The AU wrestling team opened its season with a fourth-place finish at the season-opening Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational Nov. 10 in Brockport, N.Y.
The Eagles came into this season having lost several of their top performers to graduation, but they wrestled hard Saturday with heavyweight Blake Herrin leading the way. Herrin scored a 9-2 decision over Oklahoma’s Keldrick Hall to take home the heavyweight title and give the Eagles their first championship at Brockport since 2010.
“The team wrestled very well today,” AU head coach Teague Moore told AU Athletics. “Blake Herrin showed that he is ready to represent AU on the national scene. Overall, the coaching staff and I were happy with our performance today. We earned some positive results and have specific improvements to implement for next week.”
David Terao, Phillip Barreiro and Keithen Cast all achieved second-place finishes at 125, 165, and 174 pounds, respectively.
Thomas Barreiro placed third at 184 pounds to mark the second straight year he has secured a third-place finish at the invitational.
Other notable performances from AU grapplers included Esteban Gomez-Rivera (fourth, 133 pounds), Kevin Tao (fifth, 149 pounds) and Marcos Peralta (sixth, 165 pounds).
Tao qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and will be expected to lead the Eagles this year, alongside Herrin. Tao wrestled in the 47th annual NWCA All-Star Classic to open the season, defeating Wartburg College’s Kodie Silvestri.
AU placed fourth in the six-team field at the invitational, with No. 11 Oklahoma capturing the team championship with 155.5 points. No. 21 Maryland came in second with 127.5 points, and Army rounded out the top three with 110.
The Eagles will next travel to Philadelphia for the Keystone Classic Nov. 18 and will be on the road for the rest of November. AU’s first home match won’t be until Dec. 9, when Maryland visits Bender Arena.