Nov. 4, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Six Indiana wrestlers placed at the 5th Annual Hokie Open on Sunday, including a trio of Hoosier grapplers advancing to the title bout of their respective weight classes. No team scores were kept at the event.
Each of the three Hoosiers ranked nationally in the preseason made their way to the finals, finishing as runner-ups. Adam Chalfant, Ryan LeBlanc and Taylor Walsh each won of four of five bouts on the day to earn second-place finishes.
Walsh, ranked 18th nationally, picked up a pin along the way to the finals. It marked the 15th fall of his career (second this year) after compiling a baker's dozen (13) pins as a freshman; the 10th-most in school history and fifth highest total in the Big Ten last season. He came up just one point shy of a tournament crown, dropping a 6-5 decision to #9 Scott Winston of Rutgers in the finals.
LeBlanc, ranked 20th at 165 pounds, stuck three of his first four opponents to reach the finals before running into an 8-0 defeat to #3 Pete Yate (Virginia Tech) in the title bout. After also recording a pin Thursday night in the season opener against Manchester, LeBlanc has pinned four out of six foes thus far during the 2012-13 campaign. His third fall of the Hokie Open came at the expense of Chris Moon (Virginia Tech), who was the 19th-ranked 174-pounder in the preseason.
Chalfant, slotted 14th in the national rankings, picked up a top-10 win by defeating #9 Odie Delaney of The Citadel in the semifinals. That victory earned him a slot in the finals where he battled 2012 All-American and eighth-ranked Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State) to the final seconds before settling for second place.
Additional IU placers included: Joe Duca (4th place, 125 lbs.), Quin Murphy (5th, 133 lbs) and Luke Sheridan (6th, 184 lbs).
Duca made a run to the championships semifinals before dropping into the wrestlebacks. Murphy suffered just one loss and could have finished as high as third in a traditional tournament format. However, with just one day to finish the Hokie Open, matches were limited and only those individuals advancing to the championship semifinals could finish in the top four. Murphy went 6-1 on the day en route to his fifth place showing. Sheridan entered the circle seven times as well, taking four of his seven bouts to finish sixth at 184 pounds.
Cheney Dale (174 lbs) was also a multi-win Hoosier, picking up a pair of victories before bowing out of the competition.
The Cream and Crimson get after again next weekend, heading to DeKalb, Ill., for the Huskie Duals. Indiana is set to face NIU, Cleveland State, South Dakota State and Tiffin in a round-robin dual event starting at 1 pm ET/noon CT.