Three wrestlers provide first-hand accounts from summer internships
Redshirt senior, NCAA qualifier Luke Welch named Most Outstanding Wrestler
Action resumes Friday with session III at 11 a.m. ET
Welch, Limmex, Lydy, Brunner earn seeds
News and notes on Purdue Athletics
• Three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection (2016, 2017, 2018)
• Two-time NWCA All-Academic selection (2017, 2018)
• NCAA Championships 133-pound qualifier (2018)
2017-18 / AS A REDSHIRT JUNIOR
Awards & Honors
• Academic All-Big Ten
• NWCA All-Academic
• Purdue Wrestling's Joe Patacsil Leadership Award
• Michigan State Open 133-pound champion (11/5)
• Competed at Navy Classic (11/18)
• Competed at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (12/1-2)
• Competed at Midlands Championships as the No. 5 seed (12/29-30)
• Placed eighth at Big Ten Championships as the No. 8 seed (3/3-4)
• Competed at NCAA Championships (3/15)
• Non-conference dual wins (7), riding time (67:08), riding time points (22), dual points scored (48) ... tied for dual wins (13)
Career Highs Set
• Wins (27), dual wins (13), Big Ten dual wins (6), non-conference dual wins (7), decisions (20), major decisions (4), techincal falls (2), bonus point wins (7), shutouts (4), riding time (67:08), four-point nearfalls (6), back points (26), riding time points (22), dual points (48)
• Bumped up to 133 pounds after wrestling his first two seasons at 125.
• Owned the riding time in 28 of his 40 matches, earning the point 22 times ... outrode opponents by 48:43.
• Appeared at No. 19 in the national rankings on Dec. 19 for the first national ranking of his career.
• Received one of five at-large bids that were awarded at 133 pounds to qualify for his first NCAA Championships ... went 1-2 in Cleveland ... avenged a 7-4 Navy Classic loss to Ohio’s Cameron Kelly with a 5-3 win in wrestlebacks.
• Became a two-time Big Ten Championships placewinner by finishing eighth ... went 1-3 at the tournament ... took a 3-0 match from Indiana’s Garrett Pepple in the second round of wrestlebacks.
• Started every dual except for Illinois ... with a 13-2 overall dual record, Thornton led the way with 45 dual points scored (8 D, 1 MD, 2 TF, 1 F) ... only dual losses came to No. 7 Stevan Micic of Michigan (14-4) and Penn State’s Corey Keener (3-2).
• Posted a 7-3 win over Wisconsin’s Jens Lanz in the regular season finale, extending his winning streak to six straight ... it was the longest active winning streak and the longest since Welch won six straight from Dec. 30 to Jan. 26.
• Three of Thornton’s wins during his six-match winning streak were by one point ... he was 9-2 in matches decided by one or two points this season ... a quarter of Thornton’s career matches have been decided by 1-2 points ... he is 17-11 in those matches.
• Fell one match short of placing at the Midlands Championships and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
• Began season with a career-best seven-match winning streak that included winning the Michigan State Open 133-pound title.
2016-17 / AS A REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE
Awards & Honors
• NWCA All-Academic selection
• Academic All-Big Ten
• Purdue Wrestling Joe Patacsil Leadership Award
• Placed third at Eastern Michigan Open (11/5)
• Placed third at Roadrunner Open (11/20)
• Placed seventh at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (12/2-3)
• Competed at Midlands Championships as the No. 4 seed (12/29)
• Placed eighth at Big Ten Championships (3/4-5)
• Competed in freestyle at University Nationals at 61 kg (6/4)
• One of three Boilermakers to start all 16 duals, doing so at 125 pounds ... won a team-best 10 dual matches scoring 35 points.
• Set career high marks this season in wins (26), back points (26) and total points (250) ... surpassed his total points scored from last season by 77 points ... scored first in 63.4 percent of his matches for 88 points.
