Five ODU Wrestlers Place at Michigan State Open
By ODU Athletics
Nov. 13, 2006
EAST LANSING, MI -- The Monarchs left Indiana on Friday after wrestling in a thrilling Purdue dual to face off in tournament action on Sunday. The MSU Open featured over 360 wrestlers from 21 schools and five ODU Monarchs grappled their way to the top.
Chris Brown has started the 2006-2007 season on fire since the intersquad duals. Brown defeated his Purdue counterpart with ease on Friday and went into the MSU Open with a mission. Brown ran through his bracket as if the championship bout had his name inked from the beginning.
First, Brown didn't give up a point to sixth seed Gene Zannetti from the University of Pennsylvania. The 10-0 major decision put Brown in the second round against North Carolina wrestler Ben Fiacco. Brown quickly disposed of Fiacco with an 11-4 decision and moved on to three seed Matt Dragon. The University of Pennsylvania had two seeded wrestlers at 157 and Chris Brown of ODU defeated both of them when he pinned Dragon at the 5:50 mark. Dragon is the fourth ranked wrestler in the nation at 149 but bumped to 157 for this tournament.
After defeating the number three and number six seeds, Brown was then slated to wrestle the number two seed from Central Michigan University in the semi-finals, Eric Neill. Neill fought Brown better than the others but still went down 9-6 giving Brown a shot at the title. Brown was yet again set up against a seeded opponent. The championship bout was against nationally ranked Edinboro University wrestler Matt Hill. Brown was unable to defeat Hill and settled for second place but should garner national attention with the way his season has started.
Williams, the only returning NCAA qualifier from last season came in 3rd in the 141-pound weight class. He grabbed one pin and one major decision and just missed the championship bout with a 6-5 loss in the semi's to Michigan State's senior Andy Simmons.
Mendoza finished 6th in the 197-pound weight class after nearly running the table in the consolation bracket but suffered an injury in his final match.
Koballa and Strawn each finished 8th. Koballa, a freshman from Ohio, had a tight 6-3 match against defending national champion and one seed from the University of Pennsylvania, Matt Valenti. Valenti went on to win second in the tournament at 133 and Koballa worked his way to 8th in the consolation bracket. S
trawn came in 8th in the 184-pound weight class as he tore through the consolation bracket. Strawn was dominant with 2 first period falls and a technical fall before an overtime 3-1 win. Then Strawn lost a tough 5-4 bout that put him in the 7th place match. Strawn fought hard in his final match but was put away 9-7 to take 8th place.
The ODU Wrestling team will be back in action this Saturday at the Cornell Body Bar in Ithaca, New York.