INDIANAPOLIS — The top-ranked Newberry College wrestling team set a new tournament record with 159.5 points to dominate the field in the 34th annual Midwest Classic.
The win was Newberry’s third straight Midwest Classic title and fourth in the last five years. Newberry was 41.5 points ahead of its nearest competition in Upper Iowa, who scored 118 points.
“This win is a great way to go into a short holiday break,” head coach Jason Valek said. “I’m excited for these kids and for the team as a whole and I look forward to getting better in the new year.”
Newberry was led by Deral Brown (Elgin), who claimed the championship at 149-pounds. The senior advanced to the championship match with an 8-3 decision over Upper Iowa’s Jordan Rinken, and claimed the tournament title with a 3-2 decision, which he clinched with a third period takedown. The win is Brown’s third tournament title of the season with wins at the Pembroke Classic and King College Open.
A trio of Wolves finished as tournament runner-ups - Jeff Vesta (Manhattan, Kan.) at 125-pounds, B.J. Young (Jackson, N.J.) at 141-pounds and Mitch Brown (Omaha, Neb.) at 184 lbs.
Vesta was victorious in his semifinal match with a 4-0 decision over Ben Sergent of Findlay for his second win over the nationally-ranked Roughneck in eight days. However, he was on the wrong end of a 5-3 decision to Indianapolis’ Alex Johns in the championship bout.
Young needed just 43 seconds to pin Maryville’s Tyrell Galloway in the semifinals, but lost an 11-5 decision to UNC Pembroke’s Daniel Ownbey in the championship bout.
Brown took a 6-0 decision from Northern State’s Chad Gibson in the semifinals, but lost a 3-2 decision to Adam Walters of Findlay in the championship bout. Walters is the top-ranked 184-pounder in the country and has beaten Brown twice in the last eight days, each by just one point.
Ridenour (Maryville, Tenn.) at 165-pounds and Travis Sheehy (Suwanee, Ga.) at 174-pounds each earned third place honors.
Ridenour won three bouts on the day to finish third. He took a 12-2 major decision from Ohio Northern’s Tyler Gargano, an 8-0 major decsion over Findlay’s Mason True and an 8-5 decision over McKendree’s Nicolas Haferkamp. Ridenour’s performance was fantastic, as it was his second win in eight days over the third-ranked True, and the decision over Haferkamp in the third place match exacted revenge for the pin which sent Ridenour into the consolation bracket on Saturday.
Sheehy was beaten by the top-ranked Mike Williams of UNC Pemroke, 5-1, in the semifinals and then won two bouts to take third place. He eked out a 9-7 decision over Tiffin’s Jake Cramer and needed just 1:21 to pin Indiana Tech’s Tanner Martin in the third place match.
At 157-pounds, Taylor Knapp (Lawrenceville, Ga.) finished in fourth place. He fell victim to a pin by Upper Iowa’s Bryce Lumzy at the 4:39 mark. He then pinned Findlay’s Jordan Cowell to advance to the third place match, where he lost a 4-2 decision to Lake Erie’s Zach Vargo.
Joey Grisko (Gloucester Township, N.J.) finished in sixth place in the 197 lbs. bracket. He won a 3-0 decision over Ohio Valley’s Chase Long, but dropped a 5-4 decision to McKendree’s Julian Smith and was pinned at the 2:03 mark by Ohio Northern’s Michael Pawlitz.
Chase Gamble (Dallas, N.C.) was in eighth place in the heavyweight bracket, coming out on the wrong end of a pair of major decisions, losing 9-0 to West Liberty’s Mike Carpenter and 17-4 to Zotaih Tuaquoi of Central Missouri.
The Wolves return to action on Sunday, Jan. 6, in Warrensburg, Mo., when the Scarlet and Gray wrestle against Newman and Central Missouri in a pair of dual matches in preparation for the NWCA National Duals.
The Newberry College wrestling team held a commanding lead after the opening day of action at the 34th annual Midwest Classic hosted by the University of Indianapolis on Saturday.
