2 Flashes advance to Elite Eight

Sean Ammerman

The Kent State wrestling team sent two wrestlers into the Elite Eight of their weight classes in the first day of the NCAA Division I National Tournament yesterday in Oklahoma City.

Senior Alex Camargo, who won the Mid-American Conference Championship at 184 pounds, and junior Chad Sportelli, who took third in the conference tournament at 125 pounds, both advanced to the third round of the tournament.

In his first bout, No. 11 seeded Camargo defeated Dustin Wiles of Pennsylvania 9-4 in the pigtail round. Because the NCAA enter an overflow of wrestlers, the pigtail round is a preliminary bracket to the second-round.

No. 16 nationally ranked Camargo went on to defeat No. 14 Vince Jones of Nebraska in the second round with a 9-7 win .

Unseeded Sportelli faced No. 8 seeded John Velez in the second round. He upset the No. 8 ranked wrestler 6-5 in the third period by accumulating enough riding time to break the tie.

He then went on to defeat Illinois’ Peter Friedl with a 3-1 decision in the Sweet Sixteen round.

Against Chad Mendes of California State Polytechnic, Sportelli won with a 3-2 decision to launch him to the third round.

Junior Aaron Miller, who was named an Academic All-American last week, fell to Navy’s Matt Stolpinski in the second period at 174 pounds.

Sophomore Kurt Gross lost a decision 9-6 in his opening round match to No. 9 seeded Joe Johnstown of Iowa at 157 pounds.

Senior Jason Bake was able to tie Cal State Fullerton’s Morgan Atkins 6-6 in the third period in the bout at 149 pounds, but was pinned later on in the period.

Miller, Gross and Bake will move into the consolation brackets.

Contact wrestling reporter Sean Ammerman at [email protected].