University of Findlay senior wrestlers Ben Sergent and Adam Walters both won matches in heart-stopping fashion Saturday morning to advance to the championship matches in their respective weight classes at the NCAA Division II national championships at Cleveland’s Public Hall.
Both will wrestle for NCAA titles tonight when the championship matches begin at 7 p.m.
Sergent (25-6) scored a 5-4 win over Gannon’s Matthew Turek to advance to the 125-pound championship match against Augustana’s T.J. North (36-3).
It’s the first time the three-time NCAA qualifier has placed at the tournament. Sergent also avenged a 10-8 loss to Turek in the opening round of last year’s NCAA Championship.
After a scoreless first period, Sergent scored an escape just six seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead.
But Turek rebounded and scored 2-point takedowns in both the second and third periods for a 4-3 lead.
Sergent, though, shot in and scored a takedown on the edge of the mat as time expired.
The referees reviewed the final seconds of the match on video and the match-winning takedown stood giving Sergent a 5-4 win and a berth in the championship match.
Walters, a three-time All-American and 2012 NCAA finalist, also needed some late magic to reach the 174-pound title match.
He used an escape and takedown to build a 3-1 lead through two periods before Western State’s Eric Copeland recorded an escape and takedown of his own for a 4-3 lead. Walters tied it with an escape with 1:08 left before clinching the match with a takedown of his own with just 13 seconds left for a 6-5 win.
Walters (31-3) will face Notre Dame College’s Joey Davis (38-0) for the championship.
Through the semifinal round, the Roughnecks were eighth in the 46-team field with 31½ points.
You can watch a live video feed of tonight’s NCAA championship matches here.
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