DES MOINES, Iowa Â– Lehigh senior
Robert Hamlin (Jonesville, Vt./Mount Mansfield Union) fell short in his bid to win a NCAA title as the Mountain HawksÂ’
three-time All-American dropped a 12-4 major decision to Ed Ruth of Penn State
in the 184 pound finals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships Saturday night at
Wells Fargo Arena.
Ruth scored an early first period takedown and was able to
ride out the rest of the period, thwarting HamlinÂ’s numerous escape attempts
with mat returns.
Â“Giving up the takedown didnÂ’t
really bother me but I had a hard time getting out,Â” Hamlin said. Â“He kept
bringing me back down. I couldnÂ’t break his grip. That made it difficult. It was
hard to recover from that first period.Â”
The Nittany Lion junior escaped
early in the second period and added a takedown with 18 seconds left in the
second period to build a 5-1 lead.
Â“That definitely opened things up
for him,Â” Hamlin said of the second period score. Â“It was a big momentum boost
for him. It was hard for me too, but the third period is usually my best period.
I tried to forget about it and just go into the third period but I wasnÂ’t able
to get my offense going.Â”
Hamlin finally escaped from the bottom position in the third period,
but Ruth used his quickness and length to record three more takedowns in the
third period, the last of which came in the final seconds. The three final
period takedowns, combined with 3:55 worth of riding time gave Ruth his major
decision and gave the Nittany Lions the team lead.
The first NCAA wrestling
All-American from the state of Vermont, Hamlin finishes his career a 107-22
record. Hamlin won two EIWA titles and was a four-time NCAA qualifier, finishing
second in 2011 and 2013 and placing fourth in 2012.
Â“I caught myself off guard when I
made the finals as a sophomore,Â” Hamlin said. Â“I wasnÂ’t sure if I was ready for
it. This year I thought I had a good chance. I just wasnÂ’t able to get it done.
It has been a great ride. I would have loved to win a national title for Lehigh.
My coaches put so much effort into me and they really deserved it.
Penn State clinched its third
straight national team title in the match following RuthÂ’s win over
As a team, Lehigh finishes the
tournament in 25th place with 18.5 points. In addition to Hamlin, Lehigh will
lose five addition wrestlers to graduation: Alex Abreu, Kevin Bailey, Josh
Fitch, Shane Welsh and Albert Woody.
184 Â– No. 3 Robert
Finals: L by major dec. No. 1 Ed
Ruth (Penn State) 12-4