Hamlin, Kennedy wrap-up All-America campaigns Saturday morning
ST. LOUIS – Lehigh junior Robert Hamlin and senior Joe Kennedy cemented their All-American statuses by competing in the medal rounds at the NCAA Championships Saturday at Scottrade Center. Hamlin won his first match of the day but had to settle for fourth place at 184 following an overtime loss, while Kennedy also fell in overtime and had to settle for eighth place at 197.
Hamlin’s day began with a matchup against Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota in the consolation semifinals. After a scoreless first period, Hamlin converted the only takedown of the match in the second period and escaped in the third to win 3-2.
Wresting for third place, Hamlin met upstart Austin Trotman of Appalachian State. The two wrestlers traded escapes in regulation, but in sudden victory Trotman converted a quick double leg takedown 24 seconds into the extra period to win 3-1 and take third.
Hamlin’s season ends at 31-3. He is now a two-time All-American after a runner-up finish a year ago.
Kennedy met longtime EIWA rival Micah Burak of Penn for seventh place at 197. The match was tied 1-1 through regulation and a scoreless sudden victory period. In the tiebreakers, Burak was able to ride out Kennedy in the first 30 second period and then escaped to win 2-1. Kennedy earns All-America honors in his senior season for the first time. He finishes with a 25-8 mark in 2012 and an 86-48 career record.
Lehigh enters Saturday night’s finals in eighth place with 61 points. The Mountain Hawks have clinched their second straight top-ten team finish and are one point behind Illinois for seventh. Penn State clinched its second straight national team championship in Saturday’s morning session and has five finalists tonight.
The Mountain Hawks have two finalists as Brandon Hatchett will wrestle Penn State’s David Taylor at 165 and Zach Rey will meet Tony Nelson of Minnesota at heavyweight.
The 2012 NCAA Championships conclude Saturday night with the national finals from Scottrade Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. The finals will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN3 while live audio of all finals matches will be available for free at Lehighsports.com.
184 – Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) dec. Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) 3-2
Third place match
184 – Austin Trotman (Appalachian St.) dec. Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) 3-1, s.v.
Seventh place match
197 – Micah Burak (Penn) dec. Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) 2-1, t.b.