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2014 NCAA Championships • 141 pounds

The following is a breakdown of the 141-pound weight class at the 2014 NCAA Division I 2014 ncaa logoChampionships, March 20-22, in Oklahoma City. WIN Magazine will preview this weight class as well as update brackets and provide notes and quotes during the tournament.

141 bracket before finals

All-American Placement Highlights

3rd Place — Mitchell Port (Edinboro) major dec. Evan Henderson (North Carolina), 9-1 — The defending national runner-up avenged his only loss of the year — coming in the quarterfinals — by scoring three takedowns (including two in the first period and a third-period reversal
5th Place — Zain Retherford (Penn St.) won by medical forfeit over Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa)
7th Place — Stephen Dutton III (Michigan) dec.  Richard Durso (Frank. & Marsh.), 6-5 — Trailing 4-1 in the third period — after a pair of takedowns by Durso — and down on riding time, the Wolverine turned a front headlock into a cradle to complete a five-point move with a minute left.

Semifinal Highlights

No. 4 Devin Carter (Va Tech) major dec. No. 9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina), 12-4 — Carter became his school’s first-ever finalist with nearly 3:30 of riding time. Carter put a takedown on the board to start the match, and used a turk for a five-point lead and continued to roll the rest of the match for the easy win.

 No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) dec. No. 3 Zane Retherford (Penn State), 7-3 — The Ohio State junior punched his ticket to his third straight NCAA title by avenging his first-semester loss to the Penn State freshman. Stieber put three takedowns on the board and nearly three minutes of riding time.

Quarterfinal Highlights

No. 9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina) dec. No. 1 Mitchell Port (Edinboro), 5-3 — The Tar Heel scored the first big upset of the day when he scored a takedown in both the first and second period — the second coming with 18 seconds left in the period — to lead 5-1. The returning national runner-up cut the margin to 5-3 on a takedown with 30 seconds left.

No. 4 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) dec. No. 12 Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall), 4-3 — The Hokie fought back from a 3-0 deficit — after Durso scored a first-period takedown and second period escape — by scoring a takedown in both the second and third periods. The second takedown came after he chose to start the third period in the neutral position.

No. 3 Zain Retherford (Penn State) dec. No. 11 Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa), 5-2 — All the points came in the first period when the Nittany Lion scored a takedown and two-point nearfall a minute into the match, then added an escape after the Panthers reversed Retherford. Lazor then rode out Retherford for the entire second period before the Lion returned the favor by riding the Panther the complete two minutes in the third period.

No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) pinned No. 10 Todd Preston (Harvard), 1:29 — Stieber had already put the Crimson on his back and led 5-0 before securing the fall.

Second-round Notes

• Just when it looked like Minnesota’s No. 6 seed Chris Dardanes was seconds from scoring the deciding takedown against Northern Iowa’s No. 11 Joey Lazor. Instead, it was the Panther who came out on top from the scramble to give Lazor the 10-8 victory.

• Both No. 1 seed Mitchell Port and No. 9 Evan Henderson scored falls and will meet each other in Saturday morning’s quarterfinals. Port pinned Lehigh’s Laike Gardner in 3:23 while the Tar Heel flattened Hofstra’s Luke Vaith in 4:03

• Harvard’s No. 10 seed Todd Preston advanced to the quarters with a 6-2 win over No. 7 Zach Horan of Central Michigan.

• No 12 Richard Durso of Franklin & Marshall maintained his attempt to become his school’s first All-American when he upset No. 5 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion, 3-2.

First-Round Notes:

• The only upset at 141 came when Lehigh’s Laike Gardner edged Virginia’s No. 16 Joe Spizak, 9-8.

• Three of the top four seeds — No. 1 Mitchell Port (Edinboro), No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) and No. 4 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) all scored pins in the first round. Port, a runner-up in 2013, scored his fall in 2:24 vs. Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno in 2:24. Stieber, the two-time  champ at 133, needed 2:48 to pin Missouri’s Lavion Mayes in 2:48. Carter, a 2012 All-American, who redshirted last season and was injured most of this winter, pinned Buffalo’s Nick Flannery in 3:53.

• Many thought Penn State’s No. 3 seed Zain Retherford got a bad draw when he faced The Citadel’s Ugi Khishignyam — a 2013 All-American who was unseeded in 2014 — in the first round. Instead, the true freshman Nittany Lion scored two takedowns — including the first with one second left in the first period — to prevail 5-0.

• Two of the first-round matches went to sudden victory where Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes — a former AA seeded No. 6 — held off Purdue’s Danny