Navy Travels to Princeton for 108th Edition of EIWA Championship
March 2, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy wrestling team begins its pursuit for the program’s first Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) team title since 1990 when it travels to Princeton, N.J. this weekend for the 108th EIWA Championship . In addition to the team title and the 10 EIWA individual crowns, 46 automatic berths to the NCAA Championship (March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.) are on the line.
Hosted by Princeton, Jadwin Gym will house the two-day, 14-team tournament which is set to begin on Saturday with preliminaries starting at 9:00 am. The tournament will proceed through the completion of the semifinals Saturday evening. Sunday’s two sessions feature the consolation semifinals and placement matches beginning at 10:00 am and the championship finals at 3:00 pm. In addition to Navy, those teams competing this weekend include American, Army, Brown, Bucknell, Columbia, Cornell, Franklin & Marshall, Harvard, Lehigh, Penn, Princeton, Rutgers and Sacred Heart.
For those fans unable to attend the EIWA Championship, a live video stream (paid subscription) of the entire tournament will be available via Princeton’s web site at www.GoPrincetonTigers.com(.) The video feed will be from a single camera that focuses on all mats.
The EIWA was the recipient of 46 automatic bids to the 2012 NCAA Championship when the NCAA announced its qualifier allocations last week. Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data including Div. I winning percentage, RPI and a coaches ranking. Under the current system, put in place three years ago, the number of automatic qualifiers varies in each weight class within the EIWA. Wrestlers who fail to qualify this weekend, however, will be eligible for one of 40 at-large berths which will be announced on Wednesday, March 7.
The Midshipmen, who placed sixth a year ago, are making their 72nd appearance at the EIWA Championship and have won the team title 13 times. Columbia and Penn have appeared in every EIWA Championship, while Army and Navy both joined the conference in 1941. Navy is one of four teams to win the team title at least 10 times with Lehigh winning it the most - 34 times. Navy has placed 400 wrestlers in past EIWA competitions — 100 champions, 82 in second, 82 in third, 56 in fourth, 46 in fifth and 34 in sixth.
The Mids enter this weekend’s EIWA Championship ranked seventh in the conference behind top-ranked Cornell, Lehigh, Rutgers, Penn, American and Harvard. Navy posted a 0-2 record against the teams positioned higher in the rankings (Lehigh and Rutgers), but collected wins over Army and Franklin & Marshall during the season. Additionally, Navy has seven wrestlers who received preseeds going into the tournament.
With a representative at each weight class, six of the 10 wrestlers for the Mids have had prior EIWA Championship experience, while senior 125-pound Tyler Sackett (Omaha, Neb.), freshman 149-pound Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) junior 157-pound Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) and sophomore 197-pound Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) are newcomers to this year’s field.
The following is a weight-by-weight assessment of the 2012 Navy squad.
125 — Tyler Sackett, Sr. (8-5, 6-2 dual)
Tyler Sackett is one of four Navy wrestlers who will make their first appearance competing at the EIWA Championship. Amassing an 8-5 record this season, including a 6-2 dual mark, Sackett began the season at the Eastern Michigan Open, only to suffer a knee injury that held him out of action for the better part of two months. Sackett returned to the mat in mid-January, winning six of his nine matches since the East Stroudsburg dual on Jan. 13. Along the way he has scored dual wins over Lehigh’s Alex Abreu (7-5), Rutgers’ Joseph Langel (5-1) and Army’s Scott Filbert (15-7). Additionally, he placed second at the All-Academy Championship. He earned a No. 7 preseed heading into the tournament.
133 — Aaron Kalil, Sr. (27-8, 10-2 dual)
After finishing the regular season with a 27-8 mark, including a 10-2 dual record, senior Aaron Kalil has high hopes of winning his first EIWA title. Kalil has placed third at the conference tournament in each of the last two years (125 pounds), earning automatic bids to the NCAA Championship. One of just two Navy wrestlers to reach the 20-win milestone this season, he is just two wins shy of tying his personal high which he set a year ago. His 27 wins are the third most at his weight class in program history, just two off the record set by Sam Gray in 2005. With a 95-49 career record, he stands tied for 14th along with 1983 graduate Frank Shaffer on the Mids’ all-time wins list.
He enters this weekend’s tournament having won eight-consecutive matches, including five duals and one tournament title. Six of his eight losses to date are against opponents who were ranked in the top 20 at the time of the match. Kalil is ranked 20th according to the latest RPI and 21st in the Coaches Panel Ranking. Additionally, he is preseeded fourth.
