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Army West Point wins team title at Patriot Open

FAIRFAX, Va. - The Army West Point wrestling team returned to competition Saturday at the Patriot Open hosted by George Mason University. The Black Knights earned five individual titles on their way to the top overall team point total.

"I felt like we performed well," said head coach Kevin Ward. "I was especially proud to see the number of individuals we put into the finals. Sahm [Abdulrazzaq] and [Markus] Hartman both winning their first collegiate tournaments is a big thing for those guys."

10 Cadets made it to respective finals matches on the day, with champions coming at 157 lbs. (Hartman), 165 lbs. (Cael McCormick), 184 lbs. (Abdulrazzaq), 197 lbs. (NC between Alex Hopkins and J.T. Brown), and 285 lbs. (Ben Sullivan).

Army finished the day with an astounding 297.5 total points among the 31 teams at the competition. Columbia was second with 98.5, and American rounded out the top three with 95.5 team points.

Hartman went 5-0 on the day, with a fall and two technical falls for his first collegiate tournament title.

McCormick earned his second tournament title of the season (Black Knight Invite) at 165 pounds. The senior went 4-0 -- all decision victories throughout the day.

Getting a chance to compete at 184 pounds, Abdulrazzaq took full advantage of the opportunity. The freshman, who went to high school in Virginia, also went 4-0 overall. His finals victory was an extra-time thriller, as he took down Brian Bonino of NYC RTC with a 4-3 decision.

Both Alex Hopkins and J.T. Brown advanced for Army into the 197 lb. final, but the match was not contested. In Hopkins' four victories, he earned a fall, tech. fall, major decision, and a decision. Brown scored a major decision and two decisions on the day.

In the heavyweight division, it was another all-Army final between Ben Sullivan and Bobby Heald. Sullivan went 4-0 overall -- including earning a fall victory in the round of 16 -- on the way to his finals victory.

"Overall I still think we have a lot of room to grow, added Ward. "We made some mental mistakes in some tough matches that cost us some matches we really wanted. We can't be satisfied with being close to winning. This is a team that is capable of winning 10 weights at this tournament and we need to keep improving. We can still jump levels"

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