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Midshipmen Grapplers Play Host to 36th Edition of Navy Classic

Navy's Colton Rasche (133) is one of just two returning champions in this year's field.

Nov. 21, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —  The Navy wrestling team will open the home portion of its 2013-14 schedule on Saturday when it plays hosts the annual Navy Classic at Wesley Brown Field House beginning at 10:00 am.  Having won the team title in 19 of the 35 years the tournament has been held, including last its 51.5-point decision over the field in 2011, the Mids will battle 12 teams — Brown, Bucknell, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Cleveland State, Franklin & Marshall, George Mason, Kent State, Ohio, Princeton, West Virginia and Wisconsin — for the 2013 Navy Classic crown.

Among the field, there are 15 ranked wrestlers, including Navy sophomore 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) who stands 14th in this week’s Amateur Wrestling News’ rankings after upsetting Cal State Bakersfield’s Bryce Hammond last Sunday at the Roadrunner Open.  Meanwhile, there are just two champions from last year’s Navy Classic that are on tap to defend their title this weekend, Navy junior 133-pound Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) and Kent State sophomore Caleb Marsh, who won the 165-pound weight class a year ago but has pushed up to 174 pounds this season.

Rasche, who stands 7-2 this season, is coming off a second-place performance at the Michigan State Open two weeks ago and a third-place showing at the Roadrunner Open last Sunday.

The only other wrestler on Navy’s roster who has previously claimed a title at the Navy Classic is senior Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.), who took the 141 crown as a freshman and the 149 championship as a sophomore.  Last year, Locksmith fell short in his quest to become just the sixth wrestler in school history to win three Navy Classic titles when he dropped an 11-4 decision to nationally-ranked and top-seeded Ugi Khishignyam of The Citadel.  The Navy veteran heads into the weekend with a 7-3 record in tow and is coming off a runner-up performance at the Roadrunner Open.

Miller, meanwhile, won the first two tournaments in which he competed a year ago, but missed the Navy Classic due to a stomach virus.  After a fourth-place finish at the season-opening Michigan State Open this season, he came back to post a 5-0 record at the Roadrunner Open and win what was his fourth-career individual title.  Seeking his first Navy Classic title, Miller owns an 8-2 record this season and will likely have to beat 11th-ranked Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of The Citadel along the way.

In total, Navy has 12 returning placewinners from last year’s tournament, including eight that finished fifth or better.  Returning NCAA qualifier Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) took fifth a year ago at 165 pounds and heads into the weekend with an 8-3 record that features a pair of top-five performances this season.  After placing fourth at 184 pounds a year ago, senior team captain James Mannier (Troy, Ohio) is looking to take the title.  He has put together a 6-3 mark this season, including a runner-up finish at the Roadrunner Open.

After missing the first two weeks of competition, sophomore Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) and junior Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) are both set to return to the mat this weekend.  Burg finished sixth at last year’s Navy Classic, while Rands, who competed as an unattached wrestler last season, finished second at the 2012 Navy Classic.

Ten different teams have claimed the team title in the 35 years the Navy Classic has been held, including four of the teams competing this weekend - Navy (19-time winner), West Virginia (6-time winner), The Citadel and Kent State (each have one championship).  Eighty different Navy wrestlers have earned individual titles and at least one Midshipman has won an individual crown in 33 of the 35 years (2000, ‘03), while there have been 16 multi-year winners.

Navy has also crowned an individual champion who was a freshman in three of the last five years.  Luke Rebertus took the 174-pound title in 2008 becoming the first Plebe to win a title since Tyrone Neal in 1998.  Meanwhile, Huntley won in 2009 and Locksmith in 2010.  Navy will put eight freshmen on the mat this weekend giving them the chance to add their names to that list.

2013 Navy Classic
Date:  Saturday, Nov. 23
Venue:  Wesley Brown Field House
Participating teams:  Brown, Bucknell, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Cleveland State, Franklin & Marshall, George Mason, Kent State, Navy, Ohio, Princeton, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Tickets:  $7 adults, $5 students (18 years and under)
Live Scoring: Brackets will be posted throughout the day on the wrestling page of Navy’s official web site,

Projected session times:
10:00 am - preliminary rounds
2:30 pm - semifinals
5:00 pm - finals

Parking:  As a reminder, only those cars that have a Department of Defense sticker will be allowed to drive onto the Naval Academy grounds.  Fans should park downtown (there is a parking garage) and walk onto the grounds through the main gain (Gate 1) where they will be asked for a valid photo ID.



