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Chris Murphy, Published July 19 2013

Minnesota's Benick blanks opponents on way to freestyle national title

FARGO – Lance Benick has had quite the year. The 16-year-old, of Forest Lake, Minn., won a Minnesota state championship, a Junior Folkstyle championship, qualified for the Freestyle Cadet World Team and took home titles in the Cadet level for the USA Greco-Roman and Freestyle National Championships at 220 pounds this week at the Fargodome.

“It’s cool,” Benick said. “Not many people can say that they are a national champion and it’s amazing. I’m really excited.”

And it wasn’t close. Benick lost twice the entire year and he got redemption for one of those losses, beating Broc Berge at 195 pounds in the Minnesota state championship match. He not only got a state championship, but a shirt that says, “Dream Killer,” that his high school coach promised him.

“I love that shirt,” Benick said. “I only wear it to important matches.”

The shirt made an appearance Friday before Benick capped a perfect week with a 12-0 technical fall over Michael Smith of Maryland 2 minutes, 42 seconds into the match. Benick didn’t give up a point the entire week and he gives credit for that to the people that beat him up in practice.

“I wrestled a lot of senior level guys and they kicked my butt and it helped out a lot,” Benick said. “It helped prepare me for this kind of stuff.”

Benick capped off his week with another thing he only busts out for special occasions. His exclamation point was in the form of a backflip in the middle of the mat after his victory.

“People wanted me to do it, so I guess I just did it,” Benick said. “I usually do it once every practice or so.”

He’s got Minnesota USA Wrestling coaches doing backflips with the potential he has.

“He’s obviously a very gifted athlete,” Cadet Director for Minnesota USA Wrestling Jim Moulsoff said. “He’s a very talented kid, a hard worker with a great attitude. He’s been blessed and he’s a good kid. The sky is the limit for him.”

Next up for Benick is some time off before heading to Ohio to train for the world championships in Serbia.

“He’s got the world championships coming,” Moulsoff said. “That’s basically what he’s been working for. That’s the biggest tournament of his life so far. He really tried to use this tournament as a tune-up. His goal is to be a world champion.”

That’s not the only goal Benick has.

“Going to the Olympics and being a gold medalist,” Benick said when asked what his dream was.

Also placing for the Minnesota team was Mitchell McKee, Brent Jones and James Huwe. McKee fell 12-9 to Dalton Fix (Oklahoma) in the championship at 113 pounds. Jones took third place at 94 pounds with a 13-2 technical fall over Will Kaldes (Penn.), in the third-place match and Huwe scored a pin 2:20 into the seventh-place match over George Humphreys (Ga.).

USA Wrestling Cadet National Freestyle

Team scores: Illinois 99, Pennsylvania 60, Ohio 43, New Jersey 36, Oklahoma 32, Iowa 31, Maryland 26, Minnesota 23, Wisconsin 22, Arizona 21, California; Idaho; Indiana 18, Texas; Utah; Washington, 17. Colorado, Missouri 13, Georgia 12, Oregon 10, New York 9, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia 8, Connecticut 7, Montana 5, Florida, Kansas, South Dakota 4, New Mexico 3.

88: 1, Gavin Teasdale (Pa.), tech. fall Zac Murillo (Conn.) 14-4. 3, Louie Hayes (Ill.), tech. fall Brayden Schwalbe (Montana) 13-2. 5, Brawley Lamer (S.D.), fall Brady Koontz (Wis.). 7, Taylor Day (Okla.), dec. Joe Thomas 8-7.

94: 1, Kaden Gfeller (Okla.) tech. fall Austin Gomez (Ill.) 10-0. 3, Brent Jones (Minn.), tech. fall Will Kaldes (Pa.) 13-2. 5, Randon Miranda (Calif.), fall Kordell Rush (Pa.) 2:44. 7, Chase Wickman (Wash.), def. Jeremy Nygard (Wash.) ID.

100: 1, Danny Vega (Ari.), fall Matthew Schmitt (Missouri) 1:48. 3, Jack Wagner (Iowa), dec. Joshua Venia (Ohio) 14-12. 5, Ian Parker (Mich.), dec. Ben Freeman (Mich.) 8-2. 7, Greg Shack (Alaska), fall Coltan Williams 4:22.

106: 1, Jack Mueller (Texas), tech. fall Andrew Nieman (Okla.) 10-0. 3, Michael Murphy (Tenn.), dec. Jacob Lizak 8-6. 5, Quentin Hovis (Ariz.), dec. Travis Piotrowski (Ill.) 8-8. 7, Eward Chalifoux III (Tenn.), fall Chris Deloza (Calif.) 3:20.

