Campus Corner: Kyler Earns 4th Title, 2nd OW at New York State Tourney One Week After Breaking Army Career Win Record

ITHACA, N.Y. – Seven days after breaking the Army wrestling career wins record, Black Knight 149-pounder Matt Kyler of Clearfield became just the second four-time champion in the 41-year history of the New York State Championships and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the 18-team tournament Sunday in Cornell University’s Newman Arena.
 
The senior co-captain and 141-pound champ Casey Thome led Army to a second-place finish in the 18-team tournament. All 10 Black Knights placed to pile up 158 points, topped only by the 194 Cornell amassed with five individual titlists.
 
Kyler, seeded No. 1, pinned Rochester Institute of Technology’s Greg Morton in just 25 seconds, by far the quickest of his nine falls this season, and SUNY-Oneonta’s eighth seed Joey Hauser in 4:36 in first day action.
 
After handling Cornell’s No. 4 seed Hicks Manson 6-1 in the semis, Kyler squeezed past Buffalo’s 16th-ranked and No. 2 seed Desi Green 2-1.
 
A point in the second overtime period decided the rematch of their 2009 finals duel at 149 and earned Kyler the OW Award for the second time.
 
The nation’s No. 8-ranked 149-pounder, according to InterMat and Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine, won titles at 141 as a freshman and sophomore on his way to joining Army’s Phillip Simpson (2002-05) as the tourney’s only four-time champs.
 
A week earlier in Millersville University’s Pucillo Gymnasium, Kyler vaulted past Simpson on Army’s all-time win list with the third of his five victories in the Shorty Hitchcock Memorial Classic.
 
Afforded the opportunity to erase Simpson’s mark of 134 wins when Army decided to fill an open date with the trip to Lancaster, Kyler pinned Kutztown’s Jay Sandt in 2:19 and major decisioned Lehigh’s Shane Welsh 11-2 before besting American’s Matt Mariacher 9-2 in the quarterfinals for the record-breaking victory.
 
Kyler then majored Lehigh’s Joshua Fitch 11-3 and defeated Penn’s three-time Massachusetts state champ and two-time New England champ Rollie Peterkin 7-2 to claim the title.
 
His career record stands at 141-29. He logged 31 wins as a freshman, a program-record 43 as an All-American sophomore when he paced sixth in the NCAA Tournament and 40 as a junior.
 
For the season, Kyler is 27-2 with 19 wins in a row.
 
He leads the Black Knights, 3-3 in dual meets, in wins, falls, major decisions (9) and bonus wins (19).
 
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Redshirt junior 125-pounder Brad Pataky of Clearfield got off to a 2-0 start in Big Ten Conference action as Penn State split a pair of weekend matches involving nationally-ranked squads.
 
Pataky (19-5) rode a six-point first period to a 7-3 win over John Deneen in No. 13 Penn State’s 24-11 conquest of No. 19 Illinois (5-4) in front of 4,883 Rec Hall fans Friday night.
 
An early takedown and a pair of turnovers gave the Nittany Lion a 6-0 lead and 2:45 in riding time.
 
However, he was limited to a penalty point the rest of the way by the Illini junior, who maintained control the final four minutes for the riding time point and also had a near fall in the third period.
 
Sunday afternoon at Columbus, Ohio, Pataky provided Penn State (9-4-1) with its only lead as the Nittany came up short in a showdown against No. 3 Ohio State (12-1), losing 21-14 before a partisan St. John’s Arena crowd of 3,000.
 
Pataky, ranked No. 12 by InterMat, Amateur Wrestling News and Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine, improved his dual meet record to 12-2 with a wild 9-7 victory over 19th-ranked Nikko Triggas.
 
After surrendering the opening takedown, the Nittany Lion broke free and followed up with his own takedown and later turned the two-time NCAA qualifier for back points and a 5-2 lead after one period.
 
He reversed in the second period and gave up another takedown to take an 8-5 lead into the last two minutes. He clinched a riding time point before giving up a late penalty point for stalling and escape to the former California state champion.
 
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NEWBERRY, S.C. – Kyle Keane of Bradford bested two of his East Region rivals and finished 3-1 as No. 3-ranked Pitt-Johnstown split four matches in the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 Duals Friday and Saturday.
 
The Clearfield Area High School graduate, elevated to No. 3 in the latest D-II rankings, protected his No. 2 East Region status by defeating No. 3 Josh Whitelock of Newberry 13-5 and No. 6 Bryce Sopko of Limestone (S.C.) 6-3.
 
Keane (18-5) also decisioned Belmont-Abbey’s Jake Varilek 7-3 but was upset 7-5 by North Carolina-Pembroke’s Rashaad Saunders.
 
