Matt Stencel earns All-American honors, wrestling finsishes 28th overall at NCAA Championships
Matt Stencel walked away from the NCAA wrestling championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a seventh place finish in the 285-pound weight class.
The sophomore heavyweight completed his 4-2 run of the tournament with a 3-1 decision over Trent Hillger of Wisconsin on March 23. On top of that, his season ended as the 54th All-American in Central Michigan wrestling history.
Stencel started out the tournament as a No. 9 seed against No. 16 seed Chase Singeltary of Ohio State, which was a 5-2 decision for Stencel. He then earned a 17-9 major decision over Demetrius Thomas of Pittsburgh in the second bout of the tournament.
The Oregon, Ohio native would then find himself in the consolation bracket with a 3-1 loss to the top-seeded Derek White of Oklahoma State.
In the "wrestlebacks," Stencel defeated Michigan's Mason Parris by fall at the 2:30 mark. He would then face Youssif Hemida of Maryland, who would defeat Stencel by a 6-2 decision and would put Stencel in the seventh place match against Hillger.
Stencel ended the 2018-19 campaign with a 31-6 record and had 19 pins.
"I came here wanting to win a national title," Stencel said. "I came up short, I got seventh place. I learned a lot. It was a good experience, it'll be good for me next year. Little things make a big difference here."
Anthony Cassar of Penn State took the top spot in the 285-pound weight class with a victory over White to begin the Nittany Lions' domination of the tournament.
PSU won the national championship with a team score of 137.5 and seven wrestlers earned All-American honors. Three Nittany Lions secured individual national championships. Jason Nolf won the 157-pound weight class and Bo Nickal claimed the 197. Both Nolf and Nickal were No. 1 seeds in their respective brackets.
As for the Chippewas, they finished with a team score of 12.5, which was good enough for 28th place in the final standings.
Sophomore Drew Hildebrandt finished his season with a 1-2 showing in the NCAA's (21-12 overall). Wrestling as the No. 13 seed, Hildebrandt defeated Gabe Townsell of Stanford with a 6-0 decision.
Hildebrandt was then defeated by fourth seeded Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State by a 5-3 decision. In the wrestlebacks, the Granger, Indiana native came up short against Alex Mackall of Iowa State with a 7-4 decision.
Junior Logan Parks qualified for the national tournament as a No. 18 seed in the 157-pound weight class. He was quickly bounced from the championship bracket with a 5-3 decision to Illinois' Eric Barone.
Parks then defeated Benjamin Barton of Campell with an 18-1 technical fall. The Taylor native would then be eliminated from the tournament with a fall to John Van Brill of Rutgers.
Parks ended the season with a 24-16 record, his second consecutive winning season after struggling his freshman campaign.