to become All-Americans. That’s what we’ve been working for throughout the season, is that opportunity to send our guys to the NCAA Championship and hopefully become All-Americans.
“Both Aaron and Oscar came into the weekend as the fourth seed in their weight class and made it to the finals,” added Burnett. “They both had their chance at winning, but came up just short. We’ll get back in the room this next week and do everything we can to get them prepared for the national championship.”
Kalil dropped a 2-1 decision to second-seeded Bryan Ortenzio of Penn in a match that featured little sparring. Ortenzio scored the first point of the match with an escape to start the second period. Despite Ortenzio grasping on to Kalil’s legs, Kalil was finally able to break free following a warning on Ortenzio by the officials. At that point Orenzio had built up roughly 1:07 in riding time and went right back to the same hold he had been warned about earlier in the match. Kalil took one last shot at the end of the match and nearly had the takedown, but time would run short and Ortenzio claimed the match by way of riding time.
Like Kalil, Huntley would also fall short in his quest for a championship, suffering a 3-2 setback at the hands of Dave Foxen from Brown. Each wrestler scored an escape, but it was Foxen’s takedown midway through the third period that would be the difference maker. Huntley was able to get free to narrow the gap to just one point, but was unable to get a quality shot off. Foxen is the first unseeded wrestler to win an EIWA Championship since Navy’s Gerald Franzen in 1963. Foxen defeated the No. 2, 3, 4 and 6 seeds en route to claiming the title.
“Oscar wrestled a terrific match, but he made one mistake late in the match that Foxen was able to take advantage of,” said Burnett. “Sometimes that’s all it takes is one slip. I was pleased, however, with how he wrestled throughout the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Navy had four other wrestlers who were vying for NCAA automatic qualifiers, but all came up short. Senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.), the seventh seed, was first on the mat for the Mids on Sunday. He needed to win his first match of the day to put himself in the top four where he would have received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Sackett, however, was dealt a 12-6 loss by Bucknell’s Austin Miller, the fifth seed in the tournament.
Sackett bounced back and upset fourth-seeded Thomas Williams of American, 7-5, to place fifth.
Junior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) entered the weekend seeded eighth at 165 pounds and finished sixth. He opened the day facing Army’s Cole Gracey for the third time in less than a month. And for the third time, Gracey got the best of Bailey, this time by a 1-0 count in the consolation semifinals. Bailey was bounced to the fifth-place bout where he dropped a 6-2 decision to fifth-seeded Corey Lear of Bucknell.
One of the biggest surprises of the weekend for the Midshipmen was senior Luke Rebertus’ (Gloucester, Va.) fifth-place finish at 184 pounds. Seeded third, Rebertus was sent to the consolation round after a tough 2-1 loss to eventual EIWA Champion Robert Hamlin of Lehigh in the semis. That set up a consolation semis matchup with unseeded Erich Smith of Penn who managed to slip past Rebertus, 5-4. As in Sackett’s case, had Rebertus won his first match on Sunday, he would have received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Instead, Rebertus will be one of the many nationwide who will await his fate this week, hoping for one of the 40 NCAA at-large berths. Rebertus did close out the EIWA Championship on a positive note, dealing Harvard’s Cameron Croy a 3-2 loss, his second loss of the weekend at the hands of Rebertus who beat him 7-5 (sv) in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) flat out ran out of time in his quest for a championship bid of Sunday. Miller, the sixth seed, opened the day with a 9-3 victory over fourth-seeded Maciej Jochym of Cornell, but dropped a 6-4 decision to fifth-seeded Kevin Lester of Columbia in the third-place bout. Miller was in good position at the end of the match, tiring Lester out. Lester had a 5-2 lead in the third when Miller was able to take him down. Because of his one-point deficit, Miller had to cut Lester loose. Although he had Lester on the ropes, time ran out and Miller finished fourth with the top three earning NCAA bids.
“Danny wrestled a solid match,” said Burnett. “Honestly, he just ran out of time. I think had he maybe had 10 more seconds he could have gotten Lester on the mat.”
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on Wednesday. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.
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 — lost by dec., (5) Austin Miller, Bucknell, 12-6
5th/6th — won by dec., (4) Thomas Williams, American, 7-5
133 Aaron Kalil (4 seed) — NCAA Automatic Qualifier
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 — lost by dec., (2) Bryan Ortenzio, Penn, 2-1
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 — lost by dec., (6) Coleman Gracey, Army, 1-0
5th/6th — lost by dec., (5) Corey Lear, Bucknell, 6-2
174 Oscar Huntley (4 seed) — NCAA Automatic Qualifier
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 — lost by dec., Dave Foxen (unseeded), Brown, 3-2
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 — lost by dec., Erich Smith, Penn, 5-4
5th/6th — won by dec., (6) Cameron Croy, Harvard, 3-2
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 — won by dec., (4) Maciej Jochym, Cornell, 9-3
3rd/4th — lost by dec., (5) Kevin Lester, Columbia, 6-4
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 ###