CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio junior wrestler Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook, Ohio) suffered a 5-3 decision loss to Purdue's Ben Thornton (27-11) in the second session of the 2018 NCAA Championships at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday night (March 15).
"It's disappointing," said head coach Joel Greenlee, "I think Cam is as good as anyone here, he just didn't have a great weekend. The best part about it is he can come back strong next year, and he can try and get on the podium then."
Kelly started the match on the attack hitting a takedown in the opening seconds. Thornton quickly escaped to bring it to 2-1. Quickly after his escape, Thornton added a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead in the first. Kelly then responded after he earned a point on an escape late in the first period to tie-up the score at 3-3.
Thornton maintained control throughout the second period, earning riding time but the period would go scoreless. Thornton escaped to start the third period and took the lead once again at 4-3. Thornton added a point for riding time to take the match in a 5-3 decision.
The two faced each other early in the season at the 2017 Navy Classic. Kelly came away with a 7-4 decision victory over then-No. 22 ranked Thornton after three periods in Annapolis, Md.
Kelly's loss in the second session will close out the 2017-18 season for Ohio wrestling. The Championships continue with the Wrestle-Back First Round followed by Championship Round, Second Round and Consolation Round. Session III starts tomorrow where the quarterfinal matched begin at 11 a.m.