Wrestling captures team title at Black Knight Invite

By Frank Shala Army Athletic Communications

November 21st, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Senior Noah Stewart had a dominant day on the mat, going 4-0 en route to the 184-pound title as Army West Point wrestling took the Black Knight Invite Sunday.  Photo by Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point wrestling team continued its strong start to the season Sunday, as the Black Knights won three individual titles, as well as the top overall team crown at its host invite.
“I thought the guys competed really hard,” head coach Kevin Ward said. “We talked about before the tournament, that as long as you go out there and fight and you can walk off the mat saying I gave everything I had, we can improve from that.”
Army finished with an impressive 140 point team total, tops among the eight teams in attendance. Penn State was second overall with 127.5 points, and Central Michigan rounded out the top three with 107.5.
The Black Knights also sent six wrestlers to respective finals, with the three individual champions coming at 165, 184 and 197 pounds.
Senior Cael McCormick went 3-0, with three decision wins on the day at 165 pounds. He won a 9-7 affair in the final against Richard Stamm of Hofstra.
Senior Noah Stewart had a dominant day on the mat, going 4-0 en route to his title at 184 pounds. He scored two technical falls, including an 18-1 victory in the semifinals. The final was a thriller, as it took extra time before Stewart was able to score a takedown to win a 9-7 decision.
The 197-pound final pitted two cadets versus one another, as sophomore J.T. Brown squared off against senior Alex Hopkins.
It was a tight battle, with Brown securing the victory in the final period to earn a 2-1 decision.
Senior Trey Chalifoux also made the finals (125 pounds), falling to Drew Hildebrandt from Central Michigan in a close 7-5 decision.
Senior Lucas Weiland was the final cadet to make a final. Weiland advanced to the 157-pound final match, before dropping a 5-2 decision to Will Lewan of Michigan.
“I think this tournament is about getting big time experience,” Ward said. “Competing against multiple Big 10 teams, the defending national champions (Penn State), our guys are learning that they can compete against anybody across the country.”