FAIRFAX, VA — The Navy wrestling team won nine of the 10 bouts en route to a 33-4 victory over George Mason Saturday evening in what marked the Mids' first dual meet of the 2012-13 campaign. Beginning at 133 pounds, the Mids won nine straight matches before surrendering the final match of the evening.
"This is usually a tough time for us because the guys have finals coming up and we've just gotten back from a tough Vegas tournament, but I thought the kids did a good job and we wrestled well," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. "We did a nice job of keeping the pressure on throughout each of the matches and we were able to come away with some close wins, too. I was pleased with the effort and the outcome."
Three of Navy's wrestlers were making their first dual meet appearance, including sophomore Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) who put the Mids on the scoreboard first with an 8-2 decision over George Mason's Zach Isenhour at 133 pounds.
Coming off a tough draw at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational a week ago, junior 141-pound Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) got back on the winning column by edging out rookie Sahid Kargbo, 7-5.
Junior Ben Hunter (Harrisonville, Mo.) extended Navy's lead to 9-0 after scoring a 10-5 decision over George Mason's Greg Flournoy. Hunter, who is now 1-0 in duals all-time, opened the season high on the depth chart, but succumbed to injury at the Eastern Michigan Open in early December. The injury held him out of competition until last week when he returned to the mat at the Nittany Lion Open where he posted a 4-2 record.
Senior Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.), ranked 13th nationally at 157 pounds, continued his domination, rolling over senior Jaaziah Bethea, 14-0 for the first of three bonus points wins by the Mids. Barnhisel stands at 20-2 and has beaten Bethea twice this season, also earning a 10-0 major decision at the Navy Classic.
Sophomore Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) earned his 30th-career victory by way of a 9-3 decision over GMU senior Ty Knepp at 165 pounds.
Thirteenth-ranked rookie Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) produced the match's lone fall, as he pinned 174-pound sophomore Ryan Hembury at 5:40 to improve to 13-1 this season. Six of Miller's 13 wins this season have come by fall.
Following his sixth-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, senior Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) entered the rankings as the No. 19 wrestler at 184 pounds. He cruised past GMU's Corey Smith, earning the tech fall (15-0) to improve to 17-6 on the year and give the Mids a 27-0 lead.
Senior Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) continues his transition from 174 to 197 pounds and used better than two minutes of riding time Saturday night to secure a 5-4 win over freshman Matt Meadows. Huntley made the move to 197 pounds a week ago at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational where he put together a 2-2 mark.
Senior heavyweight Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) picked up a 5-2 win over GMU's Jake Kettler to grab his 10th win of the year.
In the evening's final match, George Mason senior Rich Lavorato handed Navy junior Jericho Urmenita (Auburn, Wash.), making just his second dual appearance of his career, a 10-2 loss at 125 pounds to account for the Patriots' four points.
Navy def. George Mason, 33-4
133 - Colton Rasche (NAVY) dec. Zach Isenhour (GMU), 8-2
141 - Joe Locksmith (NAVY) dec. Sahid Kargbo GMU), 7-5
149 - Ben Hunter (NAVY) dec. Greg Flournoy (GMU), 10-5
157 - #13 Bobby Barnhisel (NAVY) maj. dec Jaaziah Bethea (GMU), 14-0
165 - Peyton Walsh (NAVY) dec. Ty Knepp (GMU), 9-3
174 - #13 Mathew Miller (NAVY) fall Ryan Hembury (GMU), 5:40
184 - #19 Mason Bailey (NAVY) tech fall Corey Smith (GMU), 15-0
197 - Oscar Huntley (NAVY) dec. Matt Meadows (GMU), 5-4
285 - Dan Miller (NAVY) dec. Jake Kettler (GMU), 5-2
125 - Rich Lavorato (GMU) maj. dec. Jericho Urmenita (NAVY), 10-2