Graphic courtesy of the Lock Haven University wrestling Twitter account (@LockHavenWrstl).
It’s not often that you see an accomplished and veteran Division I wrestler transfer from one mid-major institution to a second mid-major institution, but that is precisely what occurred earlier this week.
Campbell redshirt senior Ben Barton jumped from the Southern Conference (SoCon) to the Mid-American Conference (MAC), signing with Lock Haven University for his final year of legibility on the mats.
The former Campbell Camel middleweight brings plenty of experience to the Bald Eagle starting lineup.
Although the Louisville, Kentucky, native has seen seasons end prematurely due to injury, Barton’s potential and ability are both apparent.
At Campbell, he won the 157-pound SoCon Championship in 2019, posting an 8-2 decision over Appalachian State’s Angel Najar in the semifinals before claiming a 4-1 decision over Davidson’s Tony Palumbo to gain an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. Barton was 0-2 at his first national tournament.
Last year, Barton earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship in St. Louis, where he was the No. 22 seed at 157 pounds. At the national tournament, Barton went 1-2, including an 8-7 decision over No. 27 Connor Brady from Virginia Tech.
Leading up to the 2021 NCAAs, Barton made the SoCon podium for the third time in his career as a Camel, reaching the 157 finals, where he took App State’s Cody Bond to overtime and fell short, finishing second.
With Barton, Lock Haven is getting a recruit that is both talented and experienced on the biggest stages within college wrestling.