Bloomfield senior Benavidez will continue wrestling career at Kent State
BLOOMFIELD − Adan Benavidez, one of the most decorated prep wrestlers in the history of Bloomfield High School, agreed this week to pursue his collegiate education and wrestling careers at Kent State University in Ohio.
A two-time state champion and in the midst of a perfect season while pursuing his third state championship at the 133-pound division, Benavidez signed his letter of intent earlier this week with family, friends and coaches at his side at Bloomfield High School.
Benavidez is 42-0 this season and considered to be one of the favorites to defend his title at the upcoming state wrestling championships, which will be held at the Rio Rancho Events Center on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Kent State University's men's wrestling program is led by 18-year veteran head coach Jim Andrassy, who's guided more than a dozen wrestlers to the NCAA Championships and five or more qualifiers in nine of those seasons.
In 2019 and again in 2020, Andrassy guided Andrew McNally and Tim Rooney to a spot in the NCAA tournament. In 2021, Andrassy guided four wrestlers to Nationals.
"(Andrassy) has a really long history at the school, and that meant a lot to me when I went there to visit the school and the team," said Benavidez.
Kent State University is a Division I school and competes in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. During Andrassy’s tenure, the Golden Flashes have finished second in the MAC Tournament for seven straight years.
As a wrestler at Kent State, Andrassy has more than 100 wins and is one of only two KSU wrestlers to reach 100 victories in only four seasons.
Benavidez plans to study kinesiology at Kent State and hopes to use his studies to pursue a career in physical therapy. He also hopes to continue a long-standing history of success of Ohio-based collegiate wrestlers who have competed for national championships.
Collegiate wrestling in the state of Ohio has produced six national championship appearances in the past 22 years, with Ohio State finishing as the national runners-up in 2017 through 2019.
"That was a big deal for me, the history of how much success they've had out there," said Benavidez, who has a career record 189 wins and 10 losses as a high school wrestler and carries a 4.1 cumulative grade point average.
"(Benavidez) is the student athlete that every coach is looking for. His dedication to academics, family, and team is second to none," said Bloomfield head wrestling coach Jason Luster. "He has always been a leader and mentor to his teammates. He will definitely be an asset to the Kent State team."
In the meantime, the goal of a third straight state individual title and bringing a team championship home to Bloomfield is the next goal for Benavidez.
"We're of the mindset that every match is just another step forward," Benavidez said. "The coaches here have been great and (Luster) has really given us the mental and physical approach to go after that championship."
This article originally appeared on Farmington Daily Times: Bloomfield High wrestler will join Kent State University this fall