Bismarck’s Ryan Ripplinger came one win short of a Greco national championship Friday afternoon, falling to Oklahoma’s Reece Witcraft 15-4. Ripplinger got behind 4-0 early, but responded with a beautiful hip toss to knot the score at 4. From there it was all Witcraft. Witcraft worked another takedown and and upshot to make the score 7-4 and then went big, scoring another takedown and five point belly-to-back to end the match 14-4. The North Dakota corner challenged whether Ripplinger exposed on the five point maneuver, but officials upheld their call to make the final score 15-4.
Ripplinger made quick work of his semifinal opponent in the first session Friday morning, throwing a fabulous headlock and pinning Joshua Jones of Pennsylvania in 1:13. The achievement also gives him Fargo Double All American status. Ripplinger was seventh in the Freestyle portion of the tournament earlier this week.