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LU Set to Open Tourney Schedule at Body Bar
Following back-to-back dual match victories, the Flames will open up the tournament portion of their 2008-09 schedule tomorrow, when Liberty participates in the Body Bar Systems Invitational, hosted by Cornell.
The event will feature some of the elite wrestling programs in the nation, as No. 4 and host Cornell along with No. 13 Boise State will tangle with several teams inside the Newman Arena--Bartels Hall. The field also includes Millersville, one of the Flames NCAA East Regional foes.
Nine out of 10 starters for Cornell are nationally ranked, including five grapplers inside the Top 5. The Big Red is paced by Mack Lewnes, the nation's No. 1 wrestler at 165 pounds. Last year, Lewnes earned All-America honors by placing fourth at the 2008 NCAA National Championship, where he was the only freshman to advance to the semifinal rounds.
Boise State poses an equally impressive line-up, running seven nationally ranked Broncos out onto the mat. Boise State is led by Kirk Smith at 184 pounds. The sophomore is currently ranked No. 5 in his weight class, after finishing as the Pac-10 runner up and in eighth place at the NCAA National Championship as a freshman.
Liberty's roster boosts two nationally ranked grapplers who will look to lead the Flames in their first tournament event of the year.
Tim Harner, a three-time national qualifier, is off to a 2-0 start in the 2008-09 season, wrestling up a weight class at 149 pounds. The senior, who is still currently ranked No. 18 at 141 pounds, has racked up the points in his two bouts. He netted 19 points in a 19-4 technical fall victory against Gardner-Webb and 18 points in an 18-5 major decision against The Citadel.
Chris Daggett has moved up a few spots in the national listings, as the senior currently ranks No. 16 at 184 pounds. In his lone bout of the year, Daggett made quick work of his opponent, pinning Gardner-Webb's 184-pounder 1:34 into the match-up.
The Flames have a total of five grapplers who are off to a 2-0 start this year, including three-time national qualifier Christian Smith at 133 pounds and 125-pound rookie Joe Pantaleo at 125 pounds.
Rounding out Liberty's dual victors on the year are Julian Colon at 157 pounds, and Brad Clark at 165 pounds. Colon opened the year with a first-period pin against Gardner-Webb, while Clark quickly followed with a 15-0 blanking of his Bulldogs match-up to help seal a 43-6 dual match victory for the Flames in Lynchburg on Nov. 11.
Live tournament results will be available from www.cornellbigred.com or by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
Liberty's Probable Line-Up:
125 – Joe Pantaleo/Sean Katz
133 – Christian Smith/Cameron Hurd
141 – Frankie Gayeski/Joey Montgomery
149 – Tim Harner/Zac McCray
157 – Julian Colon/Shaun Smith
165 – Brad Clark/Eli Sanchez
174 – Aaron Kelley/Nick Knowles
184 – Chris Daggett
197 – Brandon Johnson/Andrew Wilson
HWT – Josh Pelletier