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Half a bonus point gives Penn State lead over Minnesota in NCAA first round
By Mike Finn
ST. LOUIS — Defending champion Penn State and Minnesota flexed their wrestling muscles at the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis Thursday morning as each school advanced eight of nine national qualifiers to the second round Thursday morning at the Scotttrade Center.
And the only thing that separated the Lions from the Gophers in Penn State half-point lead (25.5-25) was a technical fall by Penn State heavyweight Cam Wade who dominated Clarion’s Quintas McCorkle, 17-2.
Bonus points were a common theme for both teams as Penn State tallied 9.5 of its points off a pair of pins by top-seeds David Taylor (165) and Ed Ruth (174), while Nico Megaludis (125), Frank Molinaro (149), Dylan Alton (157) and Quentin Wright all earned major decisions to go with Wade’s technical fall.
Meanwhile, Minnesota got nine bonus points from six of its wrestlers, including pins by Zach Sanders (125), Chris Dardanes (133) and Kevin Steinhaus (184), while Nick Dardanes (141), Logan Storley (174) and Anthony Nelson (Hwt) garnered major decisions.
Meanwhile a half-point separated the next three teams as Oklahoma State stood in third place with 17.5 points while Iowa and Cornell generated 17 points each.
The Cowboys advanced six of nine qualifiers, which included a pin by top-seed Jordan Oliver (133) and a decision by Dallas Bailey, who upset Virginia Tech’s No. 6 seed Peter Yates.
The Hawkeyes saw seven of eight wrestlers win matches, highlighted by top-seed Matt McDonough recording a fall at 125 pounds and a major decision by Derek St. John at 157 pounds.
Cornell won seven of nine matches, including a pin by two-time defending champion Kyle Dake (157) and an upset win by heavyweight Maciej Jochym, who stunned Nebraska’s number 11 seeded Tucker Lane, 4-2.
The second session will start at 6:30 CDT.
The Pin was in at 133
In 170 matches contested at the ten weights in the first session of the 2012 NCAA Division I national tournament in St. Louis, there were a total of 24 pins … and seven of those came at 133 pounds, where the wrestlers — Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter, Edinboro’s A.J. Schopp, Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes, Army’s Jordan Thome and Ohio State’s Logan Stieber — in the final five matches of that bracket ended their matches with falls. The other two pins came from Illinois’ B.J. Futrell andn top-seed Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State.
The fastest pin of the morning came at 149 pounds where Kent State freshman Ian Miller flattened Illinois’ Eric Terrazas in 57 seconds.
Recording two pins was American University’s Ryan Flores, the top-ranked heavyweight, who scored falls over Edinboro’s Ernest James in 5:36 and against Missouri’s Devon Mellon in 4:23, to improve his season’s record to 21-0.
Of the 120 seeded wrestlers, 18 men or 15 percent of those took a hit in the first round of the tournament … and no where was it felt worse than at 149 pounds and heavyweight where a total of nine seeds suffered losses in the double-elimination tournament.
Five seeded wrestlers at 149 pounds lost: No. 4 Donnie Vinson of Binghamton fell to Oklahoma’s Nick Lester, 9-4; No. 9 David Habat of Edinboro lost to Virginia Tech’s Nick Brascetta, 3-1; No. 10 Cam Tessari of Ohio State lost to Harvard’s Corey Jantzen, 10-8; No. 11 Taylor Walsh of Indiana was edged by Bloomsburg’s Bryce Busler, 10-9; and No. 12 Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue lost 8-4 to Hofstra’s Justin Accordino.
At heavyweight, four seeded wrestlers lost: No. 8 Spencer Myers of Maryland, who lost 8-3 to The Citadel’s Andrew Delaney; No. 9 Levi Cooper of Arizona State lost to Michigan State’s Steve Andrus 4-2 in overtime; No. 11 Tucker Lane of Nebraska lost 4-2 to Cornell’s Maciej Jochym and No. 12 Matt Gibson of Iowa State fell to Ohio State’s Peter Capone, 6-5.
Meanwhile, a pair of No. 4 seeds were dropped to wrestlebacks when Harvard’s Walter Peppelman got caught in a defensive pin by Northern Iowa’s David Bonin in 2:55 at 157 pounds and Maryland’s Christian Boley was edged 2-1 by Binghamton’s Cody Reed.
Too close for comfort
At least six seeded wrestlers just missed getting upset by unseeded wrestlers:
At 125 pounds, No. 11 Matt Snyder of Virginia needed a late reversal and riding time to hold off Ohio State’s Johnni DiJulius, 3-2
At 141 pounds, No. 4 Mike Mangrum of Oregon State trailed throughout much of his first-round match with Oklahoma State’s Josh Kindig before the Pac-12 champ scored a reversal during the first tiebreaker to win 6-4 in overtime.
At 149 pounds, Air Force’s No. 3 Cole VonOhlen was taken to his back and trailed 5-0 in the first period before he scored a reversal and three-point nearfall of his own to tie the match with Northwestern’s Kaleb Friedley and eventually scored a fall against the Wildcat in 4:34.
At 157 pounds, No. 5 Ganbayar Sanjaa was actually trailing 4-3 on the scoreboard when regulation ended but a riding time advantage sent the match to overtime, where the American wrestler defeated Ohio State’s Josh Demas, 6-4.
At 184 pounds, No. 1 Joe LeBlanc gave up two early takedowns and trailed 4-1 before the Cowboy stormed back to beat Missouri’s Mike Larson 9-4.
At heavyweight, defending champion Zach Rey gave up a first-period takedown and was forced into overtime by Indiana’s Adam Chalfant, who got in a deep shot against the No. 4 seeded Mountain Hawk before Rey scramble to score the deciding takedown in sudden victory.