Petrov wins 125-pound title as wrestling finishes seventh

Ally Furbay, Staff Writer

For the ninth year in a row, the wrestling team, along with competitors from around the country, traveled to Annapolis, Md. to compete in the Navy Classic on Nov. 22. The Bison finished seventh out of 13 teams, but left the tournament with four place-winners in Joe Stolfi ’15, Paul Petrov ’16, Tyler Smith ’18, and Tyler Lyster ’15.

The Navy Classic is the first tournament the Bison have competed in as a full team this year, which featured 19 Bison wrestlers in addition to two NCAA qualifiers from last March (Petrov and Stolfi). Petrov won the 125-pound title, while Stolfi finished third in the 285-pound group. Smith (141) and Lyster (197) both took sixth place in their respective weight classes.

Petrov, who is ranked 19th, has been maintaining a perfect 5-0 season record after his victory. He opened with a 12-4 major decision win over a Brown competitor, followed by victories over two Ohio wrestlers.

In his final matchup, Petrov won an 11-8 decision against the 16th-ranked wrestler from Chattanooga. This triumph not only won him the bracket, but also improved upon his fifth-place showing from last year’s tournament. Although Petrov has been a leader since being named team captain in his sophomore year, he still has areas in which he wants to improve.

“I have been a captain of this team, as well as a few others, for about a year and a half now,” Petrov said. “As a result, this leadership role is not something that is unfamiliar to me. Being a leader is not easy, and I’m still learning how to lead everyday on and off the mat. So, I take this leadership role one day at a time and do my best to do the right things and lead by example.”

Stolfi, who is ranked 18th in the nation, also performed well at the Navy Classic, opening the tournament with a 6-2 win in the first tiebreaker. Stolfi then advanced into the semifinals and was matched against the 17th-ranked competitor from Cleveland State, who won with a 12-4 major decision, but that did not stop Stolfi. He came back to win two matches in the consolation bracket to give him a third-place finish.

Stolfi improved his record to 10-2 on the season, with both losses coming from the Cleveland State wrestler. He also holds a 72-31 record for his career.

Like the other two Bison, Lyster (10-7) also improved his record on the season. After dropping his first match during the second round in the 197-pound bracket, Lyster proved his resilience by coming back with four straight wins in the consolation bracket.

As for Smith, the rookie opened with two wins in the 141-pound bracket, advancing into the semifinals. Unfortunately, Smith suffered an injury and had to default his final three matches.

After this strong performance, the Orange and Blue head out to Las Vegas to compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational on Dec. 5 and 6.

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