Six Flames wrestlers advance to finals at Messiah Open
February 8, 2020 | Grantham, Pa.
Before preparing for the grind of the NCWA postseason later this month, Liberty University's men's wrestling team sent a select 11-man squad to Saturday's Messiah Open in Grantham, Pa. There, the Flames had two champions and four runners-up in four weight classes of close to 20 competitors.
At 184 pounds, Liberty senior defending national champion Sam Karel went 3-1 and lost his final match by medical forfeit. Then, at 285 pounds, junior Jeff Allen, another reigning national champion at 235, finished 3-1 after losing his title bout by decision.
Freshman 157-pound wrestler David Over also finished fifth and senior 174-pounder Cody Richmond came in seventh on the day while three sophomores — Ian McIlhenny (149), Jesse Redding (184), and Sean Gillespie (197) — also competed but did not place.
After hosting a final dual meet against Coker (S.C.) on Feb. 21, Liberty will challenges for its ninth consecutive Mid-Atlantic Conference Tournament title on its home mats at the LaHaye Multipurpose Center on Feb. 29 before concluding its season at the March 12-14 NCWA Grand National Championships in Allen, Texas, where it will vie for a fourth crown in six years,