Wrestling ended 18th in the NCAA tournament after eight wrestlers became two All-Americans at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Senior four-time All-American 184-pounder Ben Bennett started the third day of competition off with a win in a match up against Ethan Lofthouse of Iowa State. Bennett beat Lofthouse with a 3-1 decision and moved on to wrestle for third-place against Cornell’s Steve Bosak.
Bennett was called for stalling to give Bosak a 1-0 lead. The match would stay close, however, Bosak would eventually win with a riding time advantage and take the match 2-0. Bennett’s historical career at CMU came to a finish, but he separated himself from the pack by becoming the only four-time All-American in program history.
“It’s hard to say where this senior class stands,” said head coach Tom Borrelli. “I would have to think about it more since we’ve had so many good senior classes here. The things I’ll miss most are the memories and the funny things we went through and also the personalities and relationships.”
Bennett started the tournament out strong with three-straight dual wins but would lose in the semi-finals to Robert Hamlin of Lehigh in a 3-2 decision. Bennett was then sent to the consolation bracket where he beat Lofthouse to move on to the match against Bosak.
The three-time All-American heavyweight Jarod Trice started the last day of competition in the consolation semi-finals in a match up against Dom Bradley of Mid-American Conference champion Missouri. Trice would fall to Bradley in a 5-2 decision and go on to wrestle in the fifth-place dual, against Zac Thomusseit of Pittsburgh University. In a close dual Thomusseit would get a 3-1 decision against Trice.
“Jarod wrestled hard but ran into two quality opponents after winning two matches to gain his All-American status,” Borrelli said.
Trice, like Bennett, started out strong with two opening victories but would lose in the quarter finals to No. 2 Tony Nelson of Minnesota in a 1-0 decision. He would eventually move on to gain his All-American status for the third time against Joe Stolfi of Bucknell.
“From an outcome stand point, Jarod is the most productive heavyweight in program history,” Borrelli said. “And Ben is the most productive wrestler we’ve ever had.”
With Bennett and Trice gaining All-American honors, it marks the ninth year of the last ten years that Borrelli and the Chippewas have had multiple All-Americans in the program.
Senior No. 10 Scotti Sentes just missed All-American honors this year and a record of 3-3 on the tournament starting off with a win against Jimmmy Morris of Rider with a 13-2 major decision. He would lose in the second round but came up with two-straight wins in the second and third rounds of consolation. His tournament would ultimately end with a hard-fought loss against No. 5 Christopher Dardanes of Minnesota in a 11-9 decision that ended in sudden victory.
Fellow seniors Christian Cullinan and Donnie Corby ended their CMU careers going 1-2 in the tournament. Cullinan began with a win against Joe DeAngelo of N.C. State but would drop his next two, which eliminated him from the tournament.
Corby started off with a loss against in-state foe Dan Osterman of MSU in a 3-1 decision that ended in sudden victory. However, he would come back strong with a consolation win but would be eliminated in the next round.
Craig Kelliher would face the same tournament fate as Cullinan and Corby going 1-2 on the tournament. Lucas Smith and Mike Ottinger both failed to gain a dual victory in the tournament but both have next year to look forward to.