Four Finalists, Two Champs at MSU Open
Nov. 9, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Four of 10 weight classes at the Michigan State Open featured a Hoosier in the finals, including a pair of IU champions in Taylor Walsh (157 lbs) and heavyweight Adam Chalfant. Ryan LeBlanc and Luke Sheridan also reached the title bout, finishing as runner-ups at 165 and 184 pounds, respectively. No team scores were kept for the event.
Walsh nearly mimicked his Big-Ten-Wrestler-of-the-Week-winning performance at the Clarion Open last week, going 6-0 with a dominating four falls. The redshirt junior out of Cherry Hill, N.J., is now 11-0 with eight pins on the season and was ranked ninth nationally entering the tournament. Just two weeks into that junior campaign, Walsh is already knocking on the door of Indiana's all-time record books. His 29 career pins are two shy of cracking the school's top-10.
Chalfant, also ranked ninth nationally in his weight class, made his 2013-14 debut Saturday. He came out with a bang, topping a pair of top-10 foes en route to his second career tournament title (2012 Keystone Classic). Chalfant preceded his 5-3 finals victory over #7 Mike McClure (Michigan State) with a second-period pin of #5 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) in the semifinals.
LeBlanc improved to 10-2 on the year with four major decisions. He added a pair of majors in East Lansing as part of a 4-1 performance good for runner-up honors at 165 pounds, where he was ranked 18th nationally this past week.
Likewise, Sheridan put forth another lone-loss effort for the second straight week. He powered into the 184-pound finals on the strength of an overtime takedown, securing a 3-1 decision over #21 John Rizqallah (Michigan State). Sheridan then gave Ohio State's Ken Courts, ranked 8th nationally, all he could handle in a slim 6-4 finals defeat.
Redshirt sophomore Eric Roach had a strong showing as well, victorious in six of seven matches. After dropping his opening bout, he ripped of six consecutive wins to reach the stand. Roach's season record now sits at 9-3.
Additional multi-match winners for IU included Ethan Raley (2-2; 141 lbs), Neal Molloy (2-2; 149 lbs unattached) and Matt Irick (2-2; 174 lbs). Raley and Molloy each advanced to the championship quarterfinals before suffering their first defeats.
In addition, three true freshmen competed in the freshman/sophomore division of the MSU Open. Kyle Springer and Chris Caton both entered the 133-pound bracket and found success. Springer, the runner-up, began with three straight major decisions and four in a row overall to reach the finals. Meanwhile, Caton had his hand raised after five of six matches to also place at 133 lbs.
University Gym opens its doors next Sunday (Nov. 17) for Indiana's first dual competition of the season. The Hoosiers host Duke and Cleveland State in a tri-meet starting at 11 a.m. Both IU duals will be steamed live online by BTDN on HoosiersTV at IUHoosiers.com.
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