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Bleaken, Knox earn All-America honors
Mar 12, 2007 12:00 am
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Two Cumberland wrestlers earned All-America honors in the 149-pound class during the recent NAIA National Tournament at Tyson Events Center.
Corey Bleaken finished third and teammate Theo Dotson eighth at 149, enabling the Bulldogs to finish 16th as a team and ensure an invitation to the 2008 NAIA national duals.
Dotson had a first-round 16-3 major decision over J.T. Heckler from nearby Briar Cliff. Bleaken had a first-round bye.
Bleaken advanced to the quarterfinals with a 16-0 technical fall in 6:34 over Southern Oregon's Benjamin Icalia. Dotson moved into the quarters with a 6-4 sudden-victory in overtime over Montana State-Northern's Byron Kuylen, who was ranked No. 8 in the last NAIA poll.
Bleaken had a pin in 5:30 over Northwestern [Iowa] College's Chris Keating in the quarterfinals Dotson lost in the quarters to eventual champion Brad Stockton of Waldorf [Iowa].
Bleaken lost in an exciting semifinal match that ended with him getting a desperation throw over his opponent, Darren Cotton of William & Penn [Iowa]. Bleaken was awarded a takedown for the throw, but got only a one-count for back points as time ran out.
Dotson had a 6-3 win over Montana State-Northern's Jon Muri to advance to the consolation quarterfinals and earn All-America honors. He then dropped an 8-4 decision to University of the Cumberlands' Dustin Center.
Bleaken then wrestled Center and won a 15-3 major decision to advance to the consolation finals, where he lost in overtime 7-6 to Embry-Riddle's Trace Billett for eighth place. Bleaken became Cumberland's first freshman to earn All-America honors.
Kyle Knox was honored as Cumberland's ninth Daktronics scholar athlete for wrestling. Qualifications for All-America Scholar Athlete are a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, junior or senior status academically, has been attending the nominating school for one full year and has been certified as eligible. Knox, a junior, transferred to CU with grades which didn't allow him to compete during the first semester. But he now has a 3.45 cumulative GPA in business administration.
Eric McCray and Luke Borneman picked up consolation wins at 184 pounds. McCray collected a first-round victory over Tyler Phipps of York [Neb.] 22-10 before falling 5-2 to Embry-Riddle's Joffre Lander.
Borneman lost in the second round to Southern Oregon's Chase Locke.
In the consolation round, the teammates had pins on adjacent mats within seconds of each other. McCray was first by pinning York's Miguel Ponce in 6:17. Borneman's fall came in 2:30 over Zach Anderson of Morningside [Iowa]. Both lost in the next round to end their run for All-America honors.