Six of Newberry’s 10 wrestlers advanced to Sunday’s championship semifinals, while another three are still alive in the consolation brackets.
The Wolves — who were ranked the No. 1 in Division II by the Basford poll earlier this week — have 100 points, while Upper Iowa is in second with 81.5, Findlay is third with 71, Ashland is fourth with 56.5 and Ohio Northern is fifth with 50.
Vesta at 125 pounds advanced to the semifinals with a 4-0 decision over UNC Pembroke’s Jake Smith and a 1:47 pin of Ohio Northern’s Jerome Pasquale. He will face Findlay’s Ben Sergent in the semifinals in a rematch of a Newberry Duals bout, which Vesta won in the second sudden victory period.
Young is in the 141-pounds semifinals after a pair of bonus point wins with a 1:58 pin of Manchester’s Josh Juarez and a 13-5 major decision over Joey White of Findlay. He faces Maryville (Mo.)’s Tyrell Galloway in the semifinals.
Deral Brown advanced to the semifinals of the 149-pound bracket with a roll of major decisions, winning 18-9 over McKendree’s Devin Patterson, 14-2 over Ashland’s Jacob Garringer and 10-2 over Jeremiah Lutz of Brewton-Parker. Brown goes against Upper Iowa’s Jordan Rinken in the semifinals.
Taylor Knapp is in the 157-pound semifinals after a 2:01 pin of Findlay’s Jordan Cowell, a 3-0 decision over Ohio Valley’s Tyler George and a 12-7 decision over Indiana Tech’s James Bennett. He goes against Upper Iowa’s Bryce Lumzy in the semifinals.
Travis Sheehy at 174 pounds advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 decision over McKendree’s Luis Alba and a 2:32 pin of Indiana Tech’s Tanner Martin. He faces No. 1 Mike Williams of UNC Pembroke in one of the most anticipated semifinals of the day.
At 184-pounds, Mitch Brown advanced to the semifinals with a 33 second pin of Manchester’s Zach Kurtz, a 6-2 decision over Maryville’s Ryan Beltz and a 4-0 decision over Nolan Karwoski of Mount St. Joseph. His semifinal opponent will be Northern State’s Chad Gibson.
Three other wrestlers are still alive in the consolation brackets, including national wrestler of the week Blake Ridenour at 165-pounds. Ridenour pinned Tiffin’s Nick Hughes at the 6:34 mark and earned a 6-0 decision over Cory Disbennett of Mount St. Joseph, but was pinned by McKendree’s Nick Haferkamp to drop into the consolation bracket. Ridenour earned an 18-1 technical fall over Western State Colorado’s Shawn Seppala to advance into the placement rounds, where he will first face Ohio Northern’s Tyler Gargano.
At 197-pounds, Joey Grisko won his first bout of the day with a 2:13 pin of Ohio Valley’s Chase Long, but dropped his quarterfinal match 3-1 in the sudden victory period to Matt Baker of Maryville. He took an 8-4 decision over Findlay’s Ashton Brown to advance to the placement rounds, where he will have a rematch with OVU’s Chase Long.
In the heavyweight bracket, Chase Gamble made it to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 decision over Jimmie King of Manchester and a 3:17 pin of Kevin Christman from Tiffin, but was a hard luck 2-0 loser to Ross Janney of McKendree in the quarterfinals. He pinned Limestone’s Aaron Rowe in just 2:06 to advance to the placement rounds, where he will first face off against West Liberty’s Mike Carpenter.
The only wrestler eliminated Saturday was Nick Lankford at 133-pounds, who went 2-2 on the day with a pair of pinfalls to his credit. He pinned Brewton-Parker’s Nick Armstrong in 3:55 before being dropped to the consolation bracket with a 12-5 decision loss to Limestone’s Ross Benzel. He then pinned Trine’s Nick Ader in 1:45, but dropped a tough 3-2 decision to Campbellsville’s Tyler Alsip to see his tournament come to an end.