• Tied Alex Griffin for team lead in wins (26) ... topped major decision category alongside Luke Welch and Christian Brunner with five ... ranked second on team in takedowns (63) and total points scored (250).
• Placed eighth at Big Ten Championships unseeded at 125 ... received an injury default from Nick Suriano of Penn State in the first round for Thornton’s 40th career victory.
• Scored a career-high 22 points in consolation semifinals of Roadrunner Open.
• Went 5-2, posting a pair of decisions and a major decision in addition to receiving two medical forfeits, to place seventh at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Wrestling Invitational ... became Purdue’s second 125-pounder to place at the tournament -- Chris Fleeger won the title in 2002.
• Upset No. 12 Freddie Rodriguez of SIU Edwardsville in sudden victory 11-9 ... overcame an 8-4 deficit to with a pair of takedowns in the third period to force sudden victory ... needed just three seconds to score the winning takedown.
• Made his debut at No. 19 on Amateur Wrestling News’ top 20 at 125 pounds after his win over Rodriguez ... it was the first time in his career he had been ranked by the outlet.
• His 3:33 pin of South Dakota State’s Ben Gillette, his first of the season, was the deciding factor that lifted Purdue past the No. 17 Jackrabbits, 20-19, on their home mat ... the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals Championship Series matchup was decided on the second tiebreaking criteria.
2015-16 / AS A REDSHIRT FRESHMAN
Awards & Honors
• Academic All-Big Ten
• Most Dedicated Wrestler
• Placed fifth at Michigan State Open (unattached) (11/15)
• Competed at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (12/4)
• Placed seventh at Midlands Championships (12/29-30)
• Competed at Big Ten Championships (3/5)
• Competed at UWW Junior National Freestyle National Championships at 60 kg (5/1)
• Placed eighth in freestyle at University Nationals at 57 kg (6/4)
• Wrestled at 125 pounds
• Tied for the largest margin of victory of 18 points ... had a 19-1 technical fall of Patrick Kearney of The Citadel in 6:57 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
• Captured the riding time point 11 times, which tied for second ... his 173 points ranked third on the team ... averaged 6.4 points per match, which ranked second among those that wrestled 20 matches ... tied for third with points scored in the second period with 48 ... was fifth in takedowns with 37
• Appeared on the Gregg Henry top 33 five times throughout the season with a high ranking of No. 30
• Went 4-1 to take fifth at the Michigan State Open ... opened the tournament with a 4:19 fall vs. Parker Howell of Notre Dame College
• Won a season-best six straight matches from Nov. 15 to 21 ... five of the wins were by decision, the other was a 16-4 major decision of Shippensburg's Dustin Steffenino
• Became Purdue's first 125-pounder to place at Midlands, upsetting 11th-seeded Brandon Jeske of Old Dominion with a 6-4 decision for seventh place ... went 4-2 at the tournament with three decisions and received a medical forfeit
• Provided an 18-6 major decision of Maryland's Michael Beck in a 32-6 dual win for Purdue
• Missed the last six duals of the season due to a hand injury suffered at Minnesota (1/24) ... returned for Big Ten Championships
2014-15 / AS A FRESHMAN
• Competed in freestyle at University Nationals at 57 kg (5/30)
• Two-time Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion (2012: 106; 2014: 120) ... two-time runner-up (2011: 103; 2013: 113)
• High school record of 199-2 (49-1, 50-0. 50-1, 50-1)
• Four-time academic all-state ... three-time first team academic all-state selection
• Four-year wrestling letterwinner ... three-year baseball and football letterwinner
• Baseball first team academic all-state as a junior
• Mississippi Valley Conference first team running back (2012), punter (2013), shortstop (2012) and honorable mention infielder/pitcher (2014)
• Full Name: Benjamin Michael Thornton
• Major: Movement & sport sciences
• Minor: Psychology
• Birthday: June 23, 1996
• City Born: La Crosse, Wisconsin
• Parents: Mike and Amy Thornton
• Siblings: Older brother, Cal
• Notes: Father played baseball and football at UW Eau Claire