Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, December 2, 2006
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2 Basketball


Sophomores Rob Kein and Billy Hall won their respective weight classes to lead a sensational showing by the Muhlenberg wrestling team at the Messiah Petrofes Invitational.

The Mules placed fifth out of 14 teams, ahead of 15th-ranked Lycoming and 29th-ranked Oneonta State and well ahead of the other four Centennial Conference teams in the tournament. The finish was the best for Muhlenberg at the Petrofes since a fourth-place showing in 1993.

The Mules had placewinners at five of the 10 classes, and that was without
Billy Hall
The championship was the first for Hall, who finished second three times and third once last year. He has a record of 9-4 this season.
two of their starters at 125 and 197.

Both Kein, who was unseeded, and Hall, seeded sixth, earned their championships with wins over highly regarded opponents.

Kein faced Mike Gaeta of Springfield, the top-ranked wrestler in Division III, in the 141-pound final. The match was tied 5-5 before Kein scored a takedown with 20 seconds left. The returning All-American, who was undefeated on the season, escaped but could score no more points and lost, 7-6.

“I didn’t let his ranking affect me,” said Kein. “None of that really matters until you get out on the mat.”

Kein also defeated the second seed, from Heidelberg, and the sixth seed, from Mt. Union, en route to his second championship in three tournaments. In the former match, he stayed on top for the full 30 seconds in the first half of the rideout, then scored an escape and takedown in the second half for an 8-5 overtime win – one of several bouts that he has won late this season.

“The later the match goes the more confident I feel,” noted Kein, who is 11-2 on the season. “I’ve always had good conditioning and I try to use that to my advantage.”

Kein was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Hall knocked off the third, second and fourth seeds, respectively, all by decision, in his path to the championship. His foe in the final had toppled the top seed, who is ranked third in Division III, in the second round.

Also earning places for the Mules were sophomore Justin Fitch (fourth at 174), junior Joseph DeCampo (fifth at 149) and sophomore Matt Horn (seventh at 184). Fitch, who was unseeded, dropped a 3-2 decision to the eighth-ranked wrestler in Division III in the consolation final.

Click here for Muhlenberg box score.
Click here for complete results.

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Last updated December 2, 2006