Feb. 1, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team (4-1, 1-1 EIWA) will step away from dual competition this weekend as it battles seven competing military institutions in hopes of capturing its 12th overall All-Academy Championship crown and fifth straight when the Mids travel to West Point, N.Y. this Sunday. Army will play host to the 19th annual event which will be held at Gillis Field House beginning at 10:00 am. Navy's 11 All-Academy Championship titles are the most by any of the teams competing.
Anchored by three-time title winners Aaron Kalil and Luke Rebertus, the Midshipmen captured their 11th All-Academy Championship team crown a year ago in a battle that came down to the final weight class. Navy came into the tournament having won two-straight All-Academy Championship crowns by more than 30 points over the second-place finisher. The 2012 competition, however, would be much different. Navy held a 105.5-105.0 advantage over Air Force heading into the final two bouts of the evening. Navy heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) faced Coast Guard freshman Joel Wyman to decide third place, while top-seeded Odie Delaney of The Citadel met Air Force's Jared Erickson in the championship match.
After being upset by Army junior Christian Botero in his opening match of the day, Miller would not disappoint his coaches or teammates. Not only did he beat Wyman, he pinned the youngster at 4:38 to seal the victory for the Midshipmen, 109.5-105.0
Ironically, despite just the 4.5 advantage final margin, Navy beat the Falcons head-to-head in six of the seven weight classes in which they met. The Mids took wins at 125, 133, 141, 157, 165 and 184 against Air Force, while dropping their bout at 197 pounds.
Air Force, meanwhile, claimed a pair of titles at 149 and 174 pounds, while three placed as the runner-up. The win by Delaney at heavyweight not only sealed Air Force's fate, it catapulted The Citadel ahead of Army in the final standings, as the Bulldogs edged the Black Knights, 81.0-80.0, to finish third. VMI placed fourth (24.0), followed by Coast Guard 911.5), Merchant Marine Academy (10.0) and Norwich (0.5).
Navy has been the dominant team in the 18-year history of the tournament, winning 11 of the 18 championships including eight of the last nine. The Mids have won 68 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 42 of the 90 titles over the last nine years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, `10, `11 and `12, while they claimed five or more individual titles in 1997, `99, `04, `05, `07, `08, `10 and `11. Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of the tournament, Navy won six individual crowns in 2010.
Four of the 10 individual winners from last year's championship will return to defend their titles, including Navy senior 157-pound Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) who has flourished this season with a 23-5 record. Additionally, Air Force senior Cole VonOhlen returns to defend the 149-pound weight class with not only a stellar 21-2 record, but also a No. 3 national ranking. As previously mentioned, The Citadel's Odie Delaney pinned Air Force's Jared Erickson a year ago to capture the heavyweight division, while Army's Coleman Gracey took the 165-pound crown last year but will bump up to take part in the 174-pound weight class at this year's tournament.
Half of Navy's projected 10-man lineup has wrestled previously in this tournament, four of which are seniors. Sophomore 165-pound Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Md.) is the lone Navy underclassman who has seen action at the All-Academy Championship, placing third at 149 pounds a year ago. Although he is unranked, Walsh has been solid this season with a 21-8 record and stands as the only Navy wrestler who has won all five of his dual matches this season. Walsh has won six of his last eight bouts and heads into the tournament with a four-match winning streak. He stands 25th at 165 pounds in the Coaches Panel Rankings.
Barnhisel is Navy's lone returning All-Academy Champion, taking the crown in his first career appearance last February by way of an 8-7 decision over Air Force senior Josh Kreimier. Kreimier will likely have another shot at Barnhisel as the Air Force senior is ranked 16th nationally, while Barnhisel is 14th. Another strong competitor at this weight class is The Citadel's Matt Frisch, who dealt Barnhisel an 8-3 loss at the Southern Scuffle in January. While he is not ranked, Frisch owns a 20-11 record to date.
Senior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) has taken second and third in the last two All-Academy Championships, respectively, but both of those were at 165 pounds. Up two weight classes to 184 pounds, Bailey is one of the few wrestlers in the tournament who has double digit wins this season as he boasts a 22-12 record and is ranked 19th nationally. Bailey has faced one of the toughest schedules among his teammates this season, facing nine ranked foes, including four in his last six matches.
Looking for his first All-Academy title in three appearances will be senior 197-pound Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.). Last year Huntley took a 4-3 decision over VMI's Matthew Brock to earn third at 174 pounds, but in his sophomore year he faced some similar circumstances as this year. Navy did not have a 197-pounder in 2011, so Huntley moved up from 174 pounds to 197 the weekend of the All-Academy Championship and finished as the runner up. This year, Huntley moved to 197 pounds to fill the void left by Paul Rands taking a "redshirt" season. Huntley, who stands 25th in the Coaches Panel Rankings, has stepped up for the Mids where he has recorded a 21-8 overall record, including a 9-5 mark at 197 pounds. He has flourished in dual competition where he owns a 4-1 mark.
Also seeking his first All-Academy crown is senior heavyweight Dan Miller who would likely have the tall task of upsetting 12th-ranked Odie Delaney of The Citadel en route to accomplishing that feat. Miller has been stout this season with a 15-9 record, including wins in six of his last eight bouts, and is ranked 28th in the Coaches Panel Rankings. Miller placed third in last year's tournament and second as a sophomore.
Making their All-Academy debut this weekend for the Mids will be junior 125-pound Jericho Urmenita (Auburn, Wash.), sophomore 133-pound Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.), junior 141-pound Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.), junior 149-pound Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) and freshman 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.).
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 $4 for youth and senior citizens. There will be no live scoring or video, however, Army has set up a tournament web site
where brackets and results will be updated.
Projected Navy Lineup
125 - Jericho Urmenita - Jr, Auburn, Wash. (10-10, 0-1)
133 - Colton Rasche - So, Plano, Ill. (13-9, 1-2)
141 - Joe Locksmith - Jr, Kissimmee, Fla. (12-9, 2-0)
149 - Raymond Borja - Jr, Virginia Beach, Va. (13-4, 1-0)
157 - #14 Bobby Barnhisel - Sr, River Forest, Ill. (23-5, 2-1)
165 - Peyton Walsh - So, Glen Allen, Va. (19-8, 3-0)
174 - #14 Mathew Miller - Fr, Edgewood, Md. (15-4, 1-2)
184 - #20 Mason Bailey - Sr, Fairmont, W.Va. (21-11, 1-2)
197 - Oscar Huntley - Sr, Stafford, Va. (19-8, 2-1)
285 - Dan Miller - Sr, Berlin, Md. (14-8, 3-0)
All-Academy Championship Team Titles
Team No. Last
Navy 11 2012
Air Force 4 2002
Army 2 2008
VMI 1 2003
Merchant Marine Academy 0 ---
Coast Guard 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
$6 for adults
$4 for youth and senior citizens
19th Annual All-Academy Championship Web Site
### Go Navy ###