Navy Wrestling to Defend Title at 2012 All-Academy Championship
Feb. 3, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team (5-6, 1-2 EIWA) will battle seven competing military institutions in hopes of capturing its 11th overall All-Academy Championship crown and third straight when the Mids travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. this Sunday. Air Force will play host to the 18th annual event which will be held at Clune Arena beginning at 10:00 am MT / 12:00 pm ET. Navy's 10 All-Academy Championship titles are the most by any of the teams competing.
The Midshipmen captured their 10th All-Academy Championship team crown a year ago in front of a home crowd thanks to title wins by five Navy wrestlers and an additional three Mids who placed second. Navy, who placed nine of its 10 competitors, finished the tournament with a 31-point advantage over second-place The Citadel, who won two title bouts and placed nine wrestlers in the top four. The Citadel, meanwhile, held off Army (82.5) by four points, as the Black Knights crowned a pair of champions and place seven wrestlers in all. Air Force (64.0) placed fourth, followed by the Merchant Marine Academy (36.5), VMI (22.5), Coast Guard (3.5) and Norwich (1.5).
Navy has been the dominant team over the years, winning 10 of the 17 championships including seven of the last eight. Navy has won 64 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 38 of the 80 titles over the last eight years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, `10 and `11, while they have 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 champion will return to defend their titles, including two from Navy. In addition to two returning winners off of the Mids' squad, junior Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of the Citadel owns a 21-8 record and is ranked 19th nationally. He won the 165-pound title a year ago, but has bumped up a wight class to 174 pounds which was won a year ago by Navy's Matt DeMichiel who graduated in 2011. The Citadel's Kelby Smith, a senior, stands 26-5 this season and is the reigning All-Academy champion at 197 pounds.
Meanwhile, six members off Navy's projected 10-man lineup have wrestled previously in this tournament, including reigning title winners Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.).
Ranked 13th in the national polls at 184 pounds, Rebertus has enjoyed a stellar senior campaign which has him closing in on 100-career wins. He stands tied for 13th on the Mids' all-time wins list with a 95-33 record and is just three wins shy of taking over the No. 11 position on the list. This season he has produced a 22-9 record which has featured wins in six of his last seven matches, including each of the last four. Perhaps his toughest competition heading into the tournament is the Merchant Marine's Erik Schott, who has put together a 20-9 record in his senior season and is a two-time Centennial Conference placewinner.
Rebertus is actually a two-time All-Academy champion, taking the 174-pound title his freshman year in 2009.
Like Rebertus, Kalil has been outstanding in his final season at the Academy where he has amassed a 23-8 record. He, too, is closing in on the 100-win milestone, posting a four-year mark of 91-49. And as in the case of Rebertus, Kalil has put together a four-match winning streak that dates back to a dual win over Maryland's Geoffrey Alexander on jan. 20.
Kalil won the 125-pound weight class in each of the last two seasons, but has pushed up to 133 pounds this season. Army junior Jordan Thome leads the Black Knights with his 20-7 record this season and will pose a challenge for Kalil, as will Air Force rookie Dylan Hyder who has turned in a 14-4 record this season.
Senior Dustin Haislip upset nationally-ranked Cole VonOhlen a year ago at the All-Academy Championship en route to placing second at 141 pounds. Haislip has missed the better part of the season with a knee injury, but has been in the rotation over the last three weeks. He enters the tournament coming off a big 9-5 win over Campbell's Jordan Tolbert a week ago.
Last year's winner Casey Thome of Army has since graduated and VonOhlen is up a weight to 149, but Air Force's Carter McElhany has been strong in his rookie season where he has posted a 22-13 record.
Junior Oscar Huntley was the runner-up at 197 pounds a year ago, pushing up two weight classes to fill a void left by the departure of Andrew Buck. Huntley performed admirably, dropping a 5-3 decision to The Citadel's Kelby Smith. This year, Huntley is back down to a comfortable weight at 174 pounds and despite fending off some nagging injuries, he has put together a 15-8 record this winter.
He will have the tall task of knocking off The Citadel's Turtogtokh Luvsandorj, who is nationally ranked and owns a 21-8 record, and VMI's Matthew Brock, who has posted a 25-8 record, should he want to claim this year's title.
Meanwhile, Navy junior Dan Miller seeks his first All-Academy title after dropping a 6-2 decision to VMI's Josh Wine a year ago. Miller stands 12-8 on the year, but has won five of his last six matches, including four straight.
His best competition will come from The Citadel's Odie Delaney, who owns a 16-2 record and took the 2010 All-Academy Championship title.
Projected Navy Lineup 125 - Tyler Sackett - Sr., Omaha, Neb. (5-4, 5-2) 133 - Aaron Kalil - Sr., Salem, N.H. (23-8, 9-2) 141 - Dustin Haislip - Sr., Inwood, W.Va. (1-3, 1-3) 149 - Peyton Walsh - Fr., Glen Allen, Va. (10-8, 3-3) 157 - Bobby Barnhisel - Jr., River Forest, Ill. (12-8, 6-4) 165 - Mason Bailey - Jr., Fairmont, W.Va. (12-4, 2-3) 174 - Oscar Huntley - Jr., Stafford, Va. (15-8, 6-3) 184 - #13 Luke Rebertus - Sr., Gloucester, Va. (22-9, 8-3) 197 - Paul Rands - Fr./So., Cary, Ill. (10-17, 2-9) 285 - Dan Miller - Jr., Berlin, Md. (12-8, 8-3)
All-Academy Championship Team Titles Team No. Last Navy 10 2011 Air Force 4 2002 Army 2 2008 Virginia Military 1 2003 Merchant Marine Academy 0 --- Coast Guard 0 --- The Citadel 0 --- Norwich Academy 0 ---
Schedule of Events (Mountain Time) 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 3:00 pm Consolation Semifinals 5:00 pm Championship Finals
Admission $6 for adults $3 for youth (3-15 yrs)
Live Video Streaming (Consolation Semifinals, Finals) www.goairforcefalcons.com