June 4, 2012
AKRON, Ohio - Purdue wrestling's Brandon Nelsen earned All-America honors at the 2012 ASICS University National Freestyle Championships this weekend, taking fourth place at 63 kg (138.5 lbs.). The rising Boilermaker sophomore was the Purdue starter at 141 pounds in 2011-12, and posted a 6-2 record over the two-day tournament.
Nelsen opened the competition with an impressive 6-2, 8-1 win over Eastern Michigan's Mike Shaw, but was bounced from the championship bracket in the ensuing round by eventual 63 kg champion Nathan McCormick of Missouri. Taking the long road back, Nelsen had to win three straight matches in the consolation bracket to reach the placing rounds, and then won two more consecutive tilts to advance to the third-place match against Illinois' Daryl Thomas, where he fell in three periods, 2-6, 7-4, 3-1.
Rising Purdue junior Camden Eppert was the only other Boilermaker in attendance, and he put on an impressive performance in a brutal 60 kg (132 lbs.) bracket. A two-time NCAA Championship qualifier for the Boilermakers at 125 pounds, Eppert won his first three matches to advance to the championship quarterfinals, including a 6-0, 3-0 victory over NCAA qualifier Mason Beckman of Lehigh. Day two of the competition was unkind to Eppert as he fell to championship finalist Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech and two-time NCAA qualifier Alan Waters of Missouri, falling one win shy of the placing rounds and All-America status.
"It was a solid weekend for our guys," said Purdue head coach Scott Hinkel. "This was another opportunity to wrestle against some outstanding competition and Camden and Brandon stepped up to the task."