The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Cornell holds half-point lead over Penn State after NCAA quarters
By Mike Finn
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Both Cornell and Penn State saw four wrestlers advance to Friday night’s semifinals, but it was a technical fall by Steve Bosak at 184 pounds that provided the difference in the Big Red holding a half-point lead (61-60.5) over the Nittany Lions after Friday afternoon’s quarterfinals in the Wells Fargo Center.
Meanwhile, Iowa, the three-time defending national champs that actually held the team lead after a pair of 2010 finalists — Matt McDonough at 125 and Montell Marion at 141 — scored impressive wins, was in third place with 52 points.
Bosak needed 6:28 to score an additional 1.5 team points with his 16-0 blanking over Duke Diego Bencomo. He will be joined by three teammates: Kyle Dake (the 2010 champion at 141 pounds, who blanked Oklahoma State’s Jamal Parks, 3-0 at 149 pounds; 174-pound Mack Lewnes (who defeated Central Michigan’s Ben Bennett, 7-3); and 197-pound Cam Simaz, who pinned Indiana’s Matt Powless in 2:02.
Penn State also picked up a pin among its four quarterfinal winners and it shocked many in Wells Fargo Center when 133-pound Andrew Long rallied from being rode much of the first period to flatten Central Michigan’s Scott Sentes with 14 seconds left in first period.
Also joining Long in the semis will be 149-pound Frank Molinaro (who defeated Rutgers Mario Mason, 4-2), 157-pound David Taylor (who decisioned Iowa’s Derek St. John, 6-3) and 184-pound Quentin Wright (who as a ninth seed, upset top-ranked Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro, 7-3).
The Hawkeyes advanced a total of three to the semifinals. McDonough, the defending champion at 125, earned bonus points in his third NCAA bout with a 11-0 major against Stanford’s Ryan Mango.
The other two wins for Iowa came in exciting fashion. Marion overcame 4-1 deficit to score a deciding takedown in the closing seconds to beat Illinois’ James Kennedy, 8-7. Meanwhile, Grant Gambrall, seeded No. 12, upset No. 4 seed Travis Rutt, 4-2 in a tiebreaker, at 184 pounds.
One of the more surprising team leader is American University, which is alone in fourth place with 49 points after sending three wrestlers to the semifinals — for the first time in school history. The trio includes Ganbayar Sanjaa at 149, Steve Fittery at 157 and heavyweight Ryan Flores.