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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — It’s a three-team race for the team championship of the 2014 NCAA Division I Nationals and the top wrestlers from Penn State, Minnesota and Oklahoma State during Friday’s semifinals in Chesapeake Energy Arena made sure this trio of teams will battle for Saturday night’s championship.
Heading into Saturday morning’s All-American round — which will determine the third, fifth and seventh-place finishers, Penn State stands in first place with 91 points, followed by Minnesota with 90.5 and Oklahoma State is in third place with 87.5 points.
The Nittany Lions, shooting to win a fourth straight team title will feature a pair of former champions in David Taylor at 165 pounds and Ed Ruth at 184. Taylor, now a four-time finalist and 2012 champion, will be shooting for his second NCAA title against Oklahoma State’s Tyler Caldwell. Ruth, shooting to become the school’s first three-time champion, avenged an earlier-season loss to Cornell’s Gabe Dean and will face Maryland’s Jimmy Sheptock in the championship match.
The Gophers also feature a pair of finalists in 157-pound Dylan Ness, now a three-time All-American and 2012 NCAA runner-up who will meet Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer in Saturday’s final; and heavyweight Anthony Nelson, who will shoot for his third NCAA title against NC State’s Nick Gwiazdowski in the final.
The Cowboys will feature four finalists. In addition to Dieringer and Caldwell, Oklahoma State will send 149-pound Josh Kindig and 174-poundn Chris Perry, whose championship match with Bedlam rival Andrew Howe of Oklahoma will be the final match of Saturday’s champion.
In addition to these finalists, Penn State and Minnesota will have five competing in the All-American round, compared to just one by OSU.
Meanwhile, Ohio State is sending two wrestlers to the finals: 141-pound junior Logan Stieber, looking to win a third straight title and 197-pound Nick Heflin.