Flames currently fifth as team, send seven into quarterfinals
March 15, 2013 | Allen, Texas
Liberty University's wrestling team, which held a narrow lead after Thursday's first day of competition, stood in fifth place going into Friday night's championship quarterfinals of the 16th annual National Collegiate Wrestling Association national tournament, hosted by the Allen Event Center in Texas.
The Flames have seven representatives out of 11 weight classes still in the championship bracket: Peter Crawford at 149 pounds, Marcus Miller at 157, Bobby Clymer at 165, Keyshaun Ward at 174, Royal Brettrager at 184, defending NCWA national champion Aaron Thompson at 197, and Andrew Wilson at 235.
Clymer, Brettrager, and Wilson were national runners-up last year, when Liberty placed third as a team in the tournament.
Wilson won his 235-pound first-round match by 7-4 decision over Stony Brook's Kyle Folk-Fruend before defeating Theo Agbi of Amherst College 7-2. He will face Gaylen Edmo of Navy in the quarterfinals.
Thompson had a relatively easy path to the 197-pound quarters, pinning Illinois State's Andrew Kordek in 2:40 in the first round before winning by forfeit in the second. He meets Georgia's Jake Francis on Friday night. Brettrager, meanwhile, pinned his first two 184-pound opponents, Alexander Muller of Penn College in 2:06 and Paul Head of California Baptist in 5:35, and will face Terrance Smith of Marion Military in the quarterfinals.
At 174, Ward pinned Toledo's Vincente Vielma at 2:27 in the first round before scoring a 7-2 decision over Wayne State's Jon Williams. Ward will meet Marion Military's Kevin Finn, who pinned his first two opponents, next.
Liberty featured two returning all-Americans at 165, where Clymer went to the third period before pinning Hunter Allen of Mercer in 6:33 in his first-round match before scoring a 15-1 major decision of Northwest Missouri's Danny Apgar in the second round. He will meet Army's Tony Risaliti in the quarterfinals.
Mark Busse, who placed eighth last year, was pinned by second-seeded Austin Geerlings of Grand Valley State in the first round before winning his first consolation match by 16-3 major decision over North Florida's Caleb Duke and being eliminated by Navy's Alex Bergman 3-2 in the consolation quarters.
At 157, the Flames have two wrestlers still alive. Miller, a freshman out of Liberty Christian Academy, recorded a 13-2 major decision over Illinois State's Luke Pigott before edging Grand Valley's Gabe Stepanovich 3-2. He will face Marion Military's William Burns in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Chase Boontjer lost his first-round match to Navy's Mike Hooker by 8-0 major decision before winning three matches in the consolation bracket, scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Amherst's Kevin Dillon, an 8-0 major decision over Apprentice's Odis Wesby, and pinning Lindenwood-St. Charles' Masen Ridenhour in 4:23. He will face Stephen Harvey out of Western Washington in the next round.
Crawford pinned Wayne State's Matt Peter in 6:22 in his 149-pound opener before escaping with a 3-2 decision over Southern California's Nick Cegelski in the second round. He will meet Lindenwood-Belleville's Jesse Freise in the quarterfinals.
At 141, Liberty's Peter Tatanish pinned Amherst's Max Jacobs in 1:11 before being pinned by Grand Valley's Kyle Horr in 6:10 of the second round. Fellow Flame Josh Sanders was pinned by Brandon Paige of New Hampshire in the first round before scoring a 14-0 major decision of Northeastern's Johnny Fayad and an 11-4 decision over Brian Mares of Texas State. However, Sanders forfeited his consolation match to Tatanish, who advances to meet UMBC's Kekura Musa in the next round.
At 133, Liberty's Joey Paddock won his first match by major decision over Marcus Prosser of Lindenwood-St. Charles 18-6 before losing to Mercer's Christopher Murdock 9-4. He recovered to pin Steven Byrd of Tennessee Temple in 2:45 of his first consolation bracket match before being pinned by Central Florida's Nick Anthony in 5:58.
Liberty's Jeremy Beale lost both of his 125-pound matches by major decision, to Lindenwood-St. Charles' Blayne Shockley, 13-0, in the first round before being eliminated by Sammy Eldridge of Texas-Arlington, 9-1 in the consolation opener.
Check out updated bracket sheets and more on the NCWA website.