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Fielding leaves DODEA-Europe an all-time wrestling great

Stuttgart's Benjamin Fielding, left, defeated Vilseck's Christian Cimino in the 138-pound championship match at the DODEA-Europe wrestling finals in Wiesbaden, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES

MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES

By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 28, 2019

Stuttgart senior Benjamin Fielding might be the most accomplished wrestler in DODEA-Europe history.

His career record includes 106 wins, 103 pinfalls and zero losses. It features four European championships at four different weight classes.

Looking back on it, his career is a tale of unmitigated triumph. But Fielding’s experience was not so straightforward.

“It was definitely a goal to win four titles, but I didn’t see it coming true until I stepped off the mat a couple of weeks ago,” Fielding, the 2018-19 Stars and Stripes wrestling Athlete of the Year, said.

After fighting to a freshman title he called his most difficult, Fielding knew what he’d need to do to win more championships. He expanded his repertoire of wrestling moves, packed on muscle to match up with heavier opponents each season and signed up for cross country to boost his endurance.

The final form Fielding assumed as a senior was astonishing. On a stated mission to “show dominance” with immediate, overwhelming pins,

Fielding went undefeated in 33 matches and recorded pins in the first period of every single one, including a 16-second victory in the 138-pound European final.

“I wanted to take it to them,” Fielding said. “I wanted to wrestle it like I was wrestling in the finals every time.”

That’s as good a summary as any of Fielding’s remarkable DODEA-Europe career: in the finals -- and winning -- every single time.

broome.gregory@stripes.com
Twitter: @broomestripes

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