Army Places Fifth At Buffalo Invitational

Collin Wittmeyer

Collin Wittmeyer

Nov. 4, 2012

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Senior Collin Wittmeyer placed third at 184 pounds, and eight other Black Knights turned in top-six finishes as the Army wrestling team opened the season with a fifth-place showing at the Buffalo Invitational on Sunday.

Army racked up 90.5 points to place fifth in the team standings. Ohio State won the event with 148 points, followed by Kent State (111 points), Buffalo (108) and Edinboro (101). American International College rounded out the six-team field with three points.

"I was proud of how we competed this weekend," said Army head coach Joe Heskett. "We stood out as competitors. It is a long and grueling season, but our focus is on health and incremental daily growth."

Wittmeyer, who began the tournament seeded fourth in the 184-pound draw, opened the day with a 9-0 major decision against Ohio State's Craig Thomas to reach the semifinals. Then, after dropping into the consolation draw, Wittmeyer reeled off consecutive victories over Ohio State's second-seeded and 14th-ranked Kenny Courts (6-5) and Thomas (8-1) to place third.

Freshman Travis Mallo also reached the semifinals at 184 pounds after taking a 9-1 major decision from Courts in his first round bout. The first-year wrestler then dropped three straight matches and settled for sixth place.

Senior Jordan Thome (133 pounds), senior Patrick Marchetti (157), sophomore Stephen Snyder (285) and freshman Bryce Barnes (197) all authored fourth-place finishes for the Black Knights.

Thome split his first two bouts to drop into the consolation draw. Once there, the two-time NCAA qualifier ripped off three consecutive victories before falling the consolation final.

Marchetti lost his first match of the day, but then won five in a row before suffering a setback in the consolation final. He finished the tournament 5-2 with a technical fall.

Snyder also lost his first match before making a furious run through the consolation draw. The heavyweight won three straight bouts before bowing in the consolation final.

Barnes, wrestling in his first career tournament, posted a 3-2 mark en route to his fourth-place finish.

Junior Paul Hancock chipped in a fifth-place showing at 157 pounds, while senior Daniel Young (149) and sophomore Hunter Wood (125) each finished sixth.

Hancock opened the event by upending fourth-seeded Wally Maziarz of Buffalo, 5-4. He then posted an 11-2 major decision opposite Kent State's Tommy Sasfy to reach the semifinals. Hancock dropped his next two bouts, but then rallied to pin Ohio State's Tim Rigel (5:15) in the fifth-place bout.

Wood began the day by defeating Edinboro's Bijan Banks, 11-6. The second-year grappler then dropped a 6-1 decision to Buffalo's top-seeded Max Soria in the semifinals and lost both of his bouts in the consolation draw en route to his sixth-place finish.

Young opened the tournament with an emphatic 16-1 technical fall victory versus Buffalo's James Kloc. The senior co-captain then slipped past top-seeded and fifth-ranked Cam Tessari of Ohio State, 5-4. Young lost his semifinal matchup against Edinboro's Michael Depalma, however, suffering a 10-7 setback and falling into the consolation bracket. He then had to medically forfeit his next two matches and settled for sixth place.

"Huge win for Daniel Young," said Heskett. "When you kick off the season knowing you can compete for an NCAA title it provides an unexplainable and next level type of motivation.

Army resumes its tournament slate on Saturday, Nov. 10, when the Black Knights travel to Brockport, N.Y., to compete at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic.

Team Standings
1. Ohio State 148
2. Kent State 111
3. Buffalo 108
4. Edinboro 101
5. ARMY 90.5
6. AIC 3

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