Liberty wrestlers rise to third as a team, put three in finals
March 15, 2013 | Allen, Texas
Sending three of its seven quarterfinalists into Saturday's championship bouts, Liberty University's wrestling team rose from fifth to third place following Friday's semifinal rounds of the 16th annual National Collegiate Wrestling Association tournament, hosted by the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas.
California Baptist, last year's runner-up, leads the competition with 122.5 points followed closely by McKendree at 120. The Flames have racked up 103.5 points for third place in front of Lindenwood-St. Charles (97) and Central Florida (85.5).
Flames' fifth-year senior Andrew Wilson (24-2), who placed second in the nation last year at 285, advanced to the 235-pound championship final with a quarterfinal pin of Navy's Gaylen Edmo in just 1:02 and a 6-4 semifinal decision over Central Florida's Josh Woods (37-6). He will meet top-seeded Dustin Fullerton (13-0) in Saturday's final.
At 197, defending NCWA national champion Aaron Thompson (23-5) earned a shot to repeat as champion by decking Georgia's Jake Francis in 1:12 in the quarterfinals and scoring a 3-1 decision over David Reck of the Air Force. Thompson will take on McKendree's Julian Smith (30-6) in the championship bout.
Liberty junior Royal Brettrager won his 184-pound quarterfinal over Cal Baptist's Paul Head by fall in 5:37 before losing an extremely tight 16-14 decision to Marion Military's Terrence Smith (28-4) in the semifinal round.
Brettrager (18-6) recovered in time to win his first consolation match by first-period fall over Mercer's Jeffrey Holmes (21-8) in 1:20 and will meet Douglas College's Jasmit Phulta in the semifinals to see who advances to the third-place final.
Keyshaun Ward sneaked past Kevin Finn of Marion Military to win his 174-pound quarterfinal bout, 6-5, before finally falling to the consolation bracket with a 3-1 loss to Larry Lanier of Lindenwood-Belleville. Ward awaits the winner of the consolation quarterfinal between Navy's Forrest Pryzbysz and Sam Houston State's Keith Williams.
At 165, Bobby Clymer scored a 15-2 major decision over Northwest Missouri State's Danny Apgar in his quarterfinal match before being pinned by Army's Tony Risality in 5:00. In the consolation quarterfinal, Clymer beat Navy's Alex Bergman 3-2 and will face Apprentice's Philip Porto in the semis.
Liberty 157-pounder Marcus Miller, a Liberty Christian Academy graduate, won his quarterfinal bout 6-2 over Marion Military's Wiliam Burns before edging MIT's Ryan Madison 8-6 to reach the finals, no small feat for a freshman. Miller will meet Cal Baptist's top-seeded Sandiago Martinez (39-2) in Saturday's final.
Also at 157, Chase Boontjer has fought his way through the consolation bracket, winning five straight bouts, including a 19-8 major decision over Western Washington's Stephen Harvey and 14-7 decision over Alec Smith of Cal Baptist. He will face Central Washington's Nick Bendon in the consolation semifinals.
In the 149-pound quarterfinal, Peter Crawford dropped an 8-0 major decision to Lindenwood-Belleville's Jesse Friese before being eliminated with an 11-4 loss to Penn State's Kasey Haines in his consolation opener.