Feature Articles

Mids Win 2011 All-Academy Championship

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Five Midshipmen won individual titles, while three others placed second as the Navy wrestling team won its 10th All-Academy Championship title Sunday in Charleston, S.C. In sum, Navy placed nine of its 10 wrestlers among the top three.

“I was thrilled with the effort that we gave as a team today,” said 11th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett, who has won seven All-Academy titles. “There were several wrestlers who gave gutsy performances. Dustin (Haislip) was phenomenal against VonOhlen, Allen (Stein) just continues to wrestle hard and Oscar (Huntley) upset the top seed in his weight class. We learned a great deal from this weekend and we look forward to using the next couple of weeks to prepare for Army.”

With 117.5 points, Navy claimed victory by 31 points over The Citadel (86.5), who won two title bouts and placed nine wrestlers in the top four. The Mids held an 18-point advantage over The Bulldogs heading into the championship round, but Navy proved to be the dominate academy by the end of the tournament. Both teams were represented by nine wrestlers, however, Navy sent eight wrestlers into championship bouts and the Bulldogs had six.

The Citadel, meanwhile, held off Army (82.5) by four points, as the Black Knights crowned a pair of champions and place seven wrestlers in all. Air Force (64.0) placed fourth, followed by the Merchant Marine Academy (36.5), VMI (22.5), Coast Guard (3.5) and Norwich (1.5).

Navy has been the dominant team in the 17-year history of the tournament, winning 10 of the 17 championships including seven of the last eight. Navy has won 64 individual crowns in All-Academy Championship history, including 38 of the 80 titles over the last eight years. The Mids won the team title in 1995, `97, `99, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, ‘10 and ‘11, while they have claimed five or more individual titles in 1997, `99, `04, `05, `07, `08, ‘10 and ‘11.

Top-seeded Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) got things rolling for the Mids by winning his second-straight All-Academy title at 125 pounds. Nearly untouched all day, the 2010 NCAA qualifier cruised past VMI’s Charles Gray in the opening bout by way of a tech fall with nearly three minutes remaining in the match. He went on to pin fourth-seeded Tyler Spangler of Air Force before taking the championship crown behind a 9-1 major decision over the No. 2 seed Richard Alarcon of The Citadel.

With the 3-0 sweep, Kalil improves to 25-7 on the year, marking the most wins in his three-year career. Last year he produced a 22-13 record. Meanwhile, he has won 11 of his last 13 matches, including eight in a row.

Making his debut at the All-Academy Championship in his senior season was Allen Stein (Portland, Maine), who has been phenomenal for Burnett the latter half of the season. Stein came into the tournament having won three straight duals and continue to roll as he won all three bouts to earn the 133-pound All-Academy individual title.

Seeded No. 2, Stein pinned Norwich’s Kyle Brouillete of Norwich before slithering past third-seeded Tyler Sim of The Citadel to punch his way into the finals. Stein not only was facing top-seeded Derek Gillespie of Air Force, he was facing the defending All-Academy champion. Gillespie scored the match’s first point with an escape to open the second, but Stein was able to battle him to the mat to take the lead. Gillespie, however, knotted up the match with his second escape of the period. Again, Stein was the aggressor with his second takedown, but Gillespie found his way free as Stein led 4-3 heading into the final frame. Stein earned his escape point to start the third period to take a 5-3 lead. Gillespie desperately needed a takedown to get back into the match and did just that with time winding down. Stein was able to cut loose and held on to score the 6-5 win.

Placing second at 141 pounds was junior Dustin Haislip (Inwood, W.Va.), who looked spectacular in his first two matches. It looked as though Haislip drew the short straw and as he was up against top-seeded and 11th-ranked Cole VonOhlen of Air Force in his opening match. Haislip jumped out to a 2-1 advantage and never looked back, as he scored the day’s first upset with a 6-5 victory. The Citadel’s Jordan Dix also upset his foe by way of fall to meet up with Haislip in the semis, but it Dix who found his shoulders on the mat with Haislip taking the pinfall at 2:30. Unable to use the momentum to his advantage, Haislip surrendered a 6-1 los to Army’s Casey Thome in the finals to finish second.

Senior team captain Bryce Saddoris (Spring Creek, Nev.) claimed the Mids’ third title of the day and he, too, made it look easy. The All-American dealt Coast Guard’s Andy Snyder a tech fall and went on to earn a 9-3 victory over Merchant Marine’s Dan Twitto. He concluded the day with a 5-2 victory over Army’s Jimmy Rafferty to earn his third All-Academy title in four years. Saddoris won the 149-pound crown as a freshman and last year claimed the 157-pound title. Meanwhile, Saddoris reached the 30-win mark (30-5) for the fourth time in his career and is now just one win away (140-37) from tying the school record for wins which is currently held by Matt Stolpinski with 141 wins.

Sophomore 165-pound Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) got off to a slow start, dropping his opener to unseeded Clayton Gable of Air Force, but managed to regroup and take third in the competition. Working his way back through the consolation bracket, Bailey, the No. 2 seed, pinned Coast Guard’s Luke Taylor and followed up with a major decision over fourth-seeded Vincent Renaut of the Merchant Marine Academy. The win over Renaut set up a rematch between Bailey and Gable in the third-place bout with Bailey avenging his earlier loss with an 8-6 win.

