Mids To Defend All-Academy Championship Title
Jan. 31, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team (3-1, 1-1 EIWA) will step away from dual competition this weekend as it battles seven competing military institutions in hopes of capturing its 13th overall All-Academy Championship crown and sixth straight when the Mids travel to New London, Conn. this Saturday. The Coast Guard Academy will play host to the 20th annual event which will be held at Merriman Gym in Roland Hall beginning at 10:00 am.
Navy has been the dominant team in the 19-year history of the tournament, winning 12 of the 19 championships including nine of the last 10. The Mids have won 75 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 49 of the 100 titles over the last 10 years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, `10, `11, `12 and `13, while they claimed five or more individual titles in 1997, `99, `04, `05, `07, `08, `10, `11 and `13.
Last year, Navy won seven of the 10 individual titles en route to winning its 12th overall All-Academy Championship, the most crowns won by any of the competing teams. While all 10 of the Mids' wrestlers placed among the top 10, the seven titles are the most won by Navy in the history of the All-Academy Championship.
The Mids topped the field with 128.5 points, while Air Force placed second with 92.5 points. The Falcons crowned one champion, while four wrestlers placed second and four finished fourth. The Citadel finished third with 72.0 points an put two on the winner's podium, while Army, who was without five starters, placed fourth with 71.0 points and was without a champion.
Among Navy's 10 placewinners from a year ago five return to the mat, including four who won individual titles. Sophomore 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. It took just under two minutes for Miller to join an elite group of Midshipmen wrestlers who have won All-Academy titles as freshmen. Miller, currently ranked 15th in the country, pinned third-seeded Daniel Barringer of Air Force in 1:45 to become just the eighth freshman in school history to win an All-Academy crown as a rookie, joining Travis Campbell (1995), John Cox (2004), Matt Stolpinski (2005), Joe Baker (2006), Bryce Saddoris (2008), Luke Rebertus (2009) and Andrew Buck (2010).
In addition to Miller, 133-pound Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) and 149-pound Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) also took titles in their debut at the All-Academy Championship a year ago. Rasche, a junior who will defend his title with a 17-9 record this season, was Navy's first title-winner of the tournament a year ago, picking up a 6-2 victory over top-seeded Jordan Thome of Army, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Borja picked up his first All-Academy title by way of a medical forfeit from third-ranked and top-seeded Cole VonOhlen of Air Force. VonOhlen received a first-round bye before pinning fourth-seeded John Belanger of Army in just over a minute-and-a-half. Borja opened the tournament by pinning VMI's Zeb Stewart in 4:14 and earned his way into the finals by way of a 9-3 victory over The Citadel's Jordan Dix. Borja will look to use the momentum of last week's major decision which propelled the Mids to a 19-18 win over North Carolina to provide him with a second All-Academy crown.
After placing third as a freshman at 149 pounds, Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) claimed his first All-Academy crown by pinning top-seeded 165-pound Paul Hancock of Army at 1:36. Walsh was phenomenal all day, scoring a 13-1 major decision over Coast Guard's Mike Shermot in his first match of the day, followed by an 11-0 rout over Vinnie Bellaran of The Citadel in the semis. Walsh, a junior, enters the weekend with a team-best 21-9 record.
Making their All-Academy debut this weekend for the Mids will be freshman 125-pound Brenden Campbell (New Castle, Ind.), sophomore 157-pound Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.), senior 184-pound James Mannier (Troy, Ohio) and junior heavyweight Colynn Cook (Murrysville, Pa.).
Six of the 10 individual winners from last year's championship will return to defend their titles. In addition to the four Navy champions, sophomore Josh Martinez from Air Force, who is ranked fourth nationally, returns to defend his 125-pound title, while redshirt sophomore Ugi Khishignyam from The Citadel, who stands 12th in the national polls, will look to make it two in a row at 141 pounds.
Doors open Saturday at 9:00 am with the preliminaries on tap to begin at 10:00 am. The semifinals are slated for noon, the consolation semis at 2:00 pm and the championship finals at 4:00 pm. Admission for the day is $6 for adults and $3 for those ages 15 or younger. The finals will be streamed live via NavySports.com and uscgasports.com.
Projected Navy Lineup
125 - Brendon Campbell - Fr, New Castle, Ind. (7-9, 2-2)
133 - Colton Rasche - Jr, Plano, Ill. (17-9, 2-2)
141 - Joe Locksmith - Sr, Kissimmee, Fla. (13-11, 2-2)
149 - Raymond Borja - Sr, Virginia Beach, Va. (7-4, 3-1)
157 - Bobby Burg - So., Gasport, N.Y. (11-4, 0-0)
165 - Peyton Walsh - Jr, Glen Allen, Va. (21-9, 4-0)
174 - #15 Mathew Miller - So, Edgewood, Md. (12-4, 2-1)
184 - James Mannier - Sr, Troy, Ohio (12-11, 1-2) -OR- William Miller - So, Chinook, Mont. (10-8, 0-1)
197 - Paul Rands - Jr, Cary, Ill. (9-7, 3-1)
285 - Colynn Cook - Jr, Murrysville, Pa. (12-11, 2-2)
All-Academy Championship Team Titles
Team No. Last
Navy 12 2013
Air Force 4 2002
Army 2 2008
VMI 1 2003
Merchant Marine Academy 0 ---
Coast Guard Academy 0 ---
The Citadel 0 ---
Norwich Academy 0 ---
Schedule of Events
8:00 am Weigh-ins
9:00 am Doors open to the public
10:00 am Preliminary Round
12:00 pm Semifinals/Consolation Round One
2:00 pm Consolation Semifinals
4:00 pm Championship Finals
20th Annual All-Academy Championship Web Site
### Go Navy ###