Bleaken wins East Regional
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Bleaken wins East Regional
Corey Bleaken defeated Notre Dame College's Thomas Straughn to win the NAIA East Regional Saturday.

LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland University grappler Corey Bleaken swept his way through the NAIA East Region Qualifier Saturday at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., taking home Most Valuable Wrestler honors for the tournament.


Bleaken, who is ranked third in the nation at 157, pinned three opponents before knocking off No. 2 Thomas Straughn of Notre Dame College in the final. Bleaken claimed a 4-3 decision to avenge a 3-2 decision loss to the then top-ranked Straughn at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals on January 8.


The Bulldog wrestler started the day pinning Zack Barkett of the University of the Cumberlands in 5:52 before pinning Campbellsville University’s Nick Waldrop in 4:13. Bleaken’s semifinal match ended with a third straight pin, claiming the victory over No. 5 Vinnie Hannon of Lindenwood in 6:02.


The redshirt senior was the only Bulldog to pick up multiple victories, with Andy Shoultz, Zeke Hunt and James Casadaban each winning once.


Cumberland will next be in action at the 54th Annual NAIA Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from March 3-5. Noah Hunt, Joshua Chappa, Matthew Stanfield, Ryan McKenzie, Dexter Bushart, Shoultz, Bleaken, Casadaban and Scott Stewart have all qualified for the National Championships.