Dec. 8, 2012
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Sophomore Braden Atwood posted a 4-0 day to capture the University of Northern Iowa Open 197-pound title to lead the Purdue Wrestling team on Saturday at the UNI Dome. The Boilermakers placed six individuals on the day as freshman Chad Welch, senior Tommy Churchard, junior Camden Eppert and sophomores Pat Robinson and Patrick Kissel joined Atwood on the podium.
The Boilermakers were very competitive with their 14 individuals, with at least one win for every entry and as many as eight matches for some wrestlers. Robinson and Kissel paced the group with eight apiece, while Churchard had seven bouts on the day.
Atwood's tournament title was his first of his career, posting a major decision and two decisions before taking an injury default in the championship match. He opened with a 4-1 decision over Indianapolis's Taylor Scott, followed by an 11-1 major decision over Northern Iowa's Blaize Cabell and an 8-6 decision over Carl Broghammer. Atwood was set to face Iowa State's Kyven Gadsen in the finals, but the Cyclone suffered an injury in his semifinal bout and was forced to concede the championship match.
Welch reached the finals at 174 pounds, winning four straight matches to open the day, but fell to 19th-ranked Cody Caldwell of Northern Iowa in the finals. Welch scored two decisions, a major decision and a technical fall, improving to 14-4 on the season.
Eppert, Churchard and Robinson all turned in fifth-place performances, placing at 125, 157 and 165 pounds, respectively. Eppert had three major decisions and a fall in his five victories, while Churchard had a technical fall and a major decision in his five wins and Robinson boosted his record to a team-best 16 wins on the season, including two falls on Saturday. Kissel finished 5-3 at 184 pounds, including his third fall of the season as he moved to 14-7 overall.
The Boilermakers wrap up first-semester action next weekend, hosting Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Iowa Western Community College on Sunday, Dec. 16, in Holloway Gymnasium.