Welch Captures Navy Classic Crown
Nov. 18, 2017

Purdue Results / Brackets

Luke Welch captured the Navy Classic 125-pound championship, leading the way as No. 22 Purdue finished second in the team standings on Saturday. Welch, ranked 15th nationally, defeated Michael McGee of Old Dominion 4-2 in the title match to pick up his second tournament title of the season. The Boilermakers racked up 100.5 points with six total placewinners wrestling at the Wesley Brown Field House.

Navy claimed the team title with 112.5 points. Old Dominion was third with 98.5 points, followed by Indiana (81.5) and Princeton (74.5) to round out the top five teams.

Welch's third period escape and takedown, combined with 2:16 of riding time earned him the 4-2 decision over McGee. Both of McGee's points came on escapes.

"I would have liked to have seen more points in the final, but Luke wore McGee out, scored when he had to and rode tough in situations," Purdue head wrestling coach Tony Ersland said. "I am very proud of Luke and very happy for him."

The redshirt senior who hails from Newburgh, Indiana, was dominant on his way to the title. He pinned three opponents and had a 17-2 technical fall in the quarterfinals, defeating Navy's Brant Leadbeter in 6:07. His 47-second stick of Ohio's Coleton Chase in the opening round was the first pin of his career.

"It was exciting to get my first pin today," Welch said. "It's something you don't really think about. I felt really good today. I was looking to score points and I wanted to do every little thing to help our team try to win the tournament title."

Welch's two other falls also came in the first period, pinning Charles Kearney of The Citadel in 2:58 in his second match and American's Gage Curry in 2:09 in the semifinals. His record now stands at 10-0.

"Luke has been the most consistent in staying with his style," Ersland said. "His mentality, how he competes, it always looks the same no matter who his opponent is, you know what you're going to get out of him. We need more guys to model his consistency."

Purdue's big men rallied from semifinal losses to place third. No. 13 Christian Brunner cruised to a 10-1 major decision of Kent State's Kyle Conel at 197 pounds. The win capped off a 4-1 showing for the sophomore, who now owns a mark of 7-1. At 285, Shawn Streck made easy work of Zack Parker, scoring five takedowns en route to a 12-4 major decision. It was his third victory of the tournament as he moved his redshirt freshman record to 9-3.

True freshman Max Lyon extended his streak of major decision to four straight with an opening round 8-0 shutout of Columbia's Andrew Psomas. The 184-pounder placed fourth while improving to 8-3 on the season.

At 174 pounds, Dylan Lydy (9-3) rebounded from a quarterfinal loss by rattling off three victories on his way to placing fifth. In his final match, he defeated Spencer Carey of Navy 8-3 to close out the tournament at 5-1. Three of the redshirt sophomore's wins came by major decision.

Devin Schroder (7-2) was the Boilermakers' sixth placewinner, turning in a sixth-place performance at 125 pounds.

Purdue wrestlers totaled 62 matches, with 23 of its 39 wins earning bonus points.

"I think long tournament days like today are valuable because it offers up so much adversity," Ersland said. "You're wrestling a lot of matches back-to-back and it provides an opportunity for our guys to compete under a ton of different conditions."

Through two tournaments and three duals, the Boilermakers have wrestled nearly 150 matches. They'll have close to two weeks off before they trek to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the nationally regarded, two-day Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational held Dec. 1 and 2.

"Moving forward, we're going to go back and correct the things we've seen over the last three weeks," Ersland said. "We've seen a lot of good competition and we've been on the road traveling. It's going to be nice to be home to be able to correct those mistakes and make a jump in our training. Then we'll go compete hard in Las Vegas."



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