UPJ clipped Belmont-Abbey 41-4 and Limestone 26-6 and lost to No. 2 Newberry 18-16 and UNC-Pembroke 27-13.
 
The Mountain Cats are 9-2.
 
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DUBOIS, Pa. – Freshman 184-pounder Shawn Hall of Clearfield engineered two falls for the first-year Penn State-DuBois squad that lost to visiting Mercyhurst North East 25-22 Thursday and at Waynesburg 38-6 Saturday.
 
Hall (5-1) decked Mercyhurst NE’s Jeff Harvlin in just 2:06 and Waynesburg’s Cody Catalina in 6:52. All of his wins have been pins.
 
Andrew Spicer of Clearfield and Jeff Smallwood of Curwensville received forfeits at 125 and 133, respectively, against Mercyhurst NE in the PSU-DuBois Multi-Purpose Building.
 
Both freshmen were decisioned on Waynesburg’s Senior Night in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse, Spicer (8-10) was shut out 4-0 by Alex Crown and Smallwood (3-2) downed 8-2 by Josh Mollica.
 
Penn State-DuBois sports a 6-9 record.
 
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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Lycoming freshman Jeff Thomas of Curwensville gave Messiah’s Trent Zempel, the No. 9-ranked 165-pounder in NCAA Division III, a good scrap before bowing 6-4 in Lamade Gymnasium Friday night.
 
Zempel (24-2) led 6-2 and shooting for a bonus point victory when Thomas (2-4) registered a late takedown.
 
Thomas, a 157-pounder, is 1-1 since moving up to replace injured Chris Dahlheimer, ranked No. 5 with an 18-1 record.
 
The No. 21-ranked Warriors won the Empire League meet 22-12 for 11-5 mark.
 
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LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Redshirt junior 174-pounder Derek Caldwell of Curwensville was pinned in 5:42 by Edinboro’s Phil Moricone, a two-time NCAA qualifier, in Saturday’s Eastern Wrestling League match.
 
The visiting Fighting Scots (6-4, 2-0 EWL) rolled to their 28th consecutive EWL win, 32-9.
 
Caldwell is 0-4 in duals and 3-13 overall for the Bald Eagles (1-5, 0-2).
 
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MEN’S SWIMMING
 
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Freshman Mark Krchnak of Clearfield placed in three individual events for Duquesne against cross-town rival Pitt in the Dukes’ final meet of the season in Towers Pool Saturday.
 
Krchnak was third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:15.18, fourth in the 100 breast in 1:00.66 and fifth in the 200 individual medley in 2:04.52.
 
He also swam the breaststroke leg in 25.30 for the Duquesne ‘B’ 200 medley relay foursome that wound up fifth in 1:39.43.
 
The Dukes lost 161-99, falling to 8-4.
 
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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Junior twins Chris and John Bodle of Clearfield competed in a combined three events for Westminster in Saturday’s 183-113 loss to visiting Carnegie-Mellon in Westminster Natatorium.
 
Chris Bodle placed sixth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:21.07 and posted a 59.80 fly split for the Titan ‘C’ 400 medley relay team that finished sixth in 3:58.89.
 
John Bodle stopped the clock at 4:49.78 in the 400 individual medley, placing sixth.
 
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MEN’S BASKETBALL
 
GREENSBURG, Pa. – Todd Hryn of Clearfield saw action in a reserve role in one of Pitt-Greensburg’s three Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference games last week.
 
The sophomore guard-forward grabbed one rebound in an 83-65 road loss to Hilbert (N.Y.) on Jan. 18.
 
The Bobcats (8-10) returned home to beat LaRoche 74-70 Wednesday before falling to Pitt-Bradford 69-65 Saturday for a 6-7 AMCC mark.
 
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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
 
DUBOIS, Pa. – Junior Brittany Barrett of Mahaffey (Curwensville Area High School) contributed eight points and six rebounds as the Penn State-DuBois women’s basketball team held its own for first half of two games against perennial Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference powers before falling to PSU-Schuylkill 73-53 Friday night and PSU-Brandywine 89-74 Saturday afternoon in the Multi-Purpose Building.

“Our girls are working hard every time they step on the court,” Lady Lion coach Pat Lewis said. “Despite the fact that we lost both of the games, I think that our girls finally realize that we are now competitive with the best teams in the conference.”

Missy Aul (St. Marys) scored 17 points and Tessa Vargas (Sheffield) added 13 against PSU-Schuylkill.

Lauren Donovan (Oswayo Valley) dropped in a career-high 26 points, while Aul and Vargas netted 15 and 14, respectively, against PSU-Brandywine.

Penn State-DuBois is 2-4 in the PSUAC and 5-9 overall.

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