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Liberty Returns to Action at Binghamton Quad
The Flames are off to a solid start in dual action this season, having posted a 4-2 dual record.
Liberty opened the year with a 25-9 victory over Campbellsville, a nationally ranked NAIA program.
Following tournament action at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Tournament and a team title at the Keystone Classic, Liberty returned to dual action when the squad participated in the Hoosier Duals for the third-straight season.
Liberty opened the day-long event with dual victories over South Dakota State (27-17), Cumberlands (41-6) and Northern Illinois (19-17), before suffering setbacks to No. 11 Indiana (43-3) and Chattanooga (25-14).
The Flames boast two unbeaten grapplers early in dual action, as senior Frankie Gayeski and junior Josh Pelletier are perfect in dual action in 2009.
Gayeski has been the victor in all five of his dual matches, winning four at his traditional 149 pound weight class and an additional dual at 157 pounds.
The redshirt senior, who is tied for the team's overall lead with a 10-2 record, has won two dual matches by fall this year and a third by major decision. The Malaga, N.J., native comes into the weekend the hottest wrestler on the squad, having reeled off eight-straight wins, including an individual title run at the Keystone Classic.
Pelletier, one of two featured heavyweights for the Flames this year, is 4-0 in dual action and 5-2 overall through the first month of action. The Charleston, Maine, native has scored eight or more points in three of his four duals, including two wins by major decision.
Chad Porter and Brad Clark are two other Liberty grapplers who are having some early season success in duals. Porter is 4-1 in dual action at 165 pounds and is tied for second on the team with a 9-4 record. Clark has matched Porter's 9-4 overall mark and is 3-1 in dual meets this season.
All three of Liberty's opponents this weekend are new to the Flames recent schedule, as Liberty has only previously matched up with Princeton. During the 1992-93 season, the Flames posted a 24-15 victory over the Tigers on Jan. 31, en route to a 13-7 campaign.
Liberty's toughest competition during the weekend may come from host Binghamton. The Bearcats recently had five grapplers place at the prestigious Nittany Lion Open, including a third-place finish by Anwar Goeres and a fourth-place ending by Josh Patterson.
Patterson is Binghamton's premier wrestler, as the returning All-American led the nation last year with 46 wins and 22 victories by fall. Patterson, who currently ranks No. 15 at 184 pounds, is 4-0 on the year and has a 59-8 career record at Binghamton. Goeres is 4-2 on the season at 141 pounds and is tied with Patterson, as both wrestlers have scored 18 teams points in dual action this season.
Princeton comes into the weekend with a 2-1 dual record this year, having knocked off EIWA rival Franklin & Marshall (38-12) and Southern Conference foe VMI (33-6).
Liberty has already seen the Tigers this year, when the Flames finished first at the Keystone Classic to Princeton's eighth-place finish. Seven times, Liberty and Princeton wrestlers matched up at the Keystone Classic with Liberty picking up four wins.
Scott Clymer (141 pounds), Shaun Smith (157 pounds) and Brad Clark (174 pounds) each posted wins over a Tigers' wrestler, en route to placing in the event.
The premier matchup between the Flames and the Tigers might be at 149 pounds, as Gayeski and Princeton's Daniel Kolodzik were both seeded at the Keystone Classic. No. 3 seed Gayeski went on to capture the weight-class title, while No. 4 seed Kolodzik suffered two quick setbacks for an early exit from the Penn-hosted event.
The U.S. Merchant Marines are currently the No. 21 ranked Division III program in the latest Brute-Adidas National Wrestling Coaches Association poll. The Mariners, who have been ranked as high as No. 11 this season, are 1-0 in dual action, as they are coming off a 28-12 victory over Hunter College on Tuesday.
The Mariners are paced by three nationally ranked Division III grapplers. Dan Twitto, at 149 pounds, and Vincent Renaut, at 157 pounds, are both ranked No. 10 in their respective weight classes. Judd Cornell just recently broke into the national rankings for the first time in his career, as the heavyweight was listed as No. 9 in the latest national listing.
Liberty's Probable Starters (2009-10 Record):
125 – Jonathan Childress (6-7)
133 – Sean Katz (5-6)
141 – Scott Clymer (10-5)
149 – Frankie Gayeski (10-2)
157 – Shaun Smith (4-3)
165 – Chad Porter (9-4)
174 – Brad Clark (9-4)
184 – David Ziegler (5-5)
197 – Jacobi Johnson (6-8)
285 – Josh Pelletier (5-2)