PEMBROKE, N.C. — The Newberry Wolves wrestling team claimed championships in six weight classes with 18 Wolves finishing in the top six of their weight class at the 2012 Pembroke Classic on Saturday.
Jeff Vesta (Manhattan, Kan.) at 125-pounds., Deral Brown (Elgin) at 149-pounds., Travis Sheehy (Suwanee, Ga.) at 174-pounds., Mitch Brown (Omaha, Neb.) at 184-pounds, Joe Grisko (Gloucester Township, N.J.) at 197-pounds and Matt Wade (Easton, Md.) at heavyweight each won their weight class’ title.
Nick Lankford (Braselton, Ga.) at 133 lbs., B.J. Young (Jackson, N.J.) at 141-pounds, Blake Ridenour (Maryville, Tenn.) at 165-pounds and Jared Holliday (Burlington, N.J.) at 197-pounds each claimed their weight class’ runner-up position.
“We improved today and saw a lot of good things,” said head coach Jason Valek. “We left a lot out there too with a few kids sitting out at 133 and 157 for various reasons. We are going to fix these lingering little issues and get back to full strength and move forward. I was really pleased with Nick Lankford, Joe Grisko and Matt Wade as they all battled. I’m looking for more good things to come from this entire group.”
Vesta won at 125-pounds with a pin of Central Florida’s Brian Radli at the 4:29 mark, a 7-4 decision over East Carolina’s Baffour Atakora, a 4-2 decision over The Citadel’s Jordan Wigger in the semifinals and a 5-2 win over Appalachian State’s Vito Pasone in the championship match.
Deral Brown won at 149-pounds. with major decisions over Central Florida’s Max Becks, Appalachian State’s Matthew Millaway and Limestone’s Bobby Manning before claiming the championship with a 3-2 decision over Aaron Walker of The Citadel.
At 174-pounds, Sheehy had bonus point wins in every match with a pin at 1:07 of Belmont Abbey’s Kwame Seymour, a pin at 5:02 over teammate Cody Brundage (Chapin), a major decision over Limestone’s Tanner Saraceno and a 14-3 major decision over UCF’s Scott Watson in the championship match. Brundage would go on to claim fifth place in the class with a 4:30 pin of UCF’s Nick Petrovic.
Newberry had the top two seeds at 184-pounds in Mitch Brown and Holliday, which is exactly how the bracket played out. Top-seeded Brown had a major decision over St. Andrews’ Denzel Leggett, a major decision over Anderson’s Zack Farmer and a decision over teammate Braden Carter (Christiansburg, Va.) to advance to the championship bout. Second-seeded Holliday had a major decision over The Citadel’s Zach Bennett, a 2:11 pin over Limestone’s David Kieta and a decision over third-seeded Stuart Nadeau of UNC Pembroke to advance to the title match. Brown was able to take the championship with a 3-1 decision over Holliday, and Carter took third in the class after two pins in the wrestleback bracket.
Grisko won the 197-pounds class with a major decision over UCF’s Tyrell Walker, a decision over Appalachian State’s Tyler Radford, a 3-2 decision over UNC Pembroke’s Brach Walker and a 6-3 decision in the championship bout over Limestone’s Justin Tribble. Kyle Folk-Freund (White Beach, N.Y.) finished in fifth place in the weight class.
Wade won the heavyweight class with a decision over The Citadel’s Gerald Johnson, a decision over Appalachian State’s Travis Morgan, a 2:16 pin over teammate Greg Jarque (Spring Hill, Fla.), a decision over UNC Pembroke’s Marquin Hill and a 31-second pin of UCF’s Josh Woods in the championship match.
At 133 lbs., Lankford, who was competing unattached, used a technical fall over St. Andrews’ Patrick Wells and a pin of Limestone’s Corey Parker to advance to the championship bout, where he lost by decision to Limestone’s Ross Benzel.
Young advanced to the 141-pounds championship bout by way of a technical fall over Limestone’s Taylor Wickett, a 1:46 pin over Limestone’s Andrew Lanman and a decision over Limestone’s Mike Magaha, but UNCP’s Daniel Ownbey took a 7-3 decision in the championship.
At 165-pounds, Ridenour pinned Belmont Abbey’s Marcus Cromwell at the 2:42 mark, pinned UNCP’s Blaze Shade at the 1:42 mark and took a decision from The Citadel’s Vincent Bellaran before peing pinned by UCF’s Santiago Martinez in the championship match.
The Wolves continue the 2012-13 season at the Tornado Open hosted by King College in Bristol, Tenn., on Saturday.