Four Mids Take Crowns at Season-Opening Eastern Michigan Open
174-pound Mathew Miller is Navy's first freshman to win a title at the Eastern Michigan Open.
Nov. 3, 2012
YPSILANTI, Mich. — The Navy wrestling team made a statement Saturday evening by winning four of the 10 weight classes at the season-opening Eastern Michigan Open. Navy, who has never had four individual winners since wrestling at the Eastern Michigan Open in 2004, had seven additional Midshipmen among the top eight placewinners.
After placing fourth at last year’s Eastern Michigan Open, senior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) walked away the champion at 157 pounds on Saturday. He had byes in the first two rounds, but went on to take three straight matches including an 8-3 decision over Cleveland State’s Matt Donohoe in the championship.
Winning the first individual title of his career was sophomore 165-pound Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.), who won four matches, including his final two by two points apiece. Walsh edged out Central Michigan’s Dakota Cooley, 6-4, in the semis to set up a championship bout against Michigan State’s Bobby Nash. Walsh was once again able to outlast his foe, dealing Nash a 4-2 loss.
Also winning his first collegiate title on Saturday evening was freshman 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Va.). Miller, who is the first Navy Plebe to win an individual crown at the Eastern Michigan Open, had to win more matches than any other Navy wrestler along his road to the title. Miller recorded a 5-0 record which featured three bonus-point victories. He opened his career with a 17-0 tech fall over Michigan’s Benjamin Ralston and pinned Purdue’s Andy Wiseman in the following match. Just a week after pinning teammate Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) in the annual Blue-Gold Challenge Match, the Navy pair met again with Miller once again getting the best of the 2012 NCAA qualifier, defeating Huntley, 12-5. Miller earned a 10-4 decision over Northern Illinois’ Matt Mougin in the semis before pinning (4:18) Purdue Chad Welch in the finals.
Navy sophomore Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) entered the Open as an unattached wrestler, but walked away taking the crown at 197 pounds. Rands won two of his four bouts by way of major decisions before scoring a 10-4 victory over Michigan State’s Nick McDiarmid to claim the championship.
Taking third place at heavyweight was senior Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.), who dropped a 4-3 decision to Michigan State’s Mike McClure, ranked 16th, in the semifinals. Miller bounced back to win his third-place bound, 4-1, over Jared Torrence of Northern Illinois.
Placing fourth at 149 pounds was senior Zach Basich (Wheeling, W.Va.) who wrestled perhaps the best tournament of his career. Basich fought his way to the semifinals where he lost to eventual champion Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue by a narrow 4-3 count. Ranked 16th, Lopouchanski was the defending EMU champion. Basich went on to drop his third-place bout against Michigan State’s Dan Osterman, 5-3.
Seniors Oscar Huntley and Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) put together fifth place showings at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively. Huntley, who registered a 4-1 record on the day, dropped to the consolation bracket following his loss to his teammate. He won his next three matches, including a 7-1 decision over Northern Illinois’ Caleb Busson to take fifth.
Bailey, meanwhile, was solid in his first appearance at 184 pounds after wrestling all of last year at 165 pounds. After dropping his opening bout of the tournament, Bailey fought his way back to win four in a row including an 8-5 victory over Shane Rosenberry of Northern Illinois to claim fifth.
While the tournament does not wrestle the 7th/8th-place match, sophomore 125-pound Pat Prada (Laurel, Md.), junior 141-pound Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) and freshman 157-pound Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) finished the tournament in that bracket. The only weight class in which Navy did not place was at 133 pounds.
Navy returns to action next Saturday when it travels to the West Coast to take part in the Roadrunner Open at Fresno, Calif.
### Go Navy ###