Several Keydets Perform Well at Hokie Open
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ROANOKE, Va. – A day removed from its season opening dual, the VMI wrestling team competed in the 2017 Hokie Open Sunday at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia.

Multiple Keydets came up just a round shy of a top-six placement at the event, which featured nearly 500 wrestlers across the weight divisions between the open bracket and a freshman/sophomore bracket.

In the open bracket, seniors Hunter Starner (133) and Taylor Thomas (197) and juniors Blake Hohman (165) and Neal Richards (174) ended up finishing just one round short of competing in the 5th-6th place match to place within their respective weight classes.

One of two Keydets to earn an individual win in Saturday’s dual with Chattanooga, Starner again showed well and pinned two opponents in his quest for placement at the tourney. In his final bout of the day, he fell by a close 6-5 decision to North Carolina’s James Szymanski in a hard-fought battle.

At 197 pounds, Thomas opened with a 10-2 major decision over Stanford’s Cole DePasquale before falling by tech fall to Chattanooga’s Scottie Boykin, who defeated Thomas in the dual on Saturday. He then defeated Army’s Trevor Parker by a 4-1 decision before bowing out to The Citadel’s Sawyer Root in a 7-0 decision.

Hohman used a few bye rounds to his advantage at the 165-pound weight class after defeating Duke’s Garrett Neff by a 3-1 decision. He was later topped by a 4-1 decision to Chattanooga’s Chad Pyke and eliminated by Clay Lautt of North Carolina in a 5-4 decision.

Now wrestling at 174 pounds as opposed to 157 from the prior two seasons, Richards also came up just short of placing after losing to North Carolina’s Ethan Ramos in the opening round. He would pin App State’s Garrett Church in 1:19 before falling to Virginia Tech’s Cody Hughes by a close 3-1 decision.

The Keydets return to the mat Sunday, Nov. 19, to compete at the Keystone Classic hosted by Penn in Philadelphia.

Open Bracket

Hunter Starner (came one round shy of 5th-6th place match)
Lost to Joshua Copeland (Duke), dec. 7-5 SV
pinned Andy Szalwinski (Citadel), fall 1:27
pinned Phil Anderson (Gardner-Webb), fall 1:07
Lost to James Szymanski (UNC), dec. 6-5

Dom Gallo
Lost to Bradley Irwin (App. State), dec. 3-1
Lost to Clayton Currier (Campbell), dec. 5-3

Stevan Smith
Lost to Sawyer Davidson (UNC), TF 16-1
SV dec. Dolan Walsh (VMI), 3-1
Lost to Kenan Carter (ODU), maj. dec. 10-1

Dolan Walsh
Lost to Josh McClure (UNC), dec. 4-0
Lost to Stevan Smith (VMI), SV dec. 3-1

Robert DuPont
Lost to Larry Early III (ODU), TF 20-5, 6:47
Lost to Laken Cook (App. State), fall 0:36

Steven Midkiff
Lost to Nigel Ruiz (Army), fall 4:07
Lost to Kennedy Monday(UNC), fall 4:24

Blake Hohman (one round shy of 5th-6th place match)
dec. Garrett Neff (Duke), 3-1
Lost to Chad Pyke (Chattanooga), dec. 4-1
Lost to Clay Lautt (UNC), dec. 5-4

Neal Richards (one round shy of 5th-6th place match)
Lost to Ethan Ramos (UNC), fall 6:19
pinned Garrett Church (App. State), fall 1:19
Lost to Cody Hughes (VT), dec. 3-1

Taylor Thomas (one round shy of 5th-6th place match)
maj. dec. Cole DePasquale (Stanford), 10-2
Lost to Scottie Boykin (Chattanooga), TF 22-6, 5:51
dec. Trevor Parker (Army), 4-1
Lost to Sawyer Root (Citadel), dec. 7-0

Sam Bouis
Dec. Harrison Young (Army), 4-0
Lost to Jacob Kasper (Duke), fall 3:48
Lost to Gavin Barkley (Army), dec. 2-1

Jake Koch
Lost to Cary Miller (App. State), fall 2:17
Lost to Jackson Price (Gardner-Webb), dec. 3-1

Freshman/Sophomore Bracket
Clifton Conway
Lost to Michael Perez (UNC Pembroke), Fall 1:14
Dec. De'Andrew Swinson (App. State), 7-5
Dec. Gaven Hutchens (App. State), 6-5
Lost to Trevon Majette (Old Dominion), maj. dec. 11-0

James Milstead
Pinned Will Jacobs (Citadel), 1:00
Lost to Will Moon (Emmanuel), Fall 1:43
Lost to Harrison Campbell (Duke), dec. 5-4

Jacob Mills
Lost to Kyran Hagan (Ohio), Fall 1:29
Lost to Thyree Washington (App. State), Fall 2:38

Brady Biller
Pinned Conner Donlan (VMI Club), 1:20
Lost to Gino Esposito (UNC), Fall 5:28
Lost to Bryan Flores (King), maj. dec. 12-2

Kevin Keaveney
Lost to Matt Kietaa (Coker), TF 19-1, 3:44
Lost to Jody McAlister (Newberry), Fall 5:25

Shamus Bartmess
Lost to David Russell (Army), dec. 5-2
Lost to Michael Mewhorter (Citadel), maj. dec. 10-2

William Carvey
Lost to Aiden Henry (SE Regional Training Center), Fall 6:00
pinned Chandler Kirkland (Ga. Southern Club), 1:36
Lost to Hunter Fortner (Chattanooga), maj. dec. 14-2

Gage Levine
Lost to Connor Frey (Old Dominion), Dec. 7-6
Lost to Hunter Yeargan (Ohio), fall 1:26

Max Gallahan
Lost to Ben Stacey (Chattanooga), dec. 5-4
Lost to Paul Carson (App. State), maj. dec. 14-5