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Hepburn falls in NCAA Division II finals in triple OT

KEARNEY, Neb., March 12, 2011 – Former Ledyard star T.J. Hepburn used a win in overtime to earn a spot in the NCAA Division II championship match at 149 pounds. But Hepburn, a junior wrestling for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, fell in triple overtime, 4-2 to Nick Walpole of Indianapolis.

Hepburn earned a spot in the final with a 3-1 semifinal win over Augustana’s Nate Herda with a takedown with 13 seconds left in the third OT period. In the championship match against Walpole, Hepburn trailed 1-0 after two periods.

Hepburn took a 2-1 lead with a third period reversal and built up 55 seconds of riding time before Walpole escaped to tie the match at 2-2. In the third OT, Walpole got a takedown for the victory.

Hepburn finishes the year at 38-4. A year ago, he was third at the NCAA Division II national tournament. This year, Nebraska-Kearney finished eighth in Division II behind Nebraska-Omaha, which won its third straight title.

Two Connecticut wrestlers competed at the NCAA Division III tournament but neither placed in the top eight. Waterford’s Brennan Ward, a senior with Johnson and Wales, won the New England Wrestling Association title at 184 pounds to earn a spot in the tournament. Williams’ Corey Paulish (149) won the NEWA title and qualified with a record of 25-7.

Kearney Hub.com: Two Nebraska-Kearny wrestlers fall in national finals

CT collegiate wrestlers

2011 NCAA Division II Tournament

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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