Wrestling started the final day of the 50th Midlands Championships with five wrestlers left and finished the day with four top eight finishes and fifth-place.
Most notable of the four top eight finishes was senior No. 2 Ben Bennett’s 184 weight class title win over last years winner Robert Hamlin of Lehigh. Bennett has been a three-time runner-up at Midlands, but was able to get even with Hamlin in this years finals rematch.
On top of a dominating title run Bennett was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Wrestler. Before Bennett was able to accomplish these two striking feats, he earned his 100th career win over No. 3 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland, making Bennett the 16th member of the 100 win club in program history.
“Everyone competed hard but I feel we could have wrestled smarter,” head coach Tom Borrelli said. “We need to improve on our tactics and strategy.”
Continuing down the line of impressive finishes, 125-weight class senior Christian Cullinan finished third defeating No. 3 Cory Clark of Iowa. Cullinan fought his way into the final round with a victory in the consolation round over Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma.
In the first day of competition Cullinan also earned an upset victory over No. 1 Anthony Zanetta of Pittsburgh.
“Christian Cullinan had an impressive first day, who will be wrestling in the semi-finals on Sunday,” Borrelli said.
The third senior of the day to finish in the top eight of the tournament was Scotti Sentes in the 133-weight class. Sentes fell into consolation rounds and found himself in the seventh place, however, would fall to Randy Cruz of Lehigh.
Another eighth-place finish for the Chippewas was junior Craig Kelliher, who conceited his bout with Bryce Hammond of CSU of Bakersfield.
Senior Jarod Trice, who wrestled unattached (points don’t count towards CMU’s final sore), finished tied for fifth. Trice would have a medical forfeit in his title bout against No. 2 Michael McMullen.
Trice did not have an injury, since wrestling unattached he decided to sit the fight out according to Borrelli.
The Chippewas will continue their season and have their first match of the New Year 6 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 6 at McGuirk Arena against Bucknell.