Penn State Wrestler Excels over Break
Over Spring Break, Penn State sophomore Paul Hallowell flew down to Florida not to visit the Sunshine Stateís sandy beaches, but to compete in the 2008 NCWA National Wrestling Championships. Although the team qualified three wrestlers for the national tournament, Paul was the clubís sole representative, and he flourished in the role. Paul won four matches, with two by major decision, on his way to placing fourth in a bracket filled with twenty-six of the nationís best wrestlers at 133 pounds. With his fourth place finish, Paul became the club teamís first ever NCWA All-American, and he still has two years of eligibility remaining. This is the first year that the club has competed in the NCWA postseason, and they debuted by qualifying three out of five wrestlers at the regional tournament for nationals and placing one All-American at the national tournament.
Paul overcame pre-match nervousness to pull out a workman-like 10-7 victory in his very first match at the national tournament. In the next round, Paul suffered a close defeat knocking him into the consolation bracket. He rebounded from his loss with two dominant major decision victories to advance to the consolation semifinals. In the semifinals, Paul fought for his narrowest margin of victory in the entire tournament winning a down to the wire match 9-8 and securing his spot in the bronze medal match.
When asked about the experience of competing at the national championships for the first time, Paul replied, ďI had a great time competing at nationals, but Iím looking forward to next year when, hopefully, Iíll be joined by a lot of my teammates.Ē