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On This Day In History | 1976

February 21, 2018
Wrestling 1976

The ’76 wrestling squad

On this day 42 years ago, the wrestling team won their own tournament in thrilling fashion over Martin Luther. Here is the recap from Richard Gelfond of Newsday.

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Stony Brook Has a Great Ending

Stony Brook–The plot was dramatic. This was no planned script, though, but rather an impromptu performance by the Stony Brook wrestling team in its own tournament yesterday. For built-in excitement, any playwright would be jealous.

Stony Brook won the tournament, edging Martin Luther, 46-45, by getting a pin in the next-to-last bout and then a victory in the showdown against Martin Luther in the heavyweight final. With three points for a victory plus a bonus point for a pin and no points for a loss, Stony Brook accomplished just as much as it had to in those last events to win the team championship.

“It was very exciting for all of us,” Stony Brook coach Bruce Dodd said. “I couldn’t have planned a better ending. I had faith in the last two wrestlers, but I didn’t think it’d be that close.”

Martin Luther had 45 points, Dalton 40.75, Lutheran 39.75, and Stony Brook 39 with the two final weight classes to go. “I knew a pin would set us up for the win,” said Scott Dodd, the coach’s son and the wrestler who prepared to square off against Kahlil Day of Dalton in the 188-pound class. “I wanted to get it quick.”

Dodd realized his hopes when he immediately took the advantage on Day and got a pin in 1:24. After trying a drag and a half-nelson, Dodd used a double arm back to put Day down.

This set up the confrontation between heavyweights Mark Andersen of Stony Brook and Peter Mueller of Martin Luther for the tournament title. With Mueller outweighing Andersen in the unlimited class, 210 pounds to 199, and this being Andersen’s first year of wrestling, the outlook was not promising for Stony Brook.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better guy–to be in the pivotal position–than Andersen,” coach Dodd said. “It was a perfect opportunity for him to prove himself. He’s a hard worker, strong boy. Very determined.”

As both wrestlers stepped on the mat, the decibel level in the gymnasium climbed. Both teams were yelling as the first period began. “I can’t hear a whole lot when I’m wrestling,” Andersen said. “Just a whole lot of rumbling.”

About midway through the opening period Andersen scored a takedown and held on for a 2-0 lead. “Getting the first points on the board is a big psychological advantage,” Andersen said. After a scoreless second period, the stage was set for the showdown.

Andersen kept on the offensive amidst the cheers of the home spectators and teammates. Mueller tried for a reversal which Andersen prevented. Then Andersen scored another takedown and held Mueller neutral to win the match, 4-0. The whole Stony Brook team rushed him on the mat.

“It’s the first time the match has ever come down to me,” Andersen said. “For a senior in his last year of wrestling, it’s quite a thrill. It was so dramatic, if I didn’t know better, I’d think the whole thing was staged.”

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Shrike

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