113: 1, Daton Fix (Okla.), dec. Mitchell McKee (Minn.) 12-9. 3, Jose Rodriguez (Ohio), def. Eric Hong (Pa.) 8-4. 5, Kyle Bierdumpfel (N.J.), tech. fall Andrew Mehrholz (Ill.) 13-3. 7, Joshua Kramer (Ariz.), fall Jake Newhouse (Ohio) :57.

126: 1, Zahid Valencia (Calif.), tech. fall Hayden Hidlay (Pa.) 12-1. 3, Nick Lee (Ind.), tech. fall Dylan West (Colorado) 13-2. 5, Jaden Enriquez (Calif.), dec. Richard Montoya (N.M.) 10-7. 7, Corey Shie (Ohio), fall Zackary Diamond (Hawaii) 1:56.

138: 1, Isaiah White (Ill.), dec. Chase Lemons (Idaho) 8-5. 3, David McFadden (N.J.), dec. Cameron Harrell (Md.) 8-4. 5, Patricio Lugo (Fla.), dec. Jake Adcock 8-6. 7, Jacob Woodward (Iowa), tech. fall Phyllip DeLoach (Ill.) 12-1.

145: 1, Mason Manville (N.J.), tech. fall Austin Kraisser (Md.), 10-0. 3, Larry Early (Ill.) fall Ryan Klemp (Idaho), 5:03. 5, JD Hollingshead (Penn.) tech. fall John O’Hearon (Utah) 18-8. 7, Jordan Bushey (N.Y.) def. Jakob Restrepo (N.Y.), Injury default.

152: 1, Nick Reenan (Texas) def. Trace Carello (Ill.) 4-0. 3, Jose Champagne (Ill) def. Corbin Allen (Va.) 23-16. 5, Jesse Porter (N.Y.) def. Marr Ferraro (Ill), 12-7. 7, Andrew Berreyesa (Nev.) def. Brock Benitz (Wis.) 12-10.

160: 1, Mark Hall (Colo.) tech. fall Kamal Bey (Ill.) 10-0. 3, Josh Ugalde (N.J.) tech. fall Spencer Heywood (Utah) 10-0. 5, Brandon Dallavia (N.J.) tech. fall Austin Bell (Penn.) 10-0. 7, Riley DeMoss (Ill.) tech. fall Fredrick Padilla (Calif.), 18-8.

170: 1, Beau Breske (Wis.) tech fall. Bridger Barker (Ariz.) 10-0. 3, Brandon Fleischmann (Wis.) fall Dylan Lydy (Ind.) :46. 5, Corey Hazel (Penn.) dec. Tyler DeMoss (Ill.) 5-3. 7, Dustin Gray (Mo.) tech. fall Dru Worker (Ill.) 10-0.

182: 1, Roberto Rivera (Ga.) fall Jackson Harris (Ohio) 2:39. 3, Hunter Ritter (Md.) def. Cash Wilcke (Iowa) 14-8. 5, Andrew Marsden (Ill.) def. Drew Phipps (Penn.) 6-6. 7, Trevor Eicher (Wash.) tech. fall Mason Litz (Mich.) 11-0.

195: 1, Tyler Johnson (Ill.) fall Samuel Colbray (Ore.) 1:08. 3, Matthew Correnti (N.J.) fall Bailey Faust (Ohio (4:28). 5, Emilio Fowler (Kan.) fall Brian Barnes (Ore.) 2:34. 7, Ethan Andersen (Iowa) fall Randy Scott (Ind.) 2:44.

220: 1, Lance Benick (Minn.) tech. fall Michael Smith 12-0. 3, Jordan Wood (Penn.) tech. fall Dallas Goodpaster (Wash.) 12-2. 5, Kyler Childers (Okla.) tech. fall Romeo McKnight (Ill.) 11-0. 7, Youssif Hemida (N.Y.) tech. fall Dustin Remer (Okla.) 13-1.

285: Jacob Marnin (Iowa) fall Tate Orndorff (Wash.) 3:23. 3, Shawn Streck (Ind.) tech. fall Adam Lemke-Bell (Ill.) 11-0. 5, Collin Braun (Mo.) def. Antonio James (Ill.) 7-2. 7, James Huwe (Minn.) fall George Humphreys (Ga.) 2:20.


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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548