FRESNO, CA — Wrestling into the wee hours of the night on the West Coast Saturday evening, the Navy wrestling team continued to roll as eight of the 13 wrestlers in action placed among the top three at the 2012 Roadrunner Open in Fresno, including three who won individual titles. Taking wins for a second straight week were freshman Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Va.) at 174 pounts and senior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) at 157 pounds, while junior James Mannier (Troy, Ohio) won his first collegiate crown at 184 pounds.
Barnhisel dominated the 157-pound weight class, giving up just two points the entire tournament. He opened up with a 7-0 decision over Drexel's Noel Blanco, followed by a 14-0 major decision over Isaias Diaz. Barnhisel pinned (4:35) Napoleon Anicete before punching his ticket into the finals with a 16-0 tech fall in the semis over Fierro Adam. Winning his third championship in the last two years, Barnhisel scored a 9-2 decision over Paswell Grant in the championship bout.
Taking his second crown in as many weeks, Miller faced teammate and 2012 Navy team captain Oscar Huntley in the finals of the 174-pound weight class. Miller rolled through his competition via a pin (3:58) over Grand Canyon's Josh Nelson, followed by back-to-back major decisions over Simpson University's Matthew Tsarnas and Zach Nevills before winning by fall (7:22) over Huntley. Meanwhile, Huntley rolled through the opening rounds before earning a spot in the finals by way of a narrow 4-3 decision over Bryce Hammond.
Mannier put together a 5-0 record, including a 5-3 decision over Cal Poly's Sean Dougherty in the championship, en route to taking the 184-pound title. It looked as though it would be Mannier against teammate Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) in the championship, however, Bailey was dealt a 5-3 loss by Dougherty in the semis. Bailey, though would fight back and score a 5-4 decision over John McCardle in the consolations and a commanding 16-0 tech fall over Drexel's Bryan Sternlieb to take third place.
Sophomore Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) came up just short winning his second open of the season. Walsh opened with a bye, but pinned (3:08) Cal Poly's Paul Woodman in the following round.He followed up with a 10-3 win over Peter Galli and a 13-2 major decision over Vlad Dombrovskiy put him in the finals. Jim Wilson, however, handed Walsh a 2-0 setback in the championship bout.
Taking fourth place for the Midshipmen were sophomore Patrick Prada (Laurel, Md.) at 125 pounds and junior Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) at 141 pounds. Prada faced a long day after being bounced, 7-6, in his opening match of the day and was forced to wrestle his way back in the consolation bracket. He won five in a row before surrendering an 8-3 decision to Comparan Miquel in the third-place bout.
Locksmith, meanwhile, won his first two matches convincingly with a 12-5 decision over Kalin Goodsite and pinned (6:06) Fresno City College's Racelis Cardenas. However, he was pinned (4:12) by Drexel's Frank Cimato in the quarters and sent to the consolation bracket. Locksmith won three straight before meeting Cimato in the third-place match where he dropped a 3-1 decision.
Navy returns to action next Saturday when it plays host to the 35th-Annual Navy Classic at Wesley Brown Field House. Preliminary rounds will begin at 10:00 am.