Starner Leads Keydets at All-Academy Championship
Courtesy: for VMI

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Two days removed from upsetting The Citadel on their home mat, the VMI wrestling team finished in sixth place with 19 points at the All-Academy Championship Saturday at McAlister Field House in Charleston.

The Naval Academy paced the field with 118 team points followed by Army West Point’s 96.5. The Air Force Academy came in third with 87 with the host Bulldogs placing fourth with 50.5 points. The U.S. Coast Guard arrived just ahead of the Keydets with 28.5 points for fifth place.

VMI was led by redshirt junior Hunter Starner, who placed third in the 133-pound weight class. He opened with a bye before falling by a 5-1 decision to Navy’s Cody Trybus. The Virginia Beach native came back strong in the consolation bracket by pinning The Citadel’s Nicholas Long in 6:13 to head into the third-fourth place matchup versus Coast Guard’s Owen McClave. Starner finished the day with a victory, coming out on top by a hard fought 6-2 decision over McClave.

Freshman 125-pounder Clifton Conway placed fourth in his weight class by earning two wins on the day. He opened the tourney with a 6-0 decision over Jace Garza of Merchant Marine before falling by a pin in 2:56 6o Air Force’s Tony Decesare. He rebounded nicely with a pin of his own in the consolation bracket by topping Norwich’s Cole Nickerson in 2:06. In the third-fourth place bout he was defeated by a fall to Navy’s Asland Kilic in 4:57.

The Keydets have a few days to recover before hitting the road again to Boone, North Carolina, where they will face Appalachian State. The opening bout is slated for Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Team Scores
1-Navy ... 118.0
2-Army ... 96.5
3-Air Force ... 87.0
4-The Citadel ... 50.5
5-Coast Guard ... 28.5
6-VMI ... 19.0
7-Merchant Marine ... 15.5
8-Norwich ... 5.0

125 - Clifton Conway
Dec. Jace Garza (Merchant Marine), 6-0
Lost to Tony Decesare (Air Force), Fall 2:56
Pinned Cole Nickerson (Norwich), 2:06
Lost to Aslan Kilic (Navy), Fall 4:57

133 - Hunter Starner - Third place
Lost to Cody Trybus (Navy), Dec. 5-1
Pinned Nicholas Long (Citadel), 6:13
Dec. Owen McClave (Coast Guard), 6-2

141 - Michael Hulcher
Lost to Nic Gil (Navy), Fall 1:10
Maj. dec. Jon Graziane (Norwich), 12-4
Lost to Garrett O'Shea (Army), tech fall 15-0 (7:00)

149 - Dolan Walsh
Lost to Ty Buckiso (Citadel), tech fall 15-0 (5:56)
Lost to Patrick Moynihan (Coast Guard), dec. 6-0

157 - Steven Midkiff
Lost to Chris Sullivan (Coast Guard), Maj. dec. 11-3
Lost to Kieran Duggan (Merchant Marine), Fall 3:14

165 - Blake Hohman
Lost to Nick Remke (Coast Guard), dec. 3-1
Pinned Christian Willoughby (Merchant Marine), 0:17
Lost to Alex Lopouchanski (Air Force), Dec. 5-2

174 - Gage Levine
Lost to Michael Billiengsley (Air Force), Fall 3:40
Lost to Josh Glantzman (Merchant Marine), tech fall 15-0 (5:00)

184 - Chris Beck
Lost to Jon Wagner (Coast Guard), Dec. 5-3
Pinned Collin Keil(Merchant Marine), 6:31
Lost to Zen Ikehara (Air Force), Dec. 10-4

197 - Max Gallahan
Lost to Sawyer Root (Citadel), Fall 5:58
Pinned Satchel Stauffer (Norwich), 4:44
Lost to Steban Cervantes (Navy), Fall 0:28

285 - Jake Tomlinson
Lost to Matt Wagner (Air Force), Fall 2:24
Lost to Robert Heald (Army), Dec. 5-0