Jan 27, 2009

Depleted Flames fall to Bison

by BJ Williams, Sports Reporter

 Tim Harner picked up his 17th win on the year, but Bucknell won six consecutive wrestling matches and defeated the Flames 37-12 in Bucknell, Pa. on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Bucknell improved to 8-6 in dual matches on the season while the Flames suffered their third loss in four dual matches to fall to 5-7-1 on the season.

Freshman Joe Pantaleo was out with an injury for the fifth straight match, and Liberty once again fell into in an early hole. The Bison added to their advantage as junior David Marble continued his personal domination of the Flames picking up his third consecutive win, this time with a pin of freshman Cameron Hurd, wrestling in place of injured senior Christian Smith. The lone bright spot of the night was the continued excellent wrestling by Tim Harner as the senior picked up his 10th win in 12 matches at 141 pounds and his team high 6th win by pinfall since dropping down from 149 pounds.

“I am able to do more things, because at 149, I was up against people who were very similar to me in height,” Harner said when asked about his transition to a lighter weight class.

Lehigh transfer Frankie Gayeski stepped up at 149 and had a chance to bring the Flames within striking distance, but a late stalling call tied his match and Gayeski would go on to lose a one-point decision to Kevin LeValley, which set off a six match stampede by the Bison, including two wins by technical fall at 165 and 174 pounds respectively and a win by fall at 184 pounds. The match ended with junior Patrick Walker picking up the win by forfeit at heavyweight to provide the final margin.
The Flames entered the contest battling a variety of injuries, and they were without the services of two other starters, in addition to Pantaleo
“We didn’t do a very good job today and were simply outwrestled,” Head Coach Jesse Castro said.

Harner did later comment about the fact that so many underclassmen have been pressed into service for the team this year.

“It’s a night and day difference between high school and college wrestling. The speed and strength required even at a low level of Division I wrestling is significantly different than what a lot of these guys experienced, but this will only help to make them better as the season goes along,” Harner said.

The Flames now take a 10-day break, before returning to the mats Feb. 3 for two dual matches, first in Buies Creek, N.C. against Campbell University at 1 p.m. before heading to Greensboro, NC to face the Spartans of UNC Greensboro at 7 p.m. Last year Liberty defeated the Spartans 21-15, while the dual with Campbell will be a first since the 1990-91 season when the Flames picked up a 38-7 victory.

Contact BJ Williams at


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