Walters Stands as Lone Remaining Bobcat in NCAA Championships< < Back to
Standing on mat six pacing back and forth, Ohio RS senior Cody Walters waited for his quarterfinals round to start. Diagonal to him on mat seven was his roommate, Sparty Chino, in period three and behind two points. The inside four mats were dedicated to the quarterfinals, and each weight class began at the same time.
“Our friendship transcends the sport.,” said Chino. “No matter what the outcome is, win or lose. The love we have for each other as teammates, friends, brothers is something I will forever cherish.”
When the final forty seconds ticked down, Chino leaned back onto his heels and accepted the 4-2 defeat.
“I’m not happy. I wanted to have a Cinderella type finish in Madison Square Garden, however, I understand that there is more to life,” said Chino. He then was sure to credit head coach Joel Greenlee for “taking a chance on him.”
Meanwhile, Walters’ first period had just begun. Walters got a quick takedown to start. That was the only lead he held the duration of the match.
Walters chose down to start out the second period, and his opponent, Lelund Weatherspoon almost ended it early with a near fall. However, the bobcat got out of it in time. Walters was able to stay on top of Weatherspoon the rest of the third quarter and earn riding time points, but he still finished short 5-3.
This was his first loss of the tournament, meaning he will return again for round four. Walters can no longer claim a national championship, but he can still get third place and an All-American title.
Chino and Walters’ losses were not the only heartbreaks for the ‘Cats. Senior Andrew Romanchik was the last bobcat to hit the mat in round three. His third round match also resulted in his season ending.
Just like many of the Green and White’s matches, Romanchik started out with an early takedown and stayed competitive the entire match. Just when it looked like things were falling Romanchik’s way, Blake Stauffer got a takedown and had his first lead of the match. Romanchik ran out of time to recover.
Kelly started out his match well, earning an early takedown. However, he was unable to harness any momentum from it, falling 11-2. He gave up 11 points after a series of takedowns and escapes from Joey Palmer of Oregon State.
Round four begins Friday at 8 p.m. with Cody Walters squaring off against Blaise Butler from Mizzou in the wrestlebacks. Both were seeded in the top 10 going into the tournament before upsets from unseeded opponents.