Amos claims 197-pound title to lead Flames wrestlers in Fla.
December 30, 2018 | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Liberty University senior captain Austin Amos, the reigning NCWA National Champion, captured the 197-pound individual title to pace the Flames to a ninth-place team finish at Saturday's and Sunday's Citrus Invitational held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Florida.
Of the 13 colleges and universities in the tournament field, Liberty was the only non-NCAA competitor.
Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.) was the overall team champion with 180 points followed by Ferrum (Va.) College (169), UNC Pembroke (161.5), New York University (160.5), John Carroll (Ohio, 149), Cornell (143), Oneonta (N.Y.) State (104.5), and Williams (Mass.) College (100). Liberty (98.5) finished in front of St. John's (Minn., 87), Trinity (Conn., 68), Ursinus (Pa., 49), and Muhlenberg (Pa., 37).
|Senior captain Austin Amos finished 4-0 at 197 pounds.|
Amos won his first match over Oneonta State's Jake Pine by a 16-0 technical fall before scoring a 9-3 decision over Trinity's Mason Sangillo and winning his last two bouts by major decision — 10-0 over UNC Pembroke's Marcus Montgomery in the semifinals and 14-2 over Oneonta State's Peter Pjetri in the championship final.
The Flames also earned two fourth- and two fifth-place finishes to go with individual sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-place showings.
Liberty 157-pound junior Andrew Burgette and 184-pound senior captain Josh McIlhenny both went 4-2 to place fourth while senior 184-pounder Cody Richmond also finished 4-2 and sophomore heavyweight Jeffrey Allen went 3-2 to claim fifth place.
Burgette won his first three matches — by fall in 1 minute, 13 seconds over Ferrum's Malik Barr, 16-0 technical fall over Trinity's Lukas Kaminski, and 11-2 major decision over NYU's Cole Karam before being pinned by RIT's eventual champion Kaidon Winters in 4:43 in the semifinal round. He then won a 15-5 major decision over Muhlenberg's Angelo Mahaffey before losing a 13-9 decision to UNC Pembroke's Tyler Makosy in the consolation final.
McIlhenny went 1-1 in the championship bracket, scoring a 4-2 decision over Trinity's Anders Klass before dropping a 9-6 decision to UNC Pembroke's eventual champion Brandon Sloop. He then won his first three consolation matches — by fall in 3:47 over St. John's Dan Gehrz, 15-0 technical fall over Klass, and 18-8 major decision over NYU's Benard Fox — before losing by 14-6 major decision to Cornell's Bryce Overson in the third-place bout.
Also at 184, Richmond recorded three pins in the consolation bracket — over Cornell's Zachary Finn in 2:26 and Devin Roettger in 1:22 and NYU's Fox 1:04 into the fifth-place final. Allen pinned Flames graduate David Smith in 2:35 in his first consolation match before scoring a 21-5 technical fall over NYU's Jacob Lill. He lost by 16-1 technical fall to eventual third-place champion Chris Lyons from Cornell before winning his fifth-place bout, 5-2 over Ursinus's William McGinley.
Junior Sam Karel went 3-2 to place sixth at 174, sophomore Chad Cantrell went 3-2 to finish seventh at 149, and freshman Josiah Murphy went 2-2 to place eighth at 197. Smith finished 2-2 but did not place.
Liberty will return to the mats for the 39th-annual Virginia Duals to be held Jan. 11-12 at the Hampton Coliseum, where it will look to improve on last year's runner-up finish in the American Division.