Wow. The Penn State wrestlers came out hard on day one of the national championship tournament today in Phildadelphia and wrestled like they fully expect to come home with the title. The 8 wrestlers went 15-1 on the day and lead the Big Red of Cornell by a slim margin, 30.5 to 29 as of this writing. Other team title contenders Iowa and Oklahoma State didn't fare quite as well, but are sitting not far behind at 25 apiece. Granted, with four top-three seeds, the first two rounds were kind of supposed to go this way for our lads, but even our 6 and 9 seeds stepped up with key victories as well. Brief weight by weight looks after the jump.
Brad Pataky lost a hard fought round one match to Va Tech's Jarrod Garnett, 13-7, but bounced back in consi round one over Oregon State's Jason Lara, 6-1, to add .5pts to the team ledger. Next up, he's got Michigan's Sean Boyle, who knocked him out of the championship bracket at the Big Ten tournament, but who he also beat earlier this year. Iowa's McDonough continued his tear, with a pin and a major decision in his two wins, earning 5 of a maximum 6 team points on the first day. Cornell's Perrelli won one and lost one, and OSU's Morrison went 0-2 and is out of the tournament.
Andrew Long continued his strong late season performance and went 2-0, with an 8-1 win and a 7-5 OT win. Next up for Andrew is a chance at seven team points against Central Michigan's Scotti Sentes, who bumped Iowa's Tony Ramos into the consis with a 2-0 win. Ramos had a pigtail match, tho, so that was his third match of the day and he had already earned 2 Adv pts in his DEC wins in the first two. OSU's #1 seed Jordan Oliver continued his domination, pinning his way to two wins and earning the max 6 team points in so doing. Cornell's Mike Grey also stayed in the upper bracket, going 2-0.
Andrew Alton had a great first day, earning 5pts on a pin and a major. Next up in the quarterfinals is SR Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly, the only higher-seeded wrestler Alton hasn't yet faced. Iowa's Marion moved on convincingly with 8-3 and 10-3 decisions and faces tough Jimmy Kennedy tomorrow morning. Cornell's Hicks Manson got bumped early, but bounced back to win 2 consi matches and faces Pitt's Tyler Naumann next. OSU's Josh Kindig is still alive to score in the consis as well.
Frank Molinaro continued his amazing postseason run of going unscored-upon yet again. He earned a 9-0 major and followed that with a 6-0 decision. Next up is Rutgers' Mario Mason, whom he owes some revenge for one of only two losses on the season. The big news outside of Frank's path in this weight is the medical default of former national champion Darrion Caldwell of NC State. Michigan's Grajales was the beneficiary. Cornell's Dake won two majors, earning important bonus points and faces OSU's Jamal Parks next.
David Taylor advanced with bonus points in both his matches, a major and a technical fall. Up next for him is fun Iowa foil Derek St. John, who advanced with two decisions. OSU's Erisman was Taylor's first victim, but he won again in the consis to stay alive. Ditto for Cornell's Meagher, who dropped the first match to top-seeded Adam Hall, but won again in the consis and faces #11 Walter Peppelman of Harvard next. Go Crimson!
Sigh. But, hey, you know what else happened here? Iowa's Janssen, who had been wrestling really well, dropped his first match to unseeded Peter Yates of Va Tech and knocked out OSU's Dallas Bailey in the consis to stay alive. Cornell's Kerber won one, lost one, remains alive
Ruuuuuuuuuth picked up a nice :24 pin in round one and advanced with a 5-3 win over familiar Minny foe Scott Glasser. Iowa's younger Lofthouse won one, before dropping to Maryland's Letts, the only guy to defeat Ruth this year. Cornell's Lewnes picked up a pin to math Ruth's and advanced with two wins as well. OSU's Benefiel got bumped down by UVA's Henrich, but remains alive.
Quentin Wright continues to wrestle like the Q of old, winning two solid decisions, including one against Big Ten rival Kevin Steinhaus. Next up: #1 seeded Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro, a wrestler not beyond Q's ability despite the seed. We'll know more tomorrow if something really special is in Quentin's future this year. Iowa's Gambrall won 3 solid decisions and faces Wiscy's Travis Rutt next. Cornell's Steve Get The Bosak is somebody we'll need some help against, as he is juggernauting with a pin and a tech fall in his two wins. That's 3.5 bonus points if you're scoring at home, and they may end up being important. OSU's Chris Perry continues to demonstrate he may be a player in this tournament, winning his two matches. Next up for him is Lehigh's #2 Robert Hamlin.
Sigh. Not scoring ourselves here, we need lots of help. Up next for Iowa's Uncle Luke is #4 Kilgore from Kent State, who majored his two wins. And at least Cornell's #1 Simaz isn't getting bonus in his little march forward, unlike OSU's #2 Clayton Foster who has two majors in his wins.
Woot! Cam Wade back from his Big Ten Tournament grave! Cam avenged his loss to Minny's Tony Nelson to move along and earn a date with #1 Zach Rey of Lehigh, to whom he only lost 4-2 back in November. Can he keep the mini-comeback going? Iowa's Rasing won one before getting bumped by OU's Nathan Fernandez in OT. Thanks, Nate! Up next for Rasing is a tough bout with DJ Russo of Rutgers. Cornell's got nobody here and OSU's Rosholt remains alive in the consis.
So tomorrow is the meat of the tourney, but for day one, we couldn't have expected a whole lot more from the lads. It sounds like they are focused and relaxed, and wrestling with sound fundamentals. They sound a lot like a Cael Sanderson-coached team. Programming and scoring reminder for tomorrow's Sessions 3 & 4:
Session 3 (Fri-10:30AM); ESPNU HD and ESPN3.com
- Championship Quarterfinals; Adv Pts (1), Bonus (2), Plc (6)
- Consi Round 2 of 16; Adv Pts (.5), Bonus (2), Plc (0)
- Consi Round 1 of 8; Adv Pts (.5), Bonus (2), Plc (0)
Session 4 (Fri-7PM); ESPU HD
- Championship Semifinals; Adv Pts (1), Bonus (2), Plc (6)
- Consi Round 2 of 8; Adv Pts (.5), Bonus (2), Plc (3)
- Consi Round 1 of 4; Adv Pts (.5), Bonus (2), Plc (3)