ANNAPOLIS, Md. (November 18, 2000) West Virginia's wrestling team finished fifth at the Navy Classic today. The Mountaineers tallied 88.5 points, led by junior Ryan Kehler's (Klingerstown, Pa.) championship in the heavyweight bracket. The Mountaineer had a total of five wrestlers earn places.

Kehler, seeded second the bracket, earned that title after pinning No.1 seed Jake Vercelli of Purdue at 6:43 of sudden death in the championship round. He also pinned James Madison's D.J. Hockman in 22 seconds in the second round after a major decision over Purdue's Israel Blevins, 10-1. Kehler has won the Navy Classic two out of the last three years. Kehler is 7-0 on the year with four pins.

Freshman Brandon Lauer (Highland, Md.) finished second in the 125-pound weight class after losing by technical fall to Boston University's Jose Leon, 15-0, in the championship round. Lauer defeated Rutgers' Andrew Uhrlass, 9-0, in first round action before defeating Virginia Tech's Phill Niklowicz, 10-6, in semifinal action. Lauer is now 7-2 on the year.

Redshirt sophomore Tom McMath finished third in the 165-pound bracket, while junior Jon Foster and redshirt freshman Brian Floyd placed fourth in the 184 and 133 pound brackets.

Virginia Tech won the Navy Classic with 152.5 team points.

The Mountaineers are back in action at the Las Vegas Invitational, December 1-2.

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