141 — Dustin Haislip, Sr. (5-9, 1-6 dual)
Like Sackett, senior Dustin Haislip spent the entire first two months of the season sidelined with an injury. He, too, returned to the mat on Jan. 13 against East Stroudsburg and after dropping his first three matches, he has since won five in a row. He captured dual matches against Campbell’s Jordan Tolbert and Army’s Tyler Rauenzahn, while claiming the All-Academy Championship title. He stands 5-3 on the year.
Haislip placed seventh at the EIWA Championship a year ago.
149 — Peyton Walsh, Fr. (13-9, 3-3 dual)
Peyton Walsh is the lone freshman representing the Midshipmen at the 2012 EIWA Championship after putting together a 13-9 record this season, including a 3-3 dual meet record. Walsh competed in five tournaments this season, placing second in two of them and third at the All-Academy Championship a month ago. One of his biggest wins of the season was a 4-2 decision over Maryland’s Ben Dorsay in Annapolis.
157 — Bobby Barnhisel, Jr. (16-8, 7-4 dual)
Making his first appearance at the EIWA Championship this weekend is 157-pound Bobby Barnhisel, who has enjoyed a successful junior campaign. Barnhisel’s sophomore season was cut short after suffering a broken jaw, however, he came back this season to put together a 16-8 record and a 7-4 dual meet mark. He has won 10 of his last 11 bouts and rides a seven-match winning streak into this weekend’s action. Along the way, he has claimed dual victories over 12th-ranked Matt Lester of Oklahoma, Rutgers’ Anthony Volpe, 19th-ranked Corey Mock of North Carolina and Army’s Jimmy Rafferty. Barnhisel is ranked 25th according to the latest RPI and 28th in the Coaches Panel Ranking. Additionally, he is preseeded fifth.
165 — Mason Bailey, Jr. (14-6, 2-4 dual)
A year ago Mason Bailey placed eighth at the EIWA Championship, however the No. 8 preseed is looking to improve upon his placement and perhaps steal one of the four allocated automatic qualifier bids. Bailey missed almost two months of action after suffering a rib injury, but has since returned to the lineup where he has posted a 14-6 record on the year. Bailey opened the year with a loss at Eastern Michigan, but rallied back to win six in a row to place third. He has been back for the better part of a month and since his return he has recorded a 3-3 record.
174 — Oscar Huntley, Jr. (19-9, 7-3 dual)
Making a return trip to the EIWA Championship is junior Oscar Huntley, however, this year he will compete at a more natural weight of 174 pounds. Last season Huntley pushed up to 197 pounds to fill a void for the Mids and performed well, walking away in seventh place. This season he has recorded a 19-9 record, including a 7-3 mark in dual competition. He opened the year winning 10 of his first 11 bouts. He won the Navy Classic and finished among the top three at the Eastern Michigan Open and the All-Academy Championship. He is looking to use his 6-0 decision over Army’s Collin Wittmeyer two weeks ago as a springboard going into the EIWA Championship
184 — Luke Rebertus, Sr. (26-9, 9-3 dual)
A two-time top-five placewinner at the EIWA Championship, senior Luke Rebertus is eyeing the title as the weight class’ No. 3 preseed. Rebertus placed fifth at 174 pounds as a freshman and was fourth at 184 pounds a year ago. He has enjoyed a strong senior season, turning in a 26-9 record, including a 9-3 mark in dual bouts. He has won 10 of his last 11 matches and will be riding an eight-match winning streak when he opens the tournament on Saturday. Additionally, he will be vying for his 100th-collegiate win when he steps onto the mat. Boasting a 99-33 record, Rebertus will become just the 11th wrestler in school history to reach the 100-win milestone with a win this weekend.
Rebertus stands 14th in the national rankings, while he is ninth according to the RPI and 13th in the Coaches Panel Rankings.
197 — Paul Rands, So. (12-20, 2-10 dual)
Newcomer Paul Rands enters the tournament with a 12-20 record, struggling as of late against some tough competition. Fifteen of his 20 losses this season have been by decision, giving up a major decision and four pins. He has placed among the top six in three tournaments this season, including a fourth-place showing at the All-Academy Championship.
HWT — Dan Miller, Jr. (16-9, 9-3 dual)
Junior Dan Miller heads into the weekend having won eight of his last nine matches and owns a preseed of No. 6. He has put together a 16-9 record, including a 9-3 mark in dual action. After beginning the dual portion of the season with a 4-3 record, he won each of his last five duals, including wins over Army’s Daniel Mills, Maryland’s Dallas Brown and Rutgers’ Daniel Hopkins. Miller placed seventh at the championship a year ago, but his quest for an automatic bid via the championship will be a tough one with just three wrestlings qualifying for the NCAA Championship.
### Go Navy ###