Early Wins Navy Classic, ODU Finishes Fourth
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Old Dominion wrestling team took a fourth place finish at the Navy Classic, a 16-team event hosted by the Naval Academy. Larry Early took the 157-pound championship on Saturday evening.
"As a team we've made some great strides since the Princeton open two weeks ago, said head coach Steve Martin. "The guys were scoring points in all positions which is always a positive. Competing without two starters and finishing fourth was a testament to our total team effort today. This was a good field of competition with us only finishing behind two big ten teams in Michigan State and Indiana as well as Navy."
Making his season debut, Michael McGee made it all the way to the semifinals before falling to No. 16 Shakur Laney of Ohio, 4-2. McGee finished in third after teammate Killian Cardinale took a medical forfeit. After dropping his opening match, Cardinale went on to win five straight to take fourth.
"McGee really hit his stride on the backside by dominating 2x NCAA qualifier Elijah Oliver by 15-1 score. I thought Cardinale also did a great job on the backside defeating Meink Campbell and putting slot of points on the board."
At 133, Savion Haywood won his first bout over David Campbell of Bucknell before dropping the next two bouts to fall out of the wrestlebacks. Trevon Majette went 0-2 on the day.
All-American Sa’Derian Perry made it to the finals at 141 pounds, where he met No. 13 Nic Gil of Navy but was edged 7-6. Before the finals, Perry earned a pin, a technical fall and two decisions.
"I thought he wrestled extremely well and Perry is putting everything together after going from a different school to a new team here. Perry had a pin and put 46 points on the board in his other matches. His match against Gil was a barnburner. Gill is very good as evidenced by his 3-2 loss to #1 Joey McKenna from Ohio state recently. This is a guy we will see again at home at the Ted and we are looking forward to that rematch. Perry has the self belief he can win a title this year."
At 149 pounds, Carter won two straight bouts to Josh Reyes of Oregon State and Adam Davis of Navy before facing a setback in the quarterfinals to Alec Hagan of Ohio.
"He has much better wrestling ahead of him. We'll be getting his feet backup."
Kevin Budock came back to claim fifth at the Navy Classic through wrestlebacks. He faced an NCAA Qualifier and won five-straight in the consolations.
"Kevin looked great on the backside after losing to No. 17 Willits of Oregon State. He won five matches in a row and then hit the NCAA limit of six matches. He wrestled hard and hit some really nice technique."
Highlighting the day, 157-pound Early defeated No. 17 Hunter Willits of Oregon State 3-1 to take the title. On the way to the finals, Early collected wins by major decision, two by technical fall, and one by decision. Early beat his opponents by a 67-19 margin on Saturday. Early moves to 10-0 on the season.
"Early was very impressive this tournament. He dominated on his feet and scored a lot of points on top. He has the belief he can score points on the best in his weight. He will get a big opportunity when he puts on the line against NCAA finalist from NC State in two weeks."
Starters at 165 and 174 did not wrestle due to time to recover their bodies.
Luke Drugac opened the day with a 4-2 win over Randy Meneweather of Air Force. He followed with two losses by decision.
Taking second at 184 pounds, Antonio Agee faced No. 17 ranked Cameron Caffey of Michigan State in the finals but fell 12-6 to finish as runner-up. Agee was up 6-3 with 50 seconds left but was taken down. En route to his second place finish, Agee knocked off NCAA Qualifier and No. 20 Andrew McNally, Tyler Wiederholt of Air Force and Myles Terry of Oregon State.
Dean Drugac competed at 184 where he dropped two bouts to competitive athletes.
"We like the direction he's headed to and we're impressed with the way he's wrestled. Antonio had a great tournament. He wrestled hard in all his matches and he has real confidence in his abilities."
At 197, Tim Young fell in his opening bout by pin and fell out of the wrestlebacks. At heavyweight, Ali Wahab dropped his opening bout to Chase Bear of Michigan State before going on to winning two straight in wrestlebacks. Wahab dropped his consolation round eight match to Ian Butterbrodt of Brown. After dropping his opening round match to Will Bola of Kent State, Will Hilliard wrestled back to take fourth place. En route to fourth place, Hilliard won four matches by decision and a pin. Hilliard hit a six-match limit, where according to the NCAA, he cannot wrestle any more matches.
"Will looked very good in his last couple of matches. He dominated his last couple of guys from the top position."
ODU will host No. 6 NC State on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Ted Constant Center.