Two Mountaineers came away with titles and four others were place-winners as Appalachian State wrestling had a successful day at the 2011 Keystone Classic hosted by Pennsylvania at the Palestra on Sunday. Top seeds Kyle Blevins and Austin Trotman successfully navigated
their respective brackets to win championships against teams from around the country.
With a total of six placewinners, Appalachian earned enough points to capture second place out of 11 teams, trailing only No. 24 Northwestern. ASU led both No. 7 American and No. 16 Penn in the final standings.
At 184 pounds No. 11 Trotman cruised through his first two matches, downing Boston's Mike Wrin (MD, 16-5) and dismissing fifth-seeded Ophir Bernstein of Brown (TF, 22-7, 7:00).
Trotman faced second-seed Cameron Croy (Harvard) in the final and came out firing, building a 4-2 lead on two first-period takedowns. Croy earned a second period takedown and leveled the score with a quick third-period escape, leaving Trotman hanging with only 45 seconds of riding accumulation, and the pair went to sudden victory. In the extra period, it took Trotman just six seconds to notch a takedown, and the senior captured his second tournament crown of the season.
No. 19 Blevins was not as dominant at 165 pounds but was equally successful in his early-round bouts. The senior earned major decisions in each of his first two matches and defeated fifth-seed Kevin Bialka of Northwestern with an 8-2 decision in the semifinal.
Facing his final opponent, third seed Lorenzo Thomas of Penn, Blevins took an early lead with a quick takedown in the first period and extended the advantage to 7-3 in the second. Thomas responded with a takedown and opened the third period with an escape to narrow the gap to 7-6. In the end, Thomas ran out of time, and Blevins secured the decision and the title.
Chip Powell, the fifth-seed at 157 pounds, followed an opening-round 40-second pin with a 17-0 technical fall in the second round. In the semifinal, nationally-ranked No. 7 Walter Peppelman of Harvard edged the senior, 4-1. Powell rebounded to earn two more wins to end the day in third place.
Second-seeded Mike Kessler's 141-pound title run was cut short in the semifinal round by third-seed Jimmy Kirchner of Rider. Kessler bounced back with a win over Northwestern's five-seed Colin Shober but fell to Adam Krop of Princeton for a fourth-place showing.
Tony Gravely (125 pounds) fell early to seventh-seeded Bubba McGinley of Boston but recovered to win technical fall and two pins en route to the consolation semifinal. After a loss to sixth-seed Chuck Zeisloft of Rider and day-ending win, Gravely concluded the day in fifth place.
Fifth-seed Savva Kostis (149 pounds) opened the day with a decision and pin to advance to the quarterfinal, but four-seed Stephen Robertson of Penn relegated the Mountaineer to the consolation bracket. Kostis earned another pin and decision before a loss to sixth-seeded Kevin Tao (American) yielded an eventual sixth-place finish.
Following Sunday's outing, the Mountaineers will have some time off and next take the mat for their first Division I dual opponent, Virginia Tech, with a match on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.
Photo Courtesy: Mike Kessler, by Dave Mayo, ASU Athletics