Cody Walters said last week he wanted to throw the“kitchen sink” at his opponents during the 2016 NCAA Championships.
Walters didn’t actually throw kitchen appliances at his opponents this weekend at the NCAA Championships in New York City, but he ended his career a champion.
The fifth-year wrestler gained All-American status for the second time in his career this weekend, placing seventh at the 174 lbs weight class. It was Walters highest finish at the national tournament.
“When I knew I won, I had a lot of emotion that I can’t even explain,” Walters said. “I just wanted to give my all for that last minute and dedicate myself to the sport.”
Walters finished his last year with a record of 30-6, winning a total of 115 matches at Ohio.
As a team, however, Ohio (13-3, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) would finish 29th out of 72 teams in the NCAA Championships with a score of 12.5.
“Its a tough tournament, it’s a grind so you just have to get through it,” head coach Joel Greenlee said.
Though Walters finished his career as an All-American, freshman Cameron Kelly attained some success at his first NCAA Championships as well.
Kelly would advance to the second round of the championships, eventually losing to Oklahoma’s Cody Brewer 14-4 in the 133 lbs weight class. Kelly finished his freshman season 23-9.
Freshman Shakur Laney lost his first round match 8-2 against Northern Iowa wrestler Dylan Peters.
Spartak Chino would lose in the pigtail round 7-2 to Northern Iowa’s Bryce Steiert. The pigtail round is a play-in round for the championships. Along with Chino, Phil Wellington, Andrew Romanchik and Austin Reese lost their matches on the first day of the tournament.
Greenlee said the Bobcats wrestled harder than it appears, however.
“We had a lot of tough matches today but I thought we wrestled tough overall,” Greenlee said.
Though Ohio is losing four seniors in Walters, Chino, Wellington and Romanchik, the program is disciplined.
Kelly and Laney are already preparing to be the leaders of next year’s team, as the pair had a fair share of success during their first year.
“The tough part is you just went through a grueling qualifying tournament so everyone is beaten up but you still have to wrestle,” Greenlee said.