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Flames Place Two Grapplers at Body Bar Invite
The event featured three of the nation's premium programs, as No. 13 Boise State won the team title with 125 points. No. 25 Kent State grabbed the second-place trophy with 115 points, while host Cornell finished third with 91.5 points. Liberty placed ninth out of 11 teams with 35.5 points.
Liberty's Joe Pantaleo opened the event with an 8-2 decision loss to eventual fourth-place wrestler Nic Bedelyon of Kent State. Following the decision setback, the rookie advanced on a medical forfeit, and then won 6-4 over Army's Lance Penhale.
The decision victory was followed by a first period pin, when he stuck Maryland's Lou Ruland to the mat at 2:09 into the bout. The victory pitted Pantaleo against Bedelyon for the second time, with the No. 13 ranked grappler downing Liberty's freshman for a second time on the afternoon.
The loss dropped the 125-pounder into the fifth-place bout, where the freshman suffered a 3-1 decision loss to Boise State's Alan Bartelli, giving Pantaleo his first collegiate tournament place at sixth.
Chris Daggett, seeded No. 3 in the 184 pound weight class, opened his tournament run with an 11-1 major decision over Cornell's Travis Dale. After a first period fall over Drexel's Justin Wieller (2:38), the junior dropped a 10-2 decision to No. 10 Dustin Kilgore out of Kent State.
The major decision setback dropped Liberty's No. 16 ranked wrestler into the consolation bracket where he suffered a 20-5 technical fall loss to No. 18 Justin Kerber from Cornell, leaving Daggett to finish the event in fourth place.
The third Liberty grappler to make a solid run in the Flames first tournament of the year was Brad Clark at 165 pounds. The Flames' newcomer posted a 3-2 record at the event, rebounding after a first period fall to the nation's top wrestler, Mack Lewnes from Cornell (1:28).
He opened the consolation bracket with a 7-2 decision win over Army's Chris Grill, followed by a 10-2 major decision win over Drexel's Alex Rinaldi. After a second win over a Drexel grappler, this time a narrow 9-8 decision over Scott Hunter, Clark's tourney run came to an end in a 9-4 decision loss to Buffalo's Ryan Black, the event's sixth-place finisher.
Liberty's only other grappler to post multiple victories during the prestigious tournament was Cameron Hurd at 133 pounds, as the freshman was 2-2 on the day which included a 12-4 major decision over Army's Josh Sandhaus.
The Flames will continue tournament action next weekend when they make a return trip to the Hoosier Duals, hosted by No. 18 Indiana on Saturday. The Flames finished the event last year with a 1-4 record, picking up a 21-16 decision over Cumberland.