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Flames Compete in Davidson Open

December 7, 2010
|  Davidson, N.C.
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Coach Jesse Castro sent fourteen wrestlers to compete in the Davidson Open tournament.

Fourteen members of the Liberty wrestling squad competed in the Davidson Open tournament over the weekend, claiming one weight class championship while also having three additional top-four finishers.

The Flames produced 29 bout victories on the day in the non team-scored event.

Rob Jillard claimed the individual title at 125 pounds, going 4-0 on the day. Two of Jillard's victories came by fall, while a 14-8 decision over Brett Boston of Appalachian State gave him the first-place finish.

Also at 125 pounds, Justin Branham made it to the third-place match. After winning his first two bouts by fall, Branham was sent to the wrestleback bracket following an 11-5 decision loss. He then picked up a 10-8 decision before dropping the third-place bout by fall (1:22).

Freshmen 149 pounders Kurtis Becker and Gabe Bird also had success while competing unattached.

Becker posted a 3-2 record on the day, advancing to the third-place bout at his weight class. After picking up an 8-0 major decision and a 4-0 decision to open the event, Becker dropped to the wrestlebacks with a 15-3 major decision loss. In the wrestlebacks, Becker defeated fellow teammate Bobby Leffew, just to meet another teammate in the third-place bout.

Bird met Becker in the third-place match at 149 pounds, as he had gone 2-1 before meeting his teammate. To get there, Bird picked up a win by fall (1:27), and then dropped a 9-4 decision to move to the wrestlebacks.

Once in the wrestleback brackets, Bird advanced twice from medical forfeits, while also picking up an 8-1 decision. In the battle for third with his teammate, Bird came out victorious with the win by fall 2:44 into the match.

Bobby Leffew (149 pounds) and Matt Smith (157 pounds, unattached) also posted winning records on the day, going 3-2 for the event.