Hamlin advances to NCAA semis, becomes three-time All-American
Posted: 03/22/2013 | Last updated: March 22, 2013 at 02:41 PM
DES MOINES, Iowa – Senior Robert Hamlin is Lehigh’s last man standing at the NCAA Wrestling Championships as he became a three-time All-American and three-time semifinalist with a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa. Hamlin will wrestle rival Ben Bennett of Central Michigan in Friday night’s semifinal round.
In a matchup of the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds at 184, the deciding point was a penalty point for stalling against Loder. The Panther opened the scoring with a quick second period escape, but was warned for stalling on his feet. Hamlin also mustered an escape in the third period, and kept the offensive pressure on as Loder was hit again for stalling, giving Hamlin the deciding point. With the win, Hamlin becomes Lehigh’s 16th three time All-American and earns the 136th All-America medal in school history.
Hamlin is 2-2 all-time versus his semifinal opponent Bennett, the No. 2 seed. Bennett won the most recent meeting 2-1 in the finals of the Midlands Championships, while Hamlin posted both of his victories last season.
Two other Mountain Hawks saw their seasons come to an end with losses in the second round of consolations. Freshman Randy Cruz gave up a first period takedown to Rossi Bruno of Michigan and was unable to turn the Wolverine from top in the third as he fell 3-1. Cruz, the EIWA Champion at 133,finishes his freshman season at 32-12.
Sophomore Nathaniel Brown was upended by Jordan Blanton of Illinois 6-5 at 174. Brown opened the scoring with a first period takedown, but Blanton went in front with takedowns in the second and third periods. Brown scored a reversal late in the third but came up one point short as he finishes his sophomore season at 21-7.
Lehigh is in 26th place in the team standings, with 11.5 points.
Hamlin will wrestle in the semifinals in session four of the NCAA Championships, which begins at 6 p.m. CT from Wells Fargo Arena. The semifinals will be televised on ESPNU, while live audio of Hamlin’s match and other select matches from the championships will be available for free at Lehighsports.com.
133 – Randy Cruz
Second round consolation: L by dec. Rossi Bruno (Michigan) 3-1
174 – No. 9 Nathaniel Brown
Second round consolation: L by dec. No.7 Jordan Blanton (Illinois) 6-5
184 – No. 3 Robert Hamlin
Quarterfinals: dec. No. 6 Ryan Loder (UNI) 2-1
Semifinals: vs. No. 2 Ben Bennett (CMU)