Mids Place Second at Navy Classic, Three Win Individual Titles
Nov. 17, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- With six Midshipmen in the finals and three taking individual titles, the Navy wrestling team placed second at the 35th annual Navy Classic held Saturday at the Wesley Brown Field House in Annapolis. Kent State topped the nine-team field with 115.5 points with six wrestlers in the finals, including four individual champions, while Navy was a close second with 109.5 points.
"We had some good performances and some not up to par performances, but overall I think we are making some good progress," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. "At the end of the day, we were in the hunt to win the tournament in what I think was one of the more competitive Navy Classics we've had in recent memory.
While Navy had four previous Navy Classic winners in the lineup, none were able to repeat. Instead, three different Navy wrestlers were introduced to the Navy Classic winners club with sophomore Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) (133), senior Zach Basich (Wheeling, W.Va.) (149) and senior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) (157) taking individual crowns for the first time.
Rasche came into the weekend with a 5-4 record and did not place in either the Eastern Michigan Open or the Roadrunner Open. But Saturday the second-year standout came to wrestle and won four matches en route to claiming his first collegiate tournament crown. He won his first three matches easily by decision before taking an 8-5 win over third-seeded Paul Petrov of Bucknell in the championship.
Winning the first varsity title of his career, Basich won back-to-back one-point matches to take the championship at 149 pounds. Basich opened up with mirroring 6-2 wins in his first two bouts, but needed a 4-3 victory over second-seeded Jordan Dix of The Citadel to punch his ticket into the finals. Basich once again edged his foe, top-seeded Nick Carr of Kent State, 4-3, to earn his first Navy Classic title.
Winning his third title in as many weeks, Barnhisel has been nothing short of sensational this season. The senior 157-pounder owns a flawless 13-0 record and has won individual crowns at the Eastern Michigan Open, the Roadrunner Open and now the Navy Classic. Barnhisel eased his way into the finals with a 10-0 win over George Mason's Jaaziah Bethea in the opening round, followed by a win by fall over Cleveland State's Mike Monson, a 17-0 tech fall over Rob King of Franklin & Marshall and a 6-0 victory over teammate Johnny Watson in the semis. Barnhisel took down Cleveland State's Matt Donohoe, 8-2, to take his third individual title of the 2012-13 campaign.
"Bobby is making fewer mistakes, is wrestling smarter and is wrestling hard to score points this season," said Burnett. "He made some mistakes in his matches today, but he was able to correct them during the match. He has always been an aggressive wrestler, but he has been in better control, more tactful this season and I think it's paying off for him."
Another wrestler who has been wrestling at a higher level this season is junior Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.), who came up just short of winning his third Navy Classic title in three years. Locksmith dealt Lukas Kern of Kent State a 13-1 major decision before earning his way into the finals after scoring a 3-1 decision over Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso. Locksmith fell short in the finals to ninth-ranked Undrakhbayar Khishignyam of The Citadel, 11-4, but looked strong throughout the event.
"I think Joe is finally coming into his own," said Burnett. "He's starting to understand what his technical and physical gifts are and taking advantage of them. I have a lot of confidence in Joe and he continues to get better and better each match."
Also coming up just one match short of winning a title was senior 165-pound Jake Schalles (Orlando, Fla.), who dropped a 9-5 decision to Kent State's Caleb Marsh in the finals. Schalles, though, came up with a huge win in the semifinals, knocking off top-seeded and 17th-ranked Corey Lear of Bucknell, pinning him in 2:30.
Senior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) won the 165-pound title at the Navy Classic a year ago and had high hopes of taking the 184-pound title in his final season. Bailey, however, had to settle for a second-place finish as 13th-ranked Casey Newburg held off Bailey in the championship bout, 5-3. Bailey looked strong along the way, taking a 9-1 major decision over Bucknell's Robert Marchese and a 15-0 tech fall against Corey Smith of George Mason. Bailey is now 11-3 on the year.
