Wins Over Ranked Foes Earn Dempsey National Recognition

Brett Dempsey battles a wrestler from Army Story

In his fifth season as a wrestler at American University, heavyweight Brett Dempsey had likely his best day of his career on the mat on Sunday, earning national acclaim from

Dempsey defeated a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers to help the Eagles split a pair of dual matches on Sunday, beating Campbell 22-10 and losing to Eastern Michigan 22-16.

His performance was No. 5 listed in a story by Alex Steen that recapped the top nine performances of the opening weekend of NCAA wrestling.

The AU grad student from Kalamazoo, Mich., bested EMU heavyweight Gage Hutchison, 6-4, beating the No. 19 wrestler in the nation as ranked by

Dempsey's second win was a 6-5 victory over 13th-ranked Jere Heino of Campbell and sparked a six-bout winning streak that helped AU win a road dual match.

"Beating a pair of 2017 NCAA qualifiers is quite a statement for a wrestler who has hovered around .500 for his career," wrote Steen. Dempsey, who has grown to the heavyweight class after wrestling at 184 and 197 in earlier seasons, is in fact 48-48 in his career at AU.

Dempsey graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in biology, finishing with a 3.95 cumulative GPA. He was a recipient of an Academic Achievement Award in 2017 from the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and was one of 10 Eagle starters from 2017 who were Academic All-EIWA honorees.