Wrestling takes second at Body Bar Invitational

Marcus Barkley

Going into this weekend’s Body Bar Invitational in Ithaca, N.Y., the coaches on the Kent State wrestling team were hoping for a third or fourth place finish – a strong effort to show Kent State belonged in the elite tier of schools.

With major contributions from their fifth-year seniors, the Flashes did even better.

The Flashes captured a second-place finish out of 11 teams at the tournament, getting edged by Boise State for the top spot.

A number of wrestlers gave standout performances, with seniors Drew Lashaway (141 pounds) and Jermail Porter (285 pounds) claiming victories in their weight classes.

Lashaway, the second seed in the tournament, also took home first place last year at the event. This weekend, he defeated Boise State’s Cory Fish in an epic semifinal match, winning 3-1 after a last-second takedown. Lashaway then beat Sacred Heart’s Chris Davis 10-6 in the finals.

After recording 9-4 and 6-3 victories leading up to the semifinals, Porter took control of Maryland’s Patrick Gilmore in a resounding 13-4 victory. In the finals, Porter was slated to wrestle his teammate, freshman Brandon Barlow, who had climbed his way to the finals.

“It was pretty neat because we said hopefully we’ll see each other in the finals,” Barlow said. “It’s good for the team.”

Despite the potentially intriguing matchup between teammates, Kent State coach Jim Andrassy decided to default the match to Porter, giving him the first-place victory.

“Barlow and Porter wrestle each other many times in practice,” Andrassy said in an athletic department statement. “We did not want to risk a potential injury to either wrestler by having them face each other.”

Though Barlow said he was disappointed when he was told he would not get to fight for first place, he was happy Porter came out on top.

“It was kind of hard because I had to take second place without getting a chance to even wrestle for the title,” Barlow said. “But it’s great because (Porter) is a great guy and a great friend. I also love when the older guys (win) because they’re setting perfect examples for the rest of us. I have no hard feelings.”

Junior Danny Mitcheff took second place in the 133 weight class, and redshirt freshman Dustin Kilgore placed second in the 184 weight class.

The Flashes will return to action Dec. 14, when they take on Clarion in their first home match of the season.

Contact sports correspondent Marcus Barkley at [email protected].