PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Robert Hamlin and junior Zach Rey reached the national semifinals and three other Mountain Hawks will wrestle for All-America honors tonight as Lehigh enjoyed a strong showing at session three of the NCAA Championships Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center. Lehigh went 8-1 as a team to move into seventh place in the team standings with 37 points.
Hamlin, the No. 2 seed at 184, earned the first All-America honor of his career after winning a 4-2 decision over Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. Hamlin spun behind Perry on the edge for a takedown in the first period and added a third period escape, plus a penalty point for unsportsmanlike conduct after repeated shots to the face by Perry. The win improves Hamlin’s season record to 31-2. He will now face the No. 3 seed, Steve Bosak of Cornell in the semifinals. Hamlin already owns two wins over Bosak including a 6-5 triumph in the EIWA finals.
Rey, the top seed at heavyweight, became a two-time All-American and reached the semifinals for the second straight year after defeating Cameron Wade by injury default at the 3:17 mark. Rey converted a single leg shot for a takedown in the first period and proceeded to ride Wade for a good portion of the period. Late in the period, Rey was riding on Wade’s lower leg when the Nittany Lion called for injury time and began writhing in pain. Wade tried valiantly to continue, but after choosing top in the second period, Wade gave up a Rey escape, and after Rey’s second takedown put him up 5-0, Wade defaulted out. Rey will now face No. 5 seed Dom Bradley of Missouri in the semifinals.
Three other Mountain Hawks went 2-0 on the afternoon to earn the right to wrestle for All-America status Friday night.
At 141, freshman Stephen Dutton rode a fast start to a 7-1 lead before holding off Virginia’s Nick Nelson 11-8. In his second match of the day, Dutton scored an early takedown against returning All-American Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh, but fell behind entering the third period. In the third, Dutton chose neutral and took Nauman down twice. He also rode out the final seconds preventing an escape to win 7-6. Dutton will meet the No. 8 seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma Friday night.
Junior Brandon Hatchett was impressive in two wins by decision to earn a round of 12 matchup with Scott Winston of Rutgers. Hatchett broke open a 2-2 match with a second period three point near fall off a cradle and went on to win 8-3. He then advanced to the round of 12 with a 5-1 decision over Jim Resnick of Rider.
Junior Joe Kennedy joined Dutton in the Round of 12 with a 3-2 win over Brent Haynes of Missouri in the final bout of the session for Lehigh. Haynes scored an early takedown and amassed over a minute and a half of riding time before Kennedy escaped to make the score 2-1. In the second, Haynes was penalized a point for fleeing the mat while trying to ride Kennedy, who then escaped to lead 3-2. Haynes chose down in the third looking to escape and utilize a hefty riding time advantage, but Kennedy successfully rode out the period and eliminated the advantage time to win 3-2 and earn a matchup with Matt Powless of Indiana in the Round of 12. Earlier Friday Kennedy won a 5-1 decision over Riley Orozco of Cal-State Bakersfield.
Of the six Mountain Hawks to advance to Friday morning, only sophomore Joey Napoli was eliminated after dropping an 8-3 decision to Ivan Lopouchanski of UNC-Greensboro.
Entering Friday’s night session Lehigh is in seventh place, two points ahead of Arizona State and Boise State. Cornell surpassed Penn State to take a 61-60.5 lead in the team race. Iowa sits in third with 52 points followed by American (49), Oklahoma State (44.5), Wisconsin (41) and Lehigh.
The 2011 NCAA Championships continue Friday at 7 p.m. with the national semifinals and All-America round of 12. Session four will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN3 while live audio coverage will be available for free at Lehighsports.com.
Second round consolations
141 – Stephen Dutton (Lehigh) dec. Nick Nelson (Virginia) 11-8
149 – Ivan Lopouchanski (UNCG) dec. Joey Napoli (Lehigh) 8-3
165 – Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) dec. Cody Yohn (Minnesota) 8-5
197 – Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) dec. Riley Orozco (CSUB) 5-1
184 – Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) dec. Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) 4-2
285 – Zach Rey (Lehigh) injury default Cameron Wade (Penn State) 3:17
Third round consolations
141 – Stephen Dutton (Lehigh) dec. Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh) 7-6
165 – Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) dec. Jim Resnick (Rider) 5-1
197 – Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) dec. Brent Haynes (Missouri) 3-2