Weekly Wrestling Release
Bulls Wrestling Faces Top Competition at Body Bar Invite
Members of the Buffalo wrestling team made the middle leg of its three-straight weekend tournaments with a trip to Ithaca for the Body Bar Invitational. The tournament - hosted by Cornell - featured three top-20 teams and plenty other top competition including the number-one ranked Big Red. The Bulls placed wrestlers in the top three in six different weight classes and finished fifth out of 11 teams.
Three of the place winners for Buffalo were runners up, starting with sophomore Mark Lewandowski. The Depew, NY native continued his breakout season with three straight wins before his only loss of the day came in the finals against James Fleming of Clarion. Another second place effort was turned in by junior John-Martin Cannon, who also went 3-0 before losing a heartbreaker to fifth-ranked Justin Kerber of host Cornell, 3-2.
The team's third runner up on the day was heavyweightBrett Correll, who continues to produce as Buffalo's go-to starter at the weight class. Correll won two straight before losing to thirteenth ranked Brendon Barlow of conference rival Kent State, 6-2.
Three other wrestlers made the top three to help Buffalo's team score, starting with sophomore Andrew Schutt at 141 pounds. Schutt won two straight before losing to eventual champion Matthew Bonson of Lock Haven, but the Greenwood Township, MI native battled back in the consolation bracket and beat Kent State's Chase Skonieczny in a high-scoring 11-9 win.
Senior Jimmy Hamel now sits just three wins away from 100 career victories after three wins today earned him a third-place finish at 184 pounds. Finally for the Bulls, sophomore Josh Peters finished third at 197 pounds after besting Central Michigan's Craig Kelliher 8-7 in the third-place match.
Smith Earns MAC Wrestler of the Week
Kevin Smith was named the MAC Wrestler of the Week for the week of November 8-14, the Mid-American Conference announced from its offices in Cleveland. Smith is the first MAC wrestler to earn the honor this season and the award is the Mexico, NY native's first in his career.
Smith started his week by dominating his match at 133 pounds and took a major decision with a 14-5 win over Dustin Reed of Oklahoma at the Oklahoma duals last Friday afternoon. Smith then followed it up with an individual title at the prestigious Oklahoma Gold Classic on Saturday, held at SUNY Brockport. He came out of the all-day tournament unscathed with four straight wins to take the 133-pound bracket.
His wins included a rematch victory over Reed of Oklahoma, a 6-0 shutout win over Jordan Thome of Army and a commanding win over Reed's Oklahoma teammate Jordan Keller in the championship match, 9-3.
Smith, a two-time member of the conference's All-Academic team and the NWCA All-Academic Division I team, is one of the Bulls' four returning national qualifiers. He is currently ranked second on the team with eight overall wins so far this season and has 66 career wins, and his 77 career takedowns put him in the top 20 in program history.
Buffalo will now have a much-needed two week break to rest up and heal some bumps and bruises before heading out to the final tournament in this stretch of the schedule. The Penn State Open will be held December 5 by the host Nittany Lions. The tournament will again be an all-day event.