Head Coach Jesse Castro is looking to lead the Flames wrestling team to a fifth-consecutive NCAA East Regional title.
Liberty's drive for its fifth-consecutive East Regional Wrestling Championship is getting closer, with the Flames hosting four other teams at the Vines Center Sunday afternoon. Tournament action begins at 2:30 p.m., while the Championship Round will start at 6:30 p.m.
In the latest Coach's Corner, LibertyFlames.com's Nick Pierce chats with head coach Jesse Castro about everything surrounding the 2011 championships. Highlights include the Flames' recent practices, some key Liberty grapplers to watch in the event, Division I College Wrestling's (D1CW) East Region listings and some opponents the Flames will have to look out for.
LibertyFlames.com will wrap up its lead-in coverage for the event tomorrow afternoon by taking a complete look at the 10 Liberty grapplers who will take the mat Sunday afternoon.
The website will also serve as "Tournament Central" on Sunday, with links to each wrestling program involved and the various avenues of coverage, including live stats, brackets and live streaming video for the Championship Rounds at 6:30 p.m. The Open Mat will also have a staff member on hand Sunday afternoon, providing live blog coverage for those who can't make it to the Vines Center.
Additionally, the pre-seeds for the event have been set, but will be discussed further at the coaches' meeting on Saturday evening. Flames wrestlers are currently top-seeded in five weight classes, while Gardner-Webb is not far behind. The Runnin' Bulldogs have four grapplers currently seeded as No. 1 at their respective weights. The fourth and fifth seeds are not numbered, since they are interchangeable in a five-person bracket.
NCAA East Regional Wresling Championships - Pre-Seeds: 125 1. Robert Jillard (LU) 2. Tanner Bidelspach (CU) 3. Brett Kostern (GWU) Billy Chamberlain (SHU)
133 1. T. J. Mitchell (LU) 2. Alex Hamm (GWU) 3. Gabe Gardner (CU) Anthony Ricco (SHU) Daniel Calzarette (MU)
141 1. Richie Spicel (GWU) 2. Seth Hicks (LU) 3. Mike Greck (MU) Justin Belanger (SHU) Anthony Carmody (CU)
149 1. Ryan Medved (GWU) 2. Peter Crawford (LU) 3. Steve Hess (MU) Darien Peele (CU) Joseph Evangelista (SHU)
157 1. Alex Medved (GWU) 2. Julian Colon (LU) 3. Anthony Priore (SHU) Dakota Kuhn (MU) Jake Fose (CU)
165 1. Chad Porter (LU) 2. John Rizzitello (SHU) 3. Brandon Vernalli (MU) Justin Guthrie (GWU) Joe Caudill (CU)
174 1. Shane Smith (MU) 2. Royal Brettrager II (LU) 3. Peter Comis (CU) Erin O'Dell (GWU) Sam Sheppard (SHU)
184 1. Aaron Kelley (LU) 2. John Velazquez (GWU) 3. John Merickel (CU) Zachary Moran (SHU) Jason Foor (MU)
197 1. Travis Porter (GWU) 2. Aaron Thompson (LU) 3. Daniel Cox (MU) John Nichols (CU) Sam Morrison (SHU)
HWT 1. Josh Pelletier (LU) 2. Parker Burns (CU) 3. Bradley Ladd (MU) Paul Schweighardt (SHU) Vincent Slayer (GWU)