March 16, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Two Navy wrestlers remain active at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championship, including team captain Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) who captured his 100th career victory in his opening bout of the tournament at 133 pounds. Additionally, junior 174-pound Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) is making his way through the consolation bracket after dropping his first-round match to last year’s national runner-up
Thursday’s morning session began on a positive note with Kalil scoring a 6-3 victory over West Virginia’s Nathan Pennesi, who came into the championship with a 29-8 record. Kalil took the early lead on a takedown and rode Pennesi for 1:40 before he cut into the lead with an escape before the end of the period. Pennesi, however, tied up the match at two apiece with an escape 26 seconds into the second period. Kalil scored the go-ahead point on an escape to open the final stanza and capped it off with a takedown with under a minute to go. Pennesi was able to get free with 14 seconds left, but Kalil built up over three minutes of riding time to take match, 6-3.
The victory not only advanced Kalil in the championship bracket, it also marked his 100th-collegiate victory as he became just the 11th wrestler in school history to achieve the 100-win milestone. Additionally, alongside classmate Luke Rebertus, the Navy tandem is just the second twosome in program history to reach 100 wins in the same season, joining 2008 graduates Matt Stolpinski and Ed Prendergast.
In his second-round match, Kalil came up just short in his match against third-seeded Tony Ramos of Iowa, who has suffered just three losses this season. After a scoreless opening period, Kalil put the first point on the board with an escape at the 1:37 mark. Forty seconds later, Ramos took Kalil to the mat for what would be the winning move. Ramos selected the neutral position for the third period, but Kalil was unable to make a shot stick, as Ramos scored a 3-1 decision with riding time.
Kalil, who is now 1-5 all-time at the NCAA Championship, will face Cornell’s Nick Arujau, Cornell, who placed fifth at the EIWA Championship two weeks ago. It will be the first meeting between the two competitors this season.
Meanwhile, Huntley was one of three Navy wrestlers to fall short in his opening-round bout. Third-seeded Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford, last year’s national runner-up, took a quick 2-0 lead in the match and at the 2:01 mark pinned Huntley.
Huntley regrouped for his evening match against NC State’s Quinton Godley and put forth a strong effort. Although Huntley would never trail in the match, it was close throughout. He was credited with a takedown with 34 seconds left in the first period, but just seconds later Godley was free. Huntley stretched his lead back to two with an escape almost immediately in the second period, taking a 3-1 advantage into the final stanza. Godley cut the lead to one once again with an escape just five seconds into the period. Huntley picked up a takedown with 1:34 and Godley again fought free just 12 seconds later. The remaining 1:22 kept the official on his toes, dinging Huntley with a stall warning while also cautioning Godley. Huntley went on to win the match, 5-3, and will battle eighth-seeded Leroy Munster of Northwestern on Friday.
Junior 157-pound Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) was eliminated from the tournament following back-to-back losses. Eighth-seeded Frank Hickman of Bloomsburg pinned Barnhisel at 2:41 in the opening bout, but Barnhisel battled back in his consolation matchup against Eastern Michigan’s Aaron Sulzer. Down 2-1 going into the second, Barnhisel evened the match with an escape with 54 seconds remaining. Barnhisel would learn his lesson the hard way in wrestling to the whistle, as he gave up a takedown with 13 seconds left in the second period, along with a three-point nearfall. Sulzer owned a 7-2 advantage going into the final period and did little the rest of the way as Barnhisel bowed out following an 8-3 loss.
Three-time NCAA qualifier Luke Rebertus’ (Gloucester, Va.), who came into the tournament with a 4-4 all-time record, was bounced from the championship after just two matches. The senior 184-pounder was nearly pinned in the first minute of his opening-round match against Illinois freshman Tony Dallago, giving up a takedown and a four-point nearfall less than a minute into the match. Finding himself in a 6-0 deficit, Rebertus was unable to dig himself out of the hole, dropping a 10-4 decision to Dallago.
Rebertus fell short in the consolation bracket, dropping a 6-5 decision to Kent State’s Casey Newburg. Rebertus defeated Newburg in a dual match in mid-November, 5-3.
Rebertus closes out his career 10th on Navy’s all-times wins list with a 102-37 record.
Defending National Champion Penn State (38.5) holds a 5.5 advantage over Minnesota (33.0) heading into the second day of competition. Rounding out the top five are Oklahoma State (28.5), Cornell (27.5) and Iowa (26.0). Navy is in a four-way tie for 49th with 3.0 points.
While Cornell is leading the way for teams out of the EIWA, Lehigh (18.0) is tied for ninth, followed by American (15.0) in 13th, Army (7.0) and Penn (7.0) in 32nd, Princeton (6.0) in 40th, Rutgers (5.0) in 41st, Columbia (4.0) in 46th and Bucknell (3.0) and Navy in 49th.
NCAA Tournament action resumes Friday at 10:00 am (central) with the championship quarterfinals, as well as the second and third rounds of the wrestlebacks.
NAVY WRESTLERS AT THE 82nd NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP
133 — Aaron Kalil, Navy dec Nathan Pennesi, West Virginia, 6-3
157 — (8) Frank Hickman, Bloomsburg pinned Bobby Barnhisel, Navy, 2:41
174 — (3) Nick Amuchastegui, Stanford pinned Oscar Huntley, Navy, 2:01
184 — Tony Dallago, Illinois dec Luke Rebertus, Navy, 10-4
133 — (3) Tony Ramos, Iowa dec Aaron Kalil, Navy, 3-1
First-Round Consolation Matches
157 — Aaron Sulzer, Eastern Michigan dec Bobby Barnhisel, Navy, 8-3
174 — Oscar Huntley, Navy dec Quinton Godley, NC State, 5-3
184 — Casey Newburg, Kent State dec Luke Rebertus, Navy, 6-5
Second-Round Consolation Matches
133 — Aaron Kalil, Navy vs. N Arujau, Cornell
174 — Oscar Huntley, Navy vs. (8) Leroy Munster, Northwestern
133 — Aaron Kalil; 32-10 Season, 100-51 Career
157 — Bobby Barnhisel; 17-12 Season, 35-21 Career
174 — Oscar Huntley; 22-11 Season, 54-30 Career
184 — Luke Rebertus; 29-13 Season, 102-37 Career
### Go Navy ###