Brown wrestled to a 38th place finish at one of the most competitive mid-season competitions of the year over the weekend, taking on some of the best teams in the country at the Cliff Keen Invitational. The Bears wracked up 9.5 points, finishing just a single point behind the Air Force Academy. Ohio State just edged Cornell for the team title, beating the Big Red by a final tally of 122.5-121.5.
Senior Greg Einfrank led things off at 125 for Brown, dropping a tough first match to UNC Greensboro's Eric Chandler. Einfrank rebounded well in the consolation bracket though, winning three straight matches before being bumped from the field by another loss. After moving on to the second round on a bye, Einfrank picked up a fall in just 3:03 over Western Wyoming's Kasey Bertagnolli. He then picked up 3-2 and 8-6 decisions in the next two rounds before dropping a hard-fought 10-6 bout to the eventual seventh place finisher.
At 133, rookie Cortlandt Choate faced a similarly tough opponent in the first round, dropping an 11-0 decision to move into the consolation bracket. Once again though, Brown got an impressive performance in the lower bracket, as Choate earned a pair of dominating victories, 13-3 and 10-2, before being knocked out of the tournament.
Junior Ricky Bailey was Brown's top competitor at 149, though he dropped his initial match to move into the consolation bracket. There, Bailey advanced to the second round on a bye, then picked up an exciting 11-9 victory over UNC Greensboro's Alejandro Soto Perez to move to the next round. There, however, Bailey was dealt a 9-4 loss, ending his run.
After moving to the second round of the 157 class on a bye, senior Bryan Tracy dropped a heartbreaker to ninth-seeded Keegan Davis, losing 4-2 in a tight match to move to the consolation bracket. There he again advanced on a bye before falling to Buffalo's Andrew Stella.
At 165, sophomore Jeff Lemmer took a 5-2 loss in his opening bout, but rebounded to win a 4-3 decision in his second match. In the third round, however, Lemmer lost a tough 8-3 bout to Joey Wilson of Cal Davis, bumping him from the bracket.
Fellow sophomore Ziad Kharbush took over at 174, advancing to the second round on a bye before falling to Columbia's Stephen West in 5:34. In the consolation bracket, Kharbush again advanced on a bye before dropping a tough 11-8 decision to end the day.
At 184, senior Bran Crudden turned in a solid showing, moving to the second round on a bye before losing to the fourth seeded wrestler in the event. In the third place bracket, he knocked off Arizona State's Jake Meredith by an impressive 10-2 margin before falling to Andrew Saunders, who would go on to take seventh overall.
Rookie Tyler Cowman wrapped up the day for Brown at 285, moving to the second round on a bye before falling to Drexel's Kyle Frey. Cowman again advanced on a bye in the consolation bracket, but dropped a 5-1 bout to North Idaho's Roger McCovey to end the tournament.
The Bears will be back in action on January 8, 2010, when they begin their dual season with matches against Rutgers and Franklin and Marshall.