We’re back with another edition of the wrestling roundup, folks. This week had a little bit of everything and then some. Navy defeated two EIWA foes, Air Force lost on criteria but beat Utah Valley, and Army honored CJ Morgan on senior night.
How it all went down:
19. Army Black Knights (8-3, 2-1 EIWA)
The Black Knights traveled to West Orange, New Jersey for senior night against Lehigh this week. Why not home at West Point? The decision to move senior night was to honor CJ Morgan, a wrestler who was killed in a training accident in June 2019. The idea came from Coach Ward and had the support of the entire team.
The Black Knights lead only briefly in the showdown with No. 11 ranked Lehigh. The Eagles’ Brandon Paetzell defeated Trey Chalifoux to open the scoring at 3-0. Army balanced the tables with two wins in a row from Andrew Wert Jr. and Logan Brown. From there, the only bright spot in Army’s night was No. 19 Cael McCormick defeating Brian Meyer by decision. No. 32 PJ Ogunsanya lost a close 2-1 battle at 149, Lucas Weiland fell 3-0 at 154, Ben Harvey lost by fall at 174, the list goes on.
However, the Black Knights didn’t sacrifice too many bonus points outside of Ben Harvey’s fall. Army has a well earned week off until they travel to Bucknell on February 16.
Air Force Falcons (3-4, 1-3 Mountain West)
For the first time this season, a service academy lost on criteria. While it’s never good to lose, it at least provides an opportunity to learn about the criteria in NCAA wrestling. When two teams remain tied at the completion of all ten weight classes, there are 6 criteria used to break the tie. In this case, Air Force lost on the first criteria: Number of victories. Fresno State took six of the ten classes to Air Force’s four.
The other criteria should each team win five classes include: Combined number of falls, forfeits, defaults, and disqualifications; total points without pins; total near fall points, least number of unsportsmanlike calls; and finally who scored the first takedown. Not many matches get past the first few criteria, but at least there aren’t many ties.
Now, on to the match: Air Force actually competed in two duals this weekend, splitting the results. The Falcons defeated 1-9 Utah Valley on January 30 but fell at Fresno State on February 2. In the first match, the Falcons took 6 of the 10 matches with bonus points coming from No. 14 Sidney Flores at 125 and No. 24 Randy Meneweather at 165. Lenny Petersen, Dylan Martinez, and Trey Brisker each picked up decision wins before Utah Valley won four of the final six bouts.
Losses included decisions over Kayne Hutchison and Jared Van Vleet and major decisions over Cody Surratt and Casey Jumps.
The showdown at Fresno State came right down to the wire, ending with the first criteria. Not only that, but the heavyweight match reached sudden victory before a winner could be declared. Graham Shore won the 125 lb. class for Air Force with a forfeit, and Randy Meneweather added his second pin of the weekend at 165. Lenny Petersen and Jake Thompson were the other two winners for the Falcons but neither was able to secure any bonus points. The match ended with Kayne Hutchison taking on Danny Salas at heavyweight. A decision in Hutchison’s favor would have sealed the match for the Falcons, but he fell 6-4 in sudden victory as Salas was able to secure a takedown.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Air Force, as they take on No. 11 Oklahoma State up next.
Navy Midshipmen (6-4, 3-1 EIWA)
Navy also competed in a pair of duals this past weekend, picking up EIWA wins over both American and Drexel. The Midshipmen defeated American University in Washington DC with the sheer power of bonus points. They only won four of the ten weight classes but each win was by fall. Logan Treaster was upset at the 125 lb. class by Gage Curry, and American picked up decisions over Cody Trybus and Val Park at 141 and 149. Casey Cobb and Jared Prince tied things back up for the Midshipmen at 12-12 after the 165 weight class.
Spencer Carey and Jacob Koser gave Navy the 24-18 lead heading into the last weight class, where John Birchmeier lost by decision 5-1.
Navy slayed the Drexel Dragons 23-15 after jumping out to a 14-0 lead with wins by Logan Treaster, Jacob Allen, and Cody Trybus. The Dragons won the next four classes to take a 15-14 lead, highlighted by an Ebed Jarell fall over Brian Case. The Midshipmen retook the lead immediately and for good, finishing the meet with three decision wins. Andrew Buckley, Jacob Koser, and John Birchmeier won close battles to reach the 23-15 score.
Up next, Navy takes on George Mason on February 6 and Duke on February 9.
The next coaches panel rankings should come out around February 14, so the rankings will be updated then. Look for Army’s Cael McCormick, Air Force’s Randy Meneweather, and Navy’s Logan Treaster to rise a bit and Army to remain the only team ranked.
Stay tuned for February 22 when Army and Navy meet in Annapolis because we will be covering the match live.