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Wrestling posts another solid start at Keystone Classic

In their second tournament of the season, Brown wrestlers finished sixth out of nine teams at the Keystone Classic, hosted by Penn on Nov. 22. Six wrestlers placed individually, led by Bran Crudden '10, who finished second at the 184-pound weight class. Bryan Tracy '10 placed third at 157, followed by Greg Einfrank '10, Cortland Choate '13 and Larry Otsuka '10, who each took fourth place in their respective weight classes. Caleb Blaney '13 rounded out the tournament by finishing sixth in the heavyweight class.

After the opening tournament, Head Coach David Amato said he wanted to see how the team, especially the freshmen, would respond in the Keystone Classic. He was pleased by what he saw at Penn.

"This tournament was not as difficult as Binghamton, but I did see improvement, especially from the freshmen," Amato said.

The two freshmen who placed individually, Choate and Blaney, are good examples. Choate upset the third seed, Thomas Williams of American, 11-6, in the quarterfinals at 133. After losing the semifinal match, 6-0, Choate came back in the consolation bracket to advance to the third-place match, where he eventually lost 15-2 to claim fourth place.

Blaney lost his opening match by fall, but he stormed back in the consolation bracket by winning two consecutive matches to advance to the fifth-place match. Although he lost his last match, Blaney, like Choate, enjoyed his first individual placement at the collegiate level by claiming sixth place.

Amato said the sixth-place team finish "isn't great," but added that the Bears were competing without some wrestlers due to injuries and with some wrestlers who just returned to competition from injuries. "If we have those guys back, we would have been in the top four," Amato said.

Just as in the first tournament, the seniors performed well again. Crudden, the sixth seed at 185, upset the third seed, Dylan Temple of Appalachian State, 4-2, in his quest into the finals. He then handily defeated Kurt Brendel of Princeton, who upset the second seed earlier, by fall just 55 seconds into the match. Crudden eventually lost to the first seed, Mike Cannon of American, in the finals to claim second place.

At 157, Tracy posted the second-best finish for the Bears by taking third place. After winning his match against Jake Hunter of Penn, Tracy dropped the semifinal match to the third seed, Shawn Smith of Liberty, 7-3. In the consolation bracket, Tracy wrestled his way back by first defeating Danny Scotton of Princeton, 12-10, and then besting Ben Mandelbrant of Boston University, 9-6, to claim third place.

The Bears will head to Las Vegas today for the two-day Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invitational this weekend. It will be the last tournament for the team before winter recess begins.
"In tournaments like Vegas, I am looking for more quality wins and individual placements," Amato said of his expectation for the upcoming tournament.




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