LOCK HAVEN - It was a long day of wrestling as the Brute Tournament was staged at Lock Haven University's Thomas Fieldhouse Saturday.
When the final bout ended and the points were on the board, the Bloomsburg Huskies walked off with the team trophy. Bloomsburg finished with 198.5 points to take the team title. Following the Huskies to complete the top three were Kent State with 154.4 points and Lock Haven with 136.
"I am real satisfied with our effort today because we are getting better every day," said Bloomsburg head coach John Stutzman. "But like I tell the guys, our next biggest competition is the next one in front of us and that is Maryland. We are doing well."
Lock Haven’s Jake Kemerer wrestles Kent State’s Thaddeus Keklak Saturday at Thomas Fieldhouse.
The Bald Eagles finished third behind the Huskies and Kent State, up four places from their finish one year ago, when the tournament was still known as the LHU?Invite.
"If you look at it, we entered nine starters and we were able to place all nine of them," said Waller. "We were seventh here last year and this year we finished in the top three so we had improvements all the way around. In some cases there were opportunities gained and in other cases, opportunities were lost. That is kind of what I saw from our guys today."
The Bald Eagles advanced six wrestlers to the semifinals, three to the finals, but crowned no champions.
Earning berths in the championship semis were Bobby Rehm (125), Matt Bryer (133), Dan Neff (141), Mac Maldarelli (149), Jake Kemerer (157) and Harry Turner (285).
Rehm, Neff and Maldarelli advanced to the title round with semifinal wins, while Bryer, Kemerer and Turner dropped their semifinal bouts to fall back into the wrestlebacks.
Rehm went 3-0 to reach the finals, picking up a pair of technical falls and a major decision.
Rehm opened with his pair of tech falls over Steve Winfield of Drexel (17-1, 5:36) and Elliott Zackowski of Bloomsburg (16-1, 3:18) before advancing to the finals with a 16-3 thumping of Buffalo University's Max Soria.
In the finals, Rehm battled the persistent takedown shots of Kent State's Steve Mitcheff, the Golden Flash securing the winning takedown in the final eight seconds of the bout for his 3-1 victory.
"Obviously I didn't wrestle the way I wanted to in the finals," said Rehm. "He is good in the ties and that kind of shut me down. He was re-shooting real well and as a result, I struggled in my outside shots."
Neff went 4-0 to reach the title round in methodical fashion with three regular decisions and one major.
The redshirt freshman downed Ryan Goodsell of VMI 7-3, Jake Keller of Pitt 13-6, Kyle Bauer of Kent State 14-3 and Frank Cimato of Drexel 11-8 to reach the finals.
Six seconds into his title bout with Franklin & Marshall's Richard Durso, Neff secured the quick takedown, but immediately rolled to the mat, wincing in pain.
Able to continue, Neff and Durso were involved in a scramble and Durso countered Neff's move, taking the redshirt freshman to his back for the fall in 3:44 of the bout.
"He (Durso) had a really good tournament," said Neff. "I was on bottom and I as able to get out. We were in a front headlock situation and I spun behind and he is like a really strange wrestler. He has real good hips and he just caught me a little off balance, threw his hips over top and caught me on my back."
In compiling his 4-0 mark for his berth in the finals, Maldarelli was solid with a fall over Colton Perry of Binghamton University in 1:53, before posting regular decisions over Andrew Hollern of Kent State (7-1), Simon Kitzis of Bloomsburg (6-2) and Nick Carr of Kent State (7-5).
In his title bout, Maldarelli was unable to cope with the tactics of Alexander Richardson and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Old Dominion wrestler.
"I was trying to not get in with sloppy hand positioning and he just jumped in on my legs," said Maldarelli. "I didn't want to be too aggressive because I knew he was fast and that he would be looking for those short, easy doubles. I was just trying to stay low with my hands and wait for him to make a mistake, but I guess it (the mistake) didn't happen."
After falling out of championship competition, Bryer, Kemerer and Turner all came back to turn in placewinning efforts. Bryer finished fourth, Turner wound up fifth and Kemerer had to settle for sixth.
In addition to the half dozen semifinalists, other Bald Eagles able to turn in placewinning efforts were Fred Garcia, third at 184, and sixth-place efforts by Aaron McKinney (165) and Phil Sprenkle (197).
The OW of the tournament award went to Durso for his solid tournament that resulted in the title at 141.