Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, February 17, 2006
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The Muhlenberg wrestling team will travel to Johns Hopkins to compete in the Centennial Conference Championships on Saturday, battling it out with the rest of the CC for coveted spots at the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Conference champion at each weight class receives an automatic bid to the national tournament, which will be held March 3-4 at The College of New Jersey. There also is one wild-card spot for the taking.

The three-time defending champion, Ursinus, went undefeated in CC dual meets this season. The Mules, however, are among the three schools right behind the Bears with 5-2 conference records, pointing to a highly competitive tournament.

“All eight teams have solid kids,” said senior 157-pounder Dale Mills. “At multiple weights there are going to be real dogfights for the top seeds.”

That includes Mills’ class, where he, Mark Barber of Ursinus and Ryan Bennick of Stevens Tech all went through the conference dual meets with one loss. Mills has a 23-4
Chris Gibson
Gibson is having his best season as a senior with a 16-12 record. His best CC finish was fourth at 157 at the 2004 championships.
overall record with two of his losses coming to Barber (in a CC dual meet) and Bennick (at the Ursinus Fall Brawl).

“It’s nice to have the additional factor of revenge motivating me,” admitted Mills, who won the CC title at 149 as a sophomore and lost in the title bout last year. “I had beaten [Barber] previously, and I came back to major [Bennick] in a dual meet, so I know I can beat them.”

Junior Matt Loesch (13-2) will be favored to win his third straight title at 197. Loesch boasts a 6-0 conference record coming into the tournament and has never lost a match to a CC opponent.

Other Muhlenberg wrestlers who should make an impact include freshmen Billy Hall (133) and Rob Kein (141), both of whom lost only one conference match. Hall is tied for the team lead in wins with a 23-7 record and is tied for second in the CC with 11 pins. Kein is 16-8 overall and has won eight of his last nine bouts.

Senior Chris Gibson (165) went 5-2 in the conference, while junior Michael Tenenhaus (4-3 at 125) and sophomore Joseph DeCampo (4-3 at 149) also posted winning records. DeCampo, 19-9 overall and the team leader with 79 takedowns, may be in position to pull off an upset or two, as one of his conference losses came in overtime and another came by one point.

“I think we’re peaking right now,” said Mills. “We strung a good bunch of dual meets together and that should carry over to the conference meet.”

Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10:00 on Saturday morning.

Click here for the CC preview.
To follow the tournament, click here and click on the results link in the events section for winners and round-by-round matchups. Updates also will be posted on the Centennial Conference blog.

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Last updated February 17, 2006