Wrestling finishes 2nd at Buffalo Invitational


University of Buffalo wrestler John Northrup and Kent State wrestler Casey Newburg get ready to grapple at the 2012 Buffalo Brawl Invitational tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2012. Photo by Nick Fischetti.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State wrestling team’s season began on a promising note Sunday at the 2012 Buffalo Brawl Invitational tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.

Seniors Dustin Kilgore and Casey Newburg won individual championships, and the Flashes finished second in the team rankings with a total score of 111 points.

Six teams participated in the tournament including No. 5 Ohio State, No. 22 Edinboro, and Mid-American Conference rival and host school Buffalo. Head coach Jim Andrassy said he felt the Flashes competed well with the number of young wrestlers they have on the squad.

“A few of our young guys did pretty well,” Andrassy said. “I’d like to see a little more urgency in their matches and see them get more experience, but we got off to a good start today.”

No. 17 Kent State saw the return of Kilgore, who spent last season training with the U.S. Olympic wrestling team and competing in international tournaments. Kilgore, the No. 1-ranked grappler in the nation at the 197-pound weight class, earned a pin fall and a 10-4 decision on his way to an individual title.

Andrassy said having Kilgore back in the lineup would stabilize that weight class and help other wrestlers on the team.

“It definitely helps with the team’s consistency,” Andrassy said. “It’ll also help our younger guys when they see how he prepares for matches, how he competes and how he puts pressure on opponents.”

In his last season with the Flashes in 2011, Kilgore went 35-3 and won a national championship at 197 pounds.

Newburg earned an individual title at 184, starting the day with an 8-0 shutout of Edinboro’s Hunter Auletta. Newburg followed up by scoring a fall and a 6-3 before defeating Victor Avery of Edinboro 4-2 in the championship round.

Sophomore Ian Miller finished second in the 157-pound bracket, despite getting off to a fast start. Miller earned three pin falls in his first four matches but dropped a 5-3 decision against Ohio State’s Josh Demas.

“[Miller] just didn’t wrestle very well in the last match,” Andrassy said. “… I feel he was better than the guy he wrestled, but he didn’t go with his game plan and it resulted in a loss.”

Senior Stevie Mitcheff finished third in the 125-pound bracket after winning three of his four matches. Mitcheff lost his semi-final match 9-4, and Andrassy said it came down to which wrestler wanted it more.

“He could have very well made it to the finals,” Andrassy said. “A lot of it comes down to getting prepared for that match, working a little harder and staying relaxed. With a little more urgency, I think he would’ve done much better.”

Mitcheff, who wrestled at 133 pounds last season, defeated Buffalo’s Mike Soria 11-5 to earn a third-place finish.

Senior Keith Witt finished second in the heavyweight division, junior Tyler Small finished third at 141, and freshman Sam Wheeler earned third at 174.

Andrassy said this tournament allowed his team to get good experience early in the season.

“It’s a long season,” Andrassy said. “We know where we’re at now, and we know what we need to do to improve.”

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].