Liberty sends three to finals at Messiah Open tournament
February 8, 2014 | Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Freshman 141-pound phenom Ryan Diehl captured his fourth individual tournament title and Liberty University's wrestling team had a strong showing at the Messiah Open, Saturday in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
No team scores were kept but the Flames also had one runner-up and one third-place finisher in the prestigious annual tournament.
Diehl started his day with a pin of Thaddeus Steven's Kyle Demain in 2 minutes, 20 seconds before decking Drexel's Andrew Mauriello in 2:20, scoring a 17-1 technical fall of Wilkes College's Michael Fleck, and a 7-4 decision of the University of Maryland's Daniel Sanchez in the championship bout.
At 184, Liberty senior Royal Brettrager reached the final with an opening-round pin of George Mason's Alexander Thomas in 5:36, a quarterfinal fall of York University's Matt Zippilli in 2:33, and a semifinal pin of James Madison University's Stefan Haas in 6:21. Brettrager, who missed the first half of the season with a knee injury, then lost to York's Nicholas Zak, 14-8 in the final.
Flames sophomore Tim Nordan wrestled his way back through the consolation rounds to land a third-place finish at 125 pounds. He started the tournament with an 11-2 major decision of Messiah's Marshall Myers before being pinned by Rutgers' Josh Patrick in 2:52 of the semifinals. Nordan then scored an 8-2 decision over Elizabethtown's Timothy Miranda before defeating Millersville's Samuel Oberlander in the consolation final.
Liberty freshman Josh Ferenczy and Josh Sturgill also placed seventh at 157 and 174 pounds, respectively, with Ferenczy earning a 10-1 major decision over teammate Alex Cox in the second round of wrestlebacks.