Vosters places second at nationals

Witt-Birn grad ends career with no regrets

By Morgan Rode sports@newmedia-wi.com

Photo by Anna Kinzel Wittenberg-Birnamwood graduate and UW-Stevens Point senior wrestler Ben Vosters finished with a 3-1 record at the NCAA Division III Championships in Roanoke, Virginia to take second place in the 133-pound weight class.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood graduate Ben Vosters capped his collegiate wrestling career in style, posting a 3-1 record to place second in the 133-pound weight class at the NCAA Division III Championships in Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday.

“Overall I’m happy how I went out,” Vosters said. “I put my heart on the line and I wrestled my match. I don’t regret my performance because I left everything I had out there.”

The UW-Stevens Point redshirt senior opened his tournament on Friday battling Central (Iowa) wrestler Chase Petty. Vosters controlled the match and earned an 11-1 major decision.

Vosters advanced to the quarterfinals, where second-seeded Sam Bennyhoff of Augsburg (Minnesota) awaited. After trailing 5-1 after the first period, and then 6-1 after Bennyhoff escaped from the bottom position, Vosters took over.

The senior got a two-point takedown with 26 seconds left before earning four more points for a near fall with 17 seconds left to take a 7-6 lead. In the final period, Vosters earned another two-point takedown and then another four-point near fall with 23 seconds left to seal a 13-6 decision win.

In his semifinal match against sixth-seeded Baldwin Wallace (Ohio) wrestler Charles Nash, the roles reversed for Vosters. The Witt-Birn grad grabbed a 6-2 lead heading into the third period before hanging on late for a 7-6 victory.

Facing top-seeded and top-ranked Jordin James of Mount Union (Ohio) in the final, Vosters was up for the challenge.

James led 4-1 going into the final period, but Vosters flipped the momentum. The UWSP standout got a pair of takedowns, an escape and a penalty point to trail by just two.

In the waning seconds, Vosters appeared to tie it after taking down James, but after a review, Vosters was not awarded the takedown, leaving him on the short end of the 9-7 decision.

“For it to be the final match of my career it was definitely an emotional one, although I wasn’t very nervous,” said Vosters, who also thanked his coaches. “Going in, I was ready to put it on the line and my gameplan was the same — wrestle as hard as I can and enjoy every minute I have left on the mat. I was disappointed I didn’t get the chance to take it into overtime but in the end it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”