Traffic Notice:  The city of Annapolis will be hosting the TCS Annapolis Half Marathon on Saturday morning.  The race will depart Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 0700 hrs, proceed down Rowe Blvd, College Ave to Main St, to City Dock, to Randall St, turn left at USNA Gate 1, King George St to Route 450, past Gate 8 and across the Naval Academy Bridge.  After running up past Route 50, the race will return down Route 2, across the bridge, past Gate 8, to King George St, down to College Ave, back up to left on Taylor Ave and then ending at the stadium.  Please see map at for exact race course.

Due to road closures in support of the race, the following areas will experience limited vehicle access during the times listed below:

*  Gate 1 will be closed to vehicle traffic 0700 - 0815.
*  King George Street will be closed to vehicle traffic 0700 - 0815.  King George Street from College Avenue to Route 450 will be closed 0700 - 1030.
*  Route 450, Gate 8, Perry Circle and Arundel Estates will remain open; however, vehicle ingress and egress must be from the direction of Route 2 and will be controlled by flagmen and Anne Arundel County Police.
*  Route 450 from Gate 8 to King George St will remain closed 0700 - 1030.

All roads are scheduled to reopen NLT 1030 hrs.

Gates 1, 3 & 8 will remain open at all times for pedestrian access.

Participating ranked wrestlers:  
• 125:  None
• 133:  None
• 141:  #6 Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall), #16 Jesse Thielke (Wisconsin), #20 Victor Lopez (Bucknell)
• 149:  #18 Tywan Claxton (Ohio)
• 157:  #7 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin), #13 Ian Miller (Kent State)
• 165:  #6 Corey Mock (Chattanooga)
• 174:  #11 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel), #14 Mathew Miller (Navy)
• 184:  #12 Jackson Hein (Wisconsin), #17 Sam Wheeler (Kent State)
• 197:  #15 Phillip Wellington (Ohio)
• 285:  #6 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), #10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), #13 Joe Stolfi (Bucknell

Returning placewinners from the 2012 Navy Classic:
• Bucknell:  Paul Petrov (2nd, 133); Tyler Lyster (3rd, 197)
• The Citadel:  Aaron Hansen (4th, 133), Matthew Frisch (3rd, 157); Marshall Haas (6th, 197); Gerald Johnson (6th, 285)
• Cleveland State:  Mike Carlone (3rd, 141); Riley Shaw (4th, 285)
• Franklin & Marshall:  Richard Durso (3rd, 141)
• Kent State:  Alfredo Gray (2nd, 125); Kyle Bauer (5th, 133); Andy Candiello (4th, 141); Caleb Marsh (1st, 165); Sam Wheeler (2nd, 174)
• Navy:  Jericho Urmenita (6th, 125); Colton Rasche (1st, 133); Quentin Leadbeter (6th, 133); Joe Locksmith (2nd, 141); Alex Johnson (6th, 141); Zach Johnson (4th, 149); Johnny Watson (5th, 157); Bobby Burg (6th, 157); Peyton Walsh (5th, 165); William Miller (4th, 174); James Mannier (4th, 184); Paul Rands (2nd, 197)
• Ohio:  Harrison Hightower (4th, 165); Ryan Garringer (3rd, 184); Phillip Wellington (4th, 197); Jeremy Johnson (2nd, 285)
• West Virginia:  Terrence Demery (6th, 149); Mark Colubucci (6th, 184)

Navy’s Projected Lineup for the Navy Classic
125:  Brenden Campbell, Taylor French
133:  Dakota Beach, Colton Rasche, Jericho Urmenita
141:  Jonathan Clemente, Quentin Leadbeter, Joe Locksmith
149:  Willie Fox, Ben Hunter, Alex Johnson, Blake Peek
157:  Bobby Burg, Dustin Fuller, Zach Johnson, Cam Wade
165:  Alex Bergman, John Keck, Max Smith, Peyton Walsh
174:  David Borden, Ryan Harman, Mathew Miller, Johnny Watson
184:  James Mannier, Thomas Manning, William Miller, Stout Watson
197:  Paul Rands, Luke Schaeffer
285:  Colynn Cook, Brendan Kahle, Ethan Stanley

### Go Navy ###

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