Page 26 - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

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Hinton has stellar year
for wrestling team
About midway through his 2012
Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference
semifinal match with nationally-ranked
Nigel McNeil, it was clear that Lycoming
College’s 125-pound senior Stephen Hin-
ton was on the verge of doing something
McNeil had barely escaped from a
takedown hold in the first period and in
the third, Hinton nearly had a two-point
reversal before being awarded a one-
point escape. However, he couldn’t finish
the match until overtime, when he shot
in and got both arms around the confer-
ence favorite, scoring the takedown. Just
don’t ask him about it, because he doesn’t
remember much.
The first 45 seconds I was a little
nervous and then I started feeling him out
and I got more confident,” Hinton said.
When I got to the third period and it was
I knew I could win, I just had to wear
him down. I believe the takedown was on
an outside shot, but I’m not exactly sure.
I just know I got the two.”
By the time he won his first confer-
ence title, with a 7-5 win over the 2010
conference champion, Brockport’s Tyler
Marlow, Hinton had completed one of the
most surprising runs to the NCAA Cham-
pionships in the wrestling program’s
illustrious history.
After wrestling at 103 pounds as a
high school senior, Hinton wrestled his
first three years at Lycoming never really
having to worry about his weight. The
downside to not having to cut weight was
that he had to wrestle bigger competitors.
The results were mixed, as he placed at
the ECWC Championships three times,
but never higher than fourth.
He put a huge commitment in each
year lifting,” Lycoming head coach Roger
Crebs ’87 said. “This year, we’ve lifted
three or four times a week and he’s told
me that really has helped
him with staying healthy and
being positive with it.”
He began to breakthrough as a
junior, finishing with a 19-12 record, but
he finished sixth at the conference tourna-
ment. He also struggled at the beginning
of this season, losing his first match
before an injury in December took him
from the lineup for a month.
The injury put things in perspective
that it could all be gone in the blink of
an eye,” Crebs said. “He became more
aware of things and paid more attention
to the rehab.”
He didn’t lose again until the NCAA
Championships, with only a select few
grapplers even coming close to him. He
beat two nationally-ranked grapplers,
Rhode Island’s Brandon Gauthier and
McNeal, and won two ECWC Wrestler of
the Week awards. His run of 14 straight
wins was finally snapped in the first
round of the NCAA Championships,
where he finished 1-2.
I just wanted to give everything I
had left,” Hinton said. “I was focused on
getting back from the injury.”
It was his breakthrough at the
ECWC Championships, though, that
left Hinton’s mark in the legacy of
Lycoming wrestling, as he was named the
conference’s Most Outstanding Wrestler,
becoming the eighth wrestler in Crebs’
year career to win the award at the
conference tournament. He joins Chris
Dahlheimer ’10
in a very exclusive group
that has earned both conference wrestler
of the year and NWCA Scholar-Athlete
status in the same year.
I think that was the coolest thing,”
Hinton said. “To get your own award and
having the last person who did it for us
being Dahlheimer, that makes it so much
more special.”
Steve takes a lot of pride in his
academics,” Crebs added. “He has goals
that he had when he was coming into
college, anywhere from being a pilot to
being in the Navy police. He fits right
into the mold of guys that had great
careers here and accomplished a lot of
things academically.”
Stephen Hinton ’12 captured first-place honors at 125-pounds during the 2012 Empire Collegiate Wrestling
Championships and advanced to the NCAA Division III national championships.