Trio of wrestlers carry team to 2nd place finish at Body Bar Invite

AJ Atkinson

Kent State wrestlers Nic Bedelyon, Dustin Kilgore and Brendan Barlow all went 4-0 and took first place in their weight classes at the Body Bar Invitational in Ithaca, N.Y., Saturday.

In the championship round, fourth-ranked Kilgore, a junior, beat the nation’s No. 1 197-pound wrestler Cam Simaz, 10-9.

“To take down the No. 1 guy is something that’s not easy to do, especially because he’s such a great athlete and great wrestler,” said Kilgore, who’s winning streak in dual meets is now 39. “(Simaz) took third in nationals the previous year, so it feels really good to be able to do that.”

Also in the finals, fourth-ranked junior Bedelyon took down Cornell’s 15th-ranked Frank Perelli 4-0, and 17th-ranked Barlow finished off Buffalo’s Brett Correll 6-2 in the 285-pound weight class.

The three juniors’ first-place finishes played a large part in the team finishing second in the invitational, right behind the nation’s No. 1 Cornell.

“Cornell is the best team in the country in wrestling,” Kent State coach Jim Andrassy said. “We finished second to them, which isn’t a bad thing. It was one of those things where we wrestled pretty darn good. We wrestled two teams in our conference that were there, Central Michigan and also Buffalo, and we did pretty well.”

After last weekend when he said some of the other wrestlers were only being spectators to the other three, Andrassy said he was happy with how the rest of the team wrestled Saturday. The Flashes had one wrestler finish fifth or better in each weight class but one.

“It was much better than we had the last two weeks and I felt our guys are starting to get tougher and respond the way we want them to,” Andrassy said. “We still have a lot of adjustments to make and a lot of things to get better at, but all of our guys fought in their positions tonight.

“They fought real hard, which is very, very important. I thought that the last two weekends we didn’t see that where we didn’t fight and needed to get better in situations, but we did a better job of just outright fighting.”

Kilgore said he was also pleased with how the team performed Saturday.

“We really bounced back from the past two weeks,” Kilgore said. “We didn’t do so well in our first dual meet and tournament, but we had a lot of guys place and wrestle well. So overall, I’d say it was a good performance.”

Andrassy said he would still like his wrestlers to improve their time management during their matches.

“You can’t give up points with five seconds or seven seconds left in the match,” Andrassy said. “That happened in quite a good many spots. You have to fight a little bit harder or hold your position a little bit harder, and we should have a little more success in the spots that we wanted to.”

The Flashes have two weeks to work on this, as their next match is not until Dec. 5 when they travel to Missouri to tackle the Tigers at 1 p.m.

Contact AJ Atkinson at [email protected].