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Wrestling Roundup: The busy season edition

Navy’s winning streak ends, Air Force falls to the Oklahomas, and Army stayed home

Navy scores a two-point takedown.
Navy Sports

Wrestling is back folks, maybe a few days late this time. But it’s with good reason: Navy and Air Force have been wrestling constantly and the second round of the Coaches Panel has come out. Unfortunately, Army has been idle for the past week so they won’t be quite so heavily featured this week until the end.

Navy has continued their hot streak from last week, extending their win streak to four before falling to Old Dominion at home on Valentine’s day. Luckily for us, we’ll focus on the big win over Duke and the defeat of George Mason first. Air Force beat Cal Poly to salvage a week that otherwise featured tough losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Here’s how it all went down:

Navy (8-5, 3-1 EIWA)

The Mids extended their win streak through their four-match road trip by defeating George Mason in Fairfax and Duke in Pittsboro. The dual against GMU kicked off at the 157 lb. weight class, the first time I’ve actually seen it start there. Jack Stanton-Taddeo dropped the decision to put Navy behind 3-0, but that’s the most point deficit they would face for the rest of the night. A Spencer Carey fall at 174 and a Jacob Koser 17-1 tech fall at 197 gave the Midshipmen enough of a bonus point cushion that GMU couldn’t catch. Navy added decisions by John Birchmeier, Logan Treaster, and Cody Trybus to give the Mids a 23-14 win.

Cody Trybus is the obvious choice for wrestler of the match with his upset win over Alex Madrigal, the nation’s leader in tech falls (10). It was the second meeting for the two, with Madrigal taking the first meeting at the Southern Scuffle. Trybus stayed patient for the entire seven minute match, securing the winning takedown with just 30 seconds left to win 3-1.

Following the exciting win over GMU, Navy traveled to Duke to take on the Blue Devils. Unfortunately, the most points Duke (0-12) scored came from a Navy injury default at heavyweight. The Midshipmen had a 15-0 lead before you could blink thanks to forfeits at 125 and 141 and a Jacob Allen decision win at 133.

The score reached 39-0 with bonus points coming from Dean Caravela and Jacob Koser by the time the heavyweight match rolled around. John Birchmeier was forced to injury default after just 15 seconds on the mat, ending the dual with a final score of 39-6.

Remember last week when I talked about criteria and how most matches barely go past the first two? Well, Navy’s dual against Old Dominion on Valentine’s Day reached the third criteria to break the tie. The Midshipmen dug themselves into a 12-3 hole at the halfway point, with Spencer Carey notching the only win. In a match that featured five wins by each side and zero bonus points, the Mids had quite the comeback to make. Upset wins by Logan Treaster and Jared Prince helped to do just that, with Prince picking up the final decision over No. 10 Larry Early to send the match to criteria at 15-15.

Casey Cobb and Cody Trybus also found the win column for Navy, but the close matches didn’t do them any favors for taking the criteria. As a refresher, the first criteria is which side won more weight classes (both won five), the second criteria is the combined total number of falls, forfeits, defaults, and qualifications (neither side had any), and so the third criteria came into play. The third criteria is the total number of individual points scored in decisions, major decisions, and technical falls. Unfortunately for Navy, Old Dominion had two six-point decisions and one five-point decision to give them the 41-29 advantage and the 16-15 win.

Air Force (4-6, 1-5 Big 12)

This is not Air Force’s year, unfortunately. Their four wins have come over smaller schools, while many of the six losses have been to Big 12 competition. That trend continued this week as the Falcons picked up a win over Cal Poly but lost heavily to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Kayne Hutchison was the lone bright spot in the dual against Oklahoma State, picking up a decision in the heavyweight finale to avoid the shutout. In the nine matches the Cowboys took, seven featured bonus points with three tech falls, so this one was never exactly close. Hutchison’s win gave the Falcons a 37-3 final score, but sometimes that’s what happens when you face the number 11 team in the country. Let’s move on to greener pastures, eh?

We’ll bring the mood up a little bit and talk about the win over Cal Poly. Cody Surratt and Jake Thompson scored back-to-back pins and Kayne Hutchison added a third pin at heavyweight to give the Falcons a lead that would not be caught. Sidney Flores added to the flurry of bonus points with a dominant 15-0 tech fall to highlight a much-needed win for Air Force. Lenny Petersen and Jared Van Vleet added decision wins as the Falcons took six of ten classes in a 29-14 victory.

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. Air Force faced Oklahoma in Norman on Valentine’s Day and took just three of the ten weights. Vincent Dolce won his first career match with a major decision to give Air Force a 4-0 lead. Kayne Hutchison rounded out his great week with an 8-7 decision at heavyweight. He’s easily the wrestler of the week with a 3-0 record and the only points against a ranked foe. Dylan Martinez scored an upset win over No. 31 Jacob Butler with a 4-2 decision highlighted by a clutch reversal. Three wins will never be quite enough to top a squad that wins seven, and Air Force ultimately lost 24-10.

Army (8-3, 2-1 EIWA)

So, like I said, Army has been idle since senior night against Lehigh. The Black Knights will face Bucknell on February 16, but the dual against Navy on February 22 is just a little more important. Mostly because I will be there to cover the match live, so I thought I would do a little preview.

If we look at Army and Navy’s common opponents, it’s hard not to give Army the advantage. Both squads have faced Lock Haven, Lehigh, and American, and Army holds a 2-1 record while Navy is 1-2. Both sides fell to Lehigh and defeated American, but Army defeated Lock Haven 26-9 while Navy dropped 15-19. Navy has higher-ranked wrestlers at 133, 141, and 165 while Army holds an advantage at 125, 157, 174, 184, 197, and heavyweight. Overall, I would look for Army to hold the advantage however they’re on the road and it can be tough to make a prediction in a rivalry like this. The important part is that we have four ranked matchups coming to Annapolis on February 22, and potential for a very close match.

Who’s Ranked?

125 Pounds

  • 23. Trey Chalifoux, Army
  • 25. Logan Treaster, Navy
  • 27. Sidney Flores, Air Force

133 Pounds

  • 29. Casey Cobb, Navy

141 Pounds

  • 30. Cody Trybus, Navy

157 Pounds

  • 10. Markus Hartman, Army

165 Pounds

  • 9. Tanner Skidgel, Navy
  • 21. Cael McCormick, Army
  • 26. Randy Meneweather, Air Force

174 Pounds

  • 17. Ben Harvey, Army
  • 22. Spencer Carey, Navy

184 Pounds

  • 15. Noah Stewart, Army

197 Pounds

  • 22. JT Brown, Army
  • 28. Jacob Koser, Navy

Heavyweight

  • 19. Ben Sullivan, Army

The Coaches Panel has also put out RPI rankings, which I’ll feature next week because this is already a long enough post. However, Army is also the only team to remain ranked, at No. 18.

What’s Next?

Navy is idle until their showdown with Army at home on February 22. The Air Force Falcons will wrap up their regular season with an away dual against North Dakota State on February 16 and senior night against Northern Colorado on February 23. As mentioned before, Army will face Bucknell on February 16 before traveling to Annapolis on February 22.