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Harner & Porter are Highlights at Penn State
After having four wrestlers place at last year's Nittany Lion Open, Liberty did not find the prestigious open event quite so friendly this go around. The Flames were paced by Chad Porter and Tim Harner, both posting 3-2 records, at the event hosted by Penn State on Sunday.
During last year's trip to Rec Hall, Christian Smith (125 pounds), Sam Walters (133 pounds), Harner (141 pounds) and Patrick Walker (heavyweight) each placed in one of the strongest open tournaments annually on the east coast.
Smith, wrestling up a weight class this year at 133, posted a 1-2 record at the event. His lone victory was a win by fall, 5:20, over Navy's Josh Sandoval in the consolation bracket.
Harner opened strong with consecutive wins, including a 3-1 sudden victory over Maryland's Dex Lederer and an 11-4 decision over Lehigh's Kyle Rosser. A loss to eventually 141-pound weight class runner up Matt Kyler dropped Harner to the consolation round.
He started his climb to the third-place bout with a 5-1 decision over Rutgers' Reggie Parker, before being eliminated by Old Dominion's Adam Koballa in a close 4-3 decision.
Zach McCray finished the all-day event with a 2-2 mark at 149 pounds, which included a 2-0 blanking of UPJ's Andrew Flegler. In Walter's only match of the day, the sophomore lost a 14-3 major decision to Army's Casey Thome.
Porter began his run in the 165-pound bracket with a 7-1 decision over Army's Brian Rowan, before being shutout, 6-0, by eventual weight-class champion Quentin Wright from UPJ.
Following a win by fall (2:54) over Old Dominion's T.C. Pendleton and a 13-0 blanking of Zach Lundgen, Porter was pushed out of the competition following a 10-8 decision loss to Penn State's Dave Rella.
At 174 pounds, Aaron Kelley opened with a first-round pin (2:49) over VMI's Dustin McCabe, before falling to the consolation round. After a 5-1 decision over Pittsburgh's A.J. Brentzel's, the sophomore was eliminated by sixth-place finisher Colin McDonald of UPJ in a 17-2 major decision.
Chris Daggett closed out Liberty's wrestlers at 184 pounds, as Walker was sidelined with an injury and unable to compete at heavyweight. Daggett lost an open-round bout to Virginia Tech's Matt Ryan, dropping him the consolation round.
Following a win by technical fall (19-2/3:28) over Hofstra's Jon Rothman, Daggett dropped a 7-5 decision to UPJ's Mike Corcett, falling out of the open tournament.
Liberty travels to a new location this upcoming weekend when the Flames take to the road and travel to Campbellsville, Ky., to participate in Campbellville's dual match, which includes match-ups with Newberry and Eastern Michigan.