Senior Matt DeMichiel (Whitesboro, N.Y.) missed last year’s All-Academy Championship after suffering a broken leg against North Carolina and nearly missed this year’s tournament after having two teeth knocked to the roof of his mouth against none other than the Tar Heels. But DeMichiel wouldn’t let a few loose teeth derail his opportunity to compete in this weekend’s tournament. And thankfully so, as DeMichiel scored Navy’s fourth individual title of the afternoon. Seeded No. 1 at 174 pounds, DeMichiel opened the day with an 11-2 major decision over VMI’s Matt Brock and continued to roll as he posted a 5-2 win over Air Force’s Joseph Stafford. DeMichiel met second-seeded J.C. Oddo of The Citadel in the championship bout and wasted little time and hurling Oddo to the mat. DeMichiel took advantage of Oddo, who appeared to land awkwardly, and went on to pin his foe in the time of 2:11.

Sixteenth-ranked Luke Rebertus (Gloucester, Va.) came into the tournament looking to win his second All-Academy Championship in as many tries. As a freshman, Rebertus claimed the 174-pound title, but missed last year’s competition. Rebertus looked like a man on a mission, surrendering just four points the entire day to score the victory. He defeated VMI’s John Commert in the day’s opening match before scoring a 5-1 decision over fourth-seeded Scott Lowe of the Merchant Marine Academy. Third-seeded Justin Sparrow of The Citadel hardly put up a fight against Rebertus, as the 2009 NCAA qualifier dominated the match en route to a 12-1 major decision.

The trio of wins pushes Rebertus closer to the elusive 30-win mark. He now stands 26-7 on the year.

With DeMichiel able to wrestle at 174 pounds, Burnett made the decision to push his sensational sophomore Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) up two classes to represent Navy at 197 pounds. Mindful of his weight gain, Huntley was definitely at a disadvantage in terms of weight, but not in skill. After pinning Norwich’s Charles Constantino to open the tournament, Huntley wrestled a spectacular match and upset top-seeded Neil Delaney of Air Force, 4-3, setting up a finals bout against No. 2 seed Kelby Smith of The Citadel. Huntley looked solid in his match, but a mistake along the edge of the mat put Smith on top and Huntley would succumb by a 5-3 decision.

Sophomore heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) was one of seven Navy wrestlers who made their first appearance at the All-Academy Championship. Miller opened the day with a pin over Army’s Christian Botero in just 2:19, advancing to the semis where he’d face second-seeded Judd Connell of the Merchant Marine Academy. After trailing Connell, 5-3, after the first period, Miller fought is way back and went on to pin Connell at the 6:15 mark. Miller battled top-seeded Josh Wine of VMI in the championship bout, but was unable to get any offense going in what would end in a 6-2 loss.

The Mids will use the next two weeks to prepare for their biggest dual of the year, the annual Star Match against Army. The two teams will square of at Christl Arena in West Point, N.Y. on Feb. 19 beginning at 7:00 pm. Navy owns a 44-5-5 record against the Black Knights and have won 10 in a row. The Mids have lost just once in the last 48 matches in the series (42-1-5).

17th Annual All-Academy Championship
Feb. 6, 2011 • McAlister Field House • Charleston, S.C.

125 – #1 Aaron Kalil (Navy) win by major dec #2 Richard Alarcon (The Citadel) 9-1
133 – #2 Allen Stein (Navy) win by dec #1 Derek Gillespie (Air Force) 6-5
141 – #2 Casey Thome (Army) win by dec Dustin Haislip (Navy) 6-1
149 – #1 Daniel Young (Army) win by dec #3 Derek Royster (The Citadel) 6-0
157 – #1 Bryce Saddoris (Navy) win by dec #2 Jimmy Rafferty (Army) 5-2
165 – #1 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) win by dec #3 Jake Vetter (Army) 5-2
174 – #1 Matt DeMichiel (Navy) win by fall #2 J.C. Oddo (The Citadel) 2:11
184 – #1 Luke Rebertus (Navy) win by major dec #3 Justin Sparrow (The Citadel) 12-1
19 – #2 Kelby Smith (The Citadel) win by dec #4 Oscar Huntley (Navy) 5-3
HWT – #1 Josh Wine (VMI) win by dec #3 Dan Miller (Navy) 6-2

125 – #3 Travis Coffey (Army) won by dec #4 Tyler Spangler (Air Force) 4-2
133 – #4 Connor Hanafee (Army) won by dec #3 Tyler Sim (The Citadel) 5-3
141 – #1 Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) won by med forfeit Jordan Dix (The Citadel) —
149 – #2 Josh Kreimier (Air Force) won by major dec Martin Bell (MMA) 11-3
157 – Pierre Frazile (The Citadel) won by dec #4 Dan Twitto (MMA) 3-2
165 – #2 Mason Bailey (Navy) won by dec Clayton Gable (Air Force) 8-6
174 – Ryan Tompkins (Army) won by dec Matt Brock (VMI) 5-3
184 – #4 Seth Lowe (MMA) won by dec #2 Kazden Ikehara (Air Force) 3-2
197 – #1 Neil Delaney (Air Force) won by dec Daniel Mills (Army) 3-2
HWT – #2 Judd Connell (MMA) won by dec #4 Jared Erickson (Air Force) 8-5

Courtesy of Navy Sports Information

To Top