Hilltopper Wrestlers Fall Short at Nationals

March 9, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. West Liberty University's 10-year streak with at least one wrestling All-American came to an end here Friday night as none of the Hilltoppers' three qualifiers were able to make it through Friday's opening day of the 2013 NCAA Division II Championship meet.

Senior 285-pounder Mike Carpenter came up one takedown shy of advancing to Saturday's action, which would have guaranteed him All-America status as one of the top 8 wrestlers in his class.

Carpenter (31-5), who came into the tournament as the nation's No. 6-ranked heavyweight, got off to a slow start Friday afternoon when he was upset, 5-2, by unranked Kevin Christman of Tiffin.

The Hilltopper veteran survived a marathon first-round consolation match against Nebraska-Kearney's Nick Bauman on Friday night, scoring a flash pin in the waning seconds of overtime to keep his All-America hopes alive.

Those hopes were dashed in one of the final matches of the evening when No. 8-ranked Andrew Tumlin of Findlay held on for a 5-4 victory in their second-round consolation bout.

West Liberty's other senior, 184-pounder Derrick Williams, ran into a buzzsaw in his opening match, dropping an 18-1 technical fall to No. 1-ranked Shamus O'Grady of St. Cloud State.

Williams (15-16) tried to bounce back in his first-round consolation match against Chadron State's Jordan Debus but came out on the short end of a 3-2 count.

The third member of the WLU wrestling contingent, sophomore 157-pounder Art Hobley (21-13), couldn't get anything going in his opening round match against Upper Iowa's Bryce Lumley and dropped into the consolation bracket with a 7-1 loss.

Hobley was victimized by a tough draw in his first-round consolation bout as he had to face No. 5-ranked Daniel Kelly of Adams State, who had been upset in his opening round match. Hobley turned in a solid effort against his nationally-ranked foe but wound up losing a 6-3 decision.

Top-ranked St. Cloud State was leading what was shaping up as a three-way chase with 60.5 points at the end of Friday's action. Notre Dame (Ohio) was just two points back at 58.5 with Nebraska-Kearney hot on their heels at 57 points. Central Oklahoma was fourth with 45 points while Upper Iowa and Newberry were tied for fifth at 33.

This marks the first year since 2002 that the WLU wrestling squad has failed to produce at least one All-American. The Hilltoppers had 15 All-Americans including one national champion and a pair of national runner-ups during that run.

First Round Championship
157: Bryce Lumley (Upper Iowa) d. Art Hobley (West Liberty), 7-1
184: Shamus O'Grady (St. Cloud State) tf. Derrick Williams (West Liberty), 18-1
285: Kevin Christman (Tiffin) d. Mike Carpenter (West Liberty), 5-3

First Round Consolation
157: Daniel Kelly (Adams State) d. Art Hobley (West Liberty), 6-3
184: Jordan Debus (Chadron State) d. Derrick Williams (West Liberty), 3-2
285: Mike Carpenter (West Liberty) p. Nick Bauman (Nebraska-Kearney), 8:30

Second Round Consolation
285: Andrew Tumlin (Findlay) d. Mike Carpenter (West Liberty), 5-4

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