Nov. 21, 2010
Site: Philadelphia, Pa. (The Palestra)
Team Finish: 2nd/12
Next NU Event: Saturday, Dec. 4 vs. Cleveland State Evanston, Ill. 3 p.m.
Keystone Classic -- Final Brackets/Standings
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Competing in the same city that will serve as host of the 2011 NCAA Championships, No. 17 Northwestern collected two weight class titles, a pair of second-place finishes and two more third-place showings at the Keystone Classic hosted by Penn at the Palestra Sunday.
Second-ranked Brandon Precin (125) and 10th-ranked Andrew Nadhir (149) each won their respective weights as the two NU seniors improved their individual season records to 10-0 and 9-0, respectively.
Northwestern placed a close second in the team standings with 138.0 team points, only 5.5 behind team champion and host Pennsylvania. Due to an injury at 174 pounds, NU's team score reflects the contributions of only nine scorers, compared to the 10 entered by each other team in the field.
"We're not satisfied or pleased, we came to this event with the intention of winning it and we didn't get it done," said NU head coach Drew Pariano. "We had a few guys take care of business and we had a few others who I thought made good progress from last weekend to today. Kaleb Friedley fought hard to come back from an early loss to take third. But overall we have a lot of areas we need to get shored up quickly and we'll be working on those this week."
Joining Friedley in third place on the medal stand was senior Aaron Jones at 184 and junior John Schoen at 197 while sophomores Levi Mele (133) and Jason Welch (157) each finished in the runner-up spot. Friedley, Jones, Mele and Welch all come away from the Keystone Classic with only one loss on the season.
Following Penn and Northwestern in the team standings were American (102.0), Rider (82.5) and Edinboro (80.0). Boston University, Liberty, Princeton, Duke, Appalachian State, VMI and Brown rounded out the field at the Keystone Classic.
Below is a weight-by-weight recap of Northwestern's results at Sunday's Keystone Classic.
The top-seeded Precin cruised through his first three matches of the day with two falls and a major decision, beginning with a first-period pin of Edinboro's Bijan Banks. He followed that with a 12-0 major decision blanking of Liberty's Robert Jillard and earned a semifinal berth with a pin at the 5:43 mark against Appalachian State's Brett Boston.
Precin managed to advance into the final bout with a 7-2 decision against fifth-seeded Mark Rappo of host Pennsylvania, setting up a championship match against Princeton's 15th-ranked Garret Frey, a 2010 NCAA qualifier as a true freshman at 125 pounds. Frey was no match for the veteran Precin, who cruised to a 9-1 major decision victory for the title.
Northwestern entered two competitors into the field at 133 pounds, where true sophomore Levi Mele (unseeded) advanced as far as the title match to take second place. Mele opened with a tight 3-2 decision win over Liberty's Thomas Mitchell and, after pinning second-round opponent Joseph DeQuinzio of Princeton, picked up an upset win over No. 2-seeded and 16th-ranked Fred Santaite of Boston University, 8-6, in the first sudden victory period. It was Mele's first career win against a nationally ranked opponent.
Mele kept the momentum rolling in the semifinals, downing third-seeded Jimmy Kirchner of Rider with a 7-3 decision. That set up a meeting with top-seeded and 10th-ranked Rollie Peterkin of Penn, who was too much for Mele in winning an 11-3 major decision in the final.
NU's other entrant at 133 pounds, Robert Joyce drew an opening-round meeting with Peterkin and suffered a 10-1 major decision setback. Joyce won one match in the wrestlebacks before falling to American's Kevin Tao, 2-0.
Northwestern freshman Kaleb Friedley received the No. 4 seed at the Keystone Classic, winning by tech fall in his opening bout vs. Ryan Goodsell of VMI. He moved into the quarters with an 8-5 decision over American's Uditinder Thakur to improve to 7-0 on the season. The first loss of his college career came by a 7-6 score against Liberty's Seth Hicks, sending Friedley into the wrestleback bracket where he won by a major decision and fall to reach the consolation semifinal.
All Friedley did from that point forward was rack up two more falls, first against Vinny Pisani of Edinboro and again vs. Penn's Andrew Lenzi to claim third place. Friedley's full day of work left him with a 6-1 mark on the day and an 11-1 start to his NU career.
Like Precin, Andrew Nadhir received the No. 1 seed at 149 pounds and opened his draw with a fall in the third period against BU's Nestor Taffur. He improved to 7-0 on the year with a major decision over VMI's Mark Merhige (15-6) before earning a bid to the finals with a 7-4 win over Rider's Zac Chibula.
Nadhir met American's Ganbayer Sanjaa in the title match and eked out a 1-0 decision to win the 149-pound bracket and remain unbeaten on the year.
Fans at the Keystone Classic received what was one of the marquee potential matchups at the tournament's outset at 157 pounds as NU's second-seeded Jason Welch and American's top-seeded Steve Fittery each reached the finals with ease. Welch posted two falls and an 8-3 decision win in the early rounds but Fittery, a 2010 All-American and 2009 Midlands champion, got the best of Welch in the final and was able to pin the Wildcat in the second period.
Northwestern's David Helmer also won one match at 157 pounds as the bracket's No. 5 seed, defeating Rider's Joe Benedetti, 5-4. He dropped a 14-8 decision in his ensuing bout, however, and was knocked out of the consolation draw in a tight 3-1 loss to BU's Nick Tourville.
NU's Kevin Bialka and Robert Kellogg each suffered first-round losses at 165 pounds but bounced back with wins in their initial consolation matches. Bialka won by 8-1 decision vs. Brown's Jeff Lemmer but fell to BU's sixth-seeded Kyle Czarnecki, 6-2, while Kellogg won back-to-back matches against Brown's Dave Foxen (15-7) and Duke's David Henry (6-5) before falling to Edinboro's Matt Laird in the consolation quarterfinals.
NU entered three wrestlers into the 184-pound bracket with Aaron Jones as the No. 3 seed and the Wildcat's designated scorer. Jones won by fall in 3:40 vs. Brown's Miquel Alecio and picked up a 5-1 decision over BU's Brock Mantella in his ensuing match. Jones then lost an 11-3 major decision to second-seeded Austin Trotman of Appalachian State. But Jones won two straight matches in the consolation bracket, including one fall, to take third place.
After losing their first-round bouts, NU's Robert Holbrook and Marcus Shrewsbury were forced to square off in the consolation draw, with the sophomore Shrewsbury outlasting Holbrook, 4-3, in the second tiebreaker period. Shrewsbury was eliminated in his next match, however, a 5-4 loss to Boston's Bran Crudden.
Junior John Schoen used a major decision victory and a medical forfeit to advance to the semifinal round at 197 pounds before being overcome, 9-3, by second-seeded Daniel Mitchell of American. Schoen notched a 4-0 decision over Ron Ellsworth of VMI in the consolation semis and defaulted to third place to complete a strong day of wrestling for the junior.
Northwestern's Ben Kuhar received the No. 2 seed at heavyweight and opened with a 4-0 win over App State's Marc Tyson, but lost in a 6-3 decision to Edinboro's Ernest James in the second round. Kuhar rebounded by winning two straight in the consolation round - including a hard-fought 2-0 win over fifth seed Paul Glover off Appalachian State - and went on to take fifth when he edged third-seeded Kevin Innis of BU, 3-1, in his final match of the day.
Northwestern is off from competition until Satuday, Dec. 4, when the Wildcats welcome Cleveland State to Welsh-Ryan Arena for dual action.
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