Mids Take Second at 36th Annual Navy Classic
Nov. 23, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- With 10 wrestlers placing including a pair in the finals, the Navy wrestling team placed second at the 36th annual Navy Classic held Saturday at the Wesley Brown Field House in Annapolis. Twenty-fourth ranked Wisconsin claimed the team title with 164.0 points and five wrestlers in the championship bout, including three title winners.
The Badgers are the 11th different team to win the Navy Classic title and the third different winner in the last three seasons. Wisconsin won the tournament with 57.5-point advantage over the Mids, who mustered 106.5 points. Navy nipped Princeton (101.5) by five points, while Kent State (95.5) and Chattanooga (93.0) rounded out the top five.
Wisconsin led the way with three tournament winners, while Ohio had two and Kent State, Chattanooga, Brown, the Citadel and Franklin & Marshall each had one individual winner.
Not only did this year's 14-team Navy Classic feature the most teams in tournament history, it also boasted four teams either ranked (#24 Wisconsin) or receiving votes (Ohio, Kent State, Navy) in the latest USA Today/NWCA/Amateur Wrestling News Coaches Poll. The competitive field prevented Navy from crowning an individual champion in the tournament for the first time since 2003, but the Mids managed to place the second most wrestlers among the field (10, however only seven counted toward the team score).
"Every year for probably the last eight years the Navy Classic has gotten tougher," said Navy interim head coach Brian Antonelli. "I was really pleased that we were able to bring in Wisconsin, Chattanooga, Brown and Princeton this year in what has become a solid tournament for us. It's at a great competitive level for what we need at this time of the year. We are hoping the tournament continues to become more challenging because at the end of the day it only makes us a better team.
"As a team, I really felt we fought hard," added Antonelli, who was unable to wrestle nationally-ranked wrestlers Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) because of injury. "I was disappointed that we weren't able to crown an individual champion today, but there were roughly a dozen nationally-ranked wrestlers in the field. It was a complete group effort and I'm proud of the way the team competed."
Navy sent two wrestlers into the finals, but neither would walk away the champion. Senior 149-pound Alex Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) wrestled perhaps the best tournament of his career as he pinned three wrestlers and scored a major decision en route to his finals appearance against Ohio's Tywan Claxton. Johnson game Claxton, the nation's 19th-ranked wrestler, all he wanted as Claxton just edged the Navy veteran, 3-1.
Meanwhile sixth-ranked Corey Mock of Chattanooga needed riding time to get past Navy returning NCAA qualifier Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) at 165 pounds. Walsh took the early 2-0 lead, but Mock knotted the match late and was able to build up better than two minutes of riding time to get the deciding point in a 3-2 victory.
Two wrestlers who returned made their season debut, Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) and Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.), turned in solid finishes for the Midshipmen. Burg, a sophomore 157-pounder, scored a third-place finish after dropping a 14-5 decision to Kent State's Ian Miller, ranked 13th nationally, 14-5. Burg came back to defeat Brown's Justin Staudenmayer, 3-0, before taking third after Chattanooga's Alex Hudson withdrew because of an elbow injury.
"It was great to have Bobby and Paul back out on the mat," said Antonelli. "Bobby did a nice job of battling back after a tough los in the semis."
Ranks, meanwhile, wrestled the 2012-13 season unattached and was sidelined with and injury the first two weeks of competition this season. He managed a fourth-place finish after coming up short in his semifinals bout to Princeton's Abram Ayala, 11-8. Rands picked up a 12-5 win over Marshall Haas of The Citadel but was pinned by Wisconsin's Timothy McCall in the third-place match.
"It was great to see Paul out there competing," added Antonelli. "He made a few mential mistakes, but he's not missing anything from the physical side of the competition."
Placing fifth for the Mids were senior 141-pound Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.), team captain and 184-pound James Mannier (Troy, Ohio) and heavyweight Colynn Cook (Murrysville, Pa.), a junior, while senior 157-pound Zach Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) and sophomore 165-pound John Keck (Wading River, N.Y.) placed sixth. Meanwhile, senior 149-pound Ben Hunter (Harrisonville, Mo.) had a strong performance in what was his first appearance of the year. Hunter was pinned in his opener by Chattanooga's Shawn Greevy, but fought his was back through the consolations. He won five consecutive matches, including a 3-2 decision over Bucknell's Alex Pellicciotti in the consolation semis to face Kent State's Michael Depalma in the third-place bout. Depalma outlasted the Navy senior in a 5-2 decision.
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 Dec. 6-7.
Navy Classic Team Scores
1. 164.0 - Wisconsin
2. 106.5 - Navy
3. 101.5 - Princeton
4. 95.5 - Kent State
5. 93.0 - Chattanooga
6. 83.0 - Ohio
7. 72.5 - Brown
8. 69.0 - Bucknell
9. 61.5 - West Virginia
10. 59.5 - The Citadel
11. 35.0 - Cleveland State
12. 33.5 - Franklin & Marshall
13. 3.5 - George Mason
14. 2.0 - American
125 - Ryan Taylor (Wisconsin) dec Garrett Frey (Princeton), 9-4
133 - #2 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) major dec Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia), 16-4
141 - #6 Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall) injury def. Richard Krop (Princeton)
149 - #19 Tywan Claxton (Ohio) dec Alex Johnson (Navy), 3-1
157 - #13 Ian Miller (Kent State) dec #7 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin), 10-7
165 - #6 Corey Mock (Chattanooga) dec Peyton Walsh (Navy), 3-2
174 - #11 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) dec Bubba Scheffel (West Virginia), 5-2
184 - Ophir Bernstein (Brown) dec #12 Jackson Hein (Wisconsin), 3-2
197 - #15 Phillip Wellington (Ohio) dec Abram Ayala (Princeton), 9-2
285 - #6 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) dec #10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), 8-2
125 - Joaquin Marquez (The Citadel) dec Dan King (Cleveland State), 7-0
133 - Mackenzie McGuire (Kent State) major dec Anthony Finocchiaro (Brown), 12-0
141 - Tyler Small (Kent State) dec #16 Jesse Thielke (Wisconsin), 7-6
149 - Michael Depalma (Kent State) dec Ben Hunter (Navy), 5-2
157 - Bobby Burg (Navy) med forfeit Alex Hudson (Chattanooga)
165 - Harrison Hightower (Ohio) dec Frank Cousins Jr. (Wisconsin), 5-2
174 - Scott Liegel (Wisconsin) major dec Levi Clemons (Chattanooga), 8-0
184 - #17 Sam Wheeler (Kent State) major dec John Lampe (Chattanooga), 14-4
197 - Timothy McCall (Wisconin) fall Paul Rands (Navy), 3:22
285 - #13 Joe Stolfi (Bucknell) fall Kevin Malone (Chattanooga), 3:32
### Go Navy ###