DES MOINES, Iowa — Central Michigan senior Ben Bennett defeated No. 7 Jimmy Sheptock in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships Friday to become the first four-time All-American in program history.
Bennett advanced to the semifinals for the first time in his career where he will meet No. 3 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) in a rematch of the Midlands Championships final in which Bennett defeated Hamlin, 2-0.
Before he could secure the All-America honor, Bennett had to defeat No. 7 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) in the quarterfinals. After a scoreless first period, Bennett chose bottom and escaped just 14 seconds into the period to claim a 1-0 lead. Sheptock chose a neutral start for the third period, but was unable to get in on an attack and Bennett held on for the slim decision.
“I’m trying to pave the way for future wrestlers at CMU and top the wrestlers that came before me,” Bennett said. “You talk about a guy like Casey Cunningham, a former champion, and I want to get to that level. I have to keep working and fight through the semifinals tonight to get to an opportunity where I can earn that.”
In the Chippewas second quarterfinal match of the day, senior Jarod Trice was narrowly defeated by No. 2 seed and defending national champion Tony Nelson, 1-0. Nelson started on bottom in the second period and earned an escape nine seconds in for the only score of the match.
Senior Scotti Sentes kept his chances for a third All-American honor alive with a pair of victories in the wrestle backs and now is just one win shy of earning the honor. Sentes opened the day with a an 11-1 major decision over Matt Byston (Columbia) before pinning Jamie Franco (Hofstra) in just 2:42 to advance to Friday’s night session.
The Maroon and Gold’s three remaining wrestlers entering the day were all eliminated after being unable to advance in the wrestle backs.
Junior Craig Kelliher battled fellow Mid-American Conference foe Cody Walters (Ohio), but was unable to overcome a Walters’ reversal in the second period.
Session IV will begin this evening at 7:00 pm Eastern time with semifinals and wrestle backs on six matches.
125 pounds – Christian Cullinan
First Round: W, decision Joe DeAngelo (N.C. State), 7-2
Second Round: L, decision No. 4 Nicholas Megadulis (Penn State), 5-2
Consolation Second Round: L, decision Edward Kilmara (Okla. State), 6-3
133 pounds – No. 10 Scotti Sentes
First Round: W, major decision Jimmy Morris (Rider), 13-2
Second Round: L, decision No. 7 Jonathon Morrison (Okla. State), 3-1
Consolation Second Round: W, major decision Matt Bystol (Columbia), 11-1
Consolation Third Round: W, fall Jamie Franco (Hofstra), 2:25
Consolation Fourth Round: vs. No. 5 Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota)
149 pounds – Donnie Corby
First Round: L, decision Dan Osterman (Michigan State), 3-1 SV
Consolation First Round: W, decision Alexander Richardson (ODU), 4-3
Consolation Second Round: L, decision Raymond Borja (Navy), 9-6
157 pounds – Lucas Smith
First Round: L, major decision, No. 7 Jesse Dong (Va. Tech), 8-0
Consolation First Round: L, fall No. 10 Roger Pena (Oregon State), 2:29
165 pounds – Mike Ottinger
Preliminary round: L, decision Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana), TB1 5-3
Consolation preliminary: L, decision Austin Wilson (Nebraska), 6-2
174 pounds – Craig Kelliher
First Round: L, decision No. 3 Michael Evans (Iowa), 2-0
Consolation First Round: W, decision Leroy Munster (Northwestern), TB1 3-2
Consolation Second Round: L, decision Cody Walters (Ohio), 2-1
184 pounds – No. 2 Ben Bennett
First Round: W, decision Tony Dallago (Illinois), 7-3
Second Round: W, major decision Alex Utley (UNC), 10-0
Quarterfinals: W, decision No 7 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland), 1-0
Semfinals: vs. No. 3 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)
Heavyweight – No. 10 Jarod Trice
First Round: W, decision Daniel Miller (Navy), 2-0
Second Round: W, decision No. 7 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 6-4
Quarterfinals: L, decision No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota), 1-0
Consolation Fourth Round: vs. Joe Stolfi (Bucknell)