Chippewa Wrestling Squad Continues to Win

Updated 12/19/2007


Story courtesy of Central Michigan University athletic media relations


RENO, Nev. - Central Michigan University claimed four individual titles en route to winning its second consecutive team championship at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Tuesday.


Led by first-place finishes by Luke Smith (125 pounds), Brandon Sinnott (174), Christian Sinnott (184) and Wynn Michalak (197), the sixth-ranked Chippewas tallied 152.5 team points to defend their Reno team title. Oklahoma State finished second with 128 points, while Cornell was third with 99 points.


A total of 10 Chippewas placed in the top six of their respective weight classes to contribute to the team score. Trevor Stewart finished runner-up at 165 pounds, Eric Kruger was third at 141, Nathaniel Holt (149) and Bubba Gritter (285) placed fifth and Conor Beebe (133) and Tyler Grayson (157) placed sixth.


Also of note was Ben Kelto, competing unattached, advancing to the semis at 184 before eventually placing fifth.


Smith entered the tournament seeded second at 125 pounds. He defeated the No. 3 seed, Cal Poly's Boris Navochkov, 3-1 in the semis before claiming a 4-3 decision over No. 1 seed Tanner Gardner (Stanford) in the championship match. Gardner, a 2007 All-American, entered the tournament ranked fourth nationally at 125.


Brandon Sinnott, seeded third at 174 pounds, defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to his title. After a pair of major decisions in his first two matches, Sinnott advanced to the semis via a 3-2 decision over an unattached Ryan Smith. A 4-2 decision over No. 2 seed Brandon Mason (Oklahoma State) in the semis qualified Sinnott for the finals, where he blanked top-seeded Matt Stolpinski (Navy), 4-0.


Christian Sinnott matched his twin brother with a title at 184. An opening-round pin and a pair of decisions moved the second-seeded Sinnott into the semis, where he earned a 9-2 decision over Cornell's Michael Moore. Cal State Fullerton's Ian Murphy medical forfeited the championship match to Sinnott.


Michalak proved worthy of the No. 1 seed at 197 pounds, recording two falls, a major decision and a technical fall, respectively, to advance to the finals. He clinched the championship with a 3-1 decision over Arizona State's Jason Trulson, a national qualifier in 2007.


Stewart steamrolled his way to the finals at 165 pounds before falling to No. 3 seed Mack Lewness (Cornell). Stewart, seeded fourth, posted a 6-3 decision over No. 1 seed, and nationally fourth ranked, Pat Pitsch (Arizona State).


Third-seeded Kruger was upset in his first-round match at 141 pounds but rebounded to win seven consecutive matches in the wrestle backs to place third. Of Kruger's seven wins, three were by major decision and one by technical fall; he claimed a 15-6 major decision over Elijah Nacita (Cal State Bakersfield) in the third-place match.


Both Holt and Brandon Carter advanced to the quarterfinals at 149 pounds before Holt ultimately placed fifth. He defeated Jeremy Doyle (Cal State Bakersfield), 8-6, in the fifth-place match.


CMU returns to action on Dec. 29-30, competing at Midlands in Evanston, Ill. The Chippewas placed fourth in the 56-team field last year.