Navy had three wrestlers take third-place finishes, including sophomore Patrick Prada (Laurel, Md.) at 125 pounds. Prada, the second seed, dropped a surprising 9-3 decision to Kent State's Alfredo Gray in his opening match, but came back to win four in a row, including a 10-4 decision over Cleveland State's Ben Willeford, to place third.
Senior captain Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) won his first two matches at 174 pounds, but was bounced to the consolation bracket by Kent State's Sam Wheeler in the quarterfinals with a 9-4 loss. Huntley, however, came back with a 14-1 major decision over Franklin & Marshall's Adam Schroeder and pinned teammate William Miller (Chinook, Mont.) in 1:56 to place third. Miller, meanwhile, gained fan support in his consolation semifinals match against Ohio's Michael Duckworth fighting back from a deficit to win his match in sudden victory, 16-14.
Noticeably absent from the 174-pound bracket was Navy freshman sensation Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) who is undefeated at 9-0 and has won a pair of tournament crowns. Miller was unable to compete after fighting the flu.
Senior heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) battled in one of the more competitive weight classes of the tournament. After winning his first two matches, he was dealt a 6-1 loss by Ohio's Jeremy Johnson, who is ranked ninth nationally, in the semis. Miller came back to pin The Citadel's Gerald Johnson in under two minutes and edged Riley Shaw of Cleveland State, 4-3, to claim third.
Meanwhile, junior Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) scored an 11-2 major decision over classmate Zach Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) at 149 pounds to take third place at 149 pounds.
Sophomore/junior Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.), who is wrestling unattached this season, placed second at 197 pounds, falling by pin to No. 1-ranked Dustin Kilgore of Kent State in the championship.
The Midshipmen return to action in two weeks when they make the trek out West to take part in the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Navy Classic Team Scores
1. 115.5 - Kent State
2. 109.5 - Navy
3. 69.5 - The Citadel
4. 64.5 - Ohio
5. 52.5 - Cleveland State
6. 45.5 - Bucknell
7. 38.5 - George Mason
8. 31.0 - Franklin & Marshall
9. 14.5 - West Virginia
125 - Steve Mitcheff, Kent State 6-5 Alfredo Gray, Kent State
133 - Colton Rasche, Navy 8-5 Paul Petrov, Bucknell
141 - #14 Undrakhbayer Khishignyam, The Citadel 11-4 Joe Locksmith, Navy
149 - Zach Basich, Navy 4-3 Nicholas Carr, Kent State
157 - #16 Bobby Barnhisel, Navy 6-2 Matt Donohoe, Cleveland State
165 - Caleb Marsh, Kent State 9-5 Jacob Schalles, Navy
174 - Cody Walters Ohio U 7-4 Sam Wheeler, Kent State
184 - #13 Casey Newburg, Kent State 5-3 Mason Bailey, Navy
197 - #1 Dustin Kilgore, Kent State F2:44 Paul Rands Navy (Unat)
285 - #11 Odie Delaney, The Citadel 7-6 #9 Jeremy Johnson, Ohio U
125 - Patrick Prada, Navy 10-4 Ben Willeford, Cleveland State
133 - Mike Carlone, Cleveland State 11-5 Aaron Hansen, The Citadel
141 - Richard Durso, Franklin & Marshall 5-2 Andy Candiello, Kent State
149 - Raymond Borja, Navy 11-2 Zach Jonson, Navy
157 - Matthew Frisch, The Citadel 5-1 Mallie Shuster, Kent State
165 - #17 Corey Lear, Bucknell 13-1 Harrison Hightower, Ohio U
174 - Oscar Huntley, Navy F1:56 William Miller, Navy
184 - Ryan Garringer, Ohio U 12-4 James Mannier, Navy
197 - Tyler Lyster, Bucknell 7-2 Phillip Wellington, Ohio U
285 - Dan Miller, Navy 4-3 Riley Shaw, Cleveland State
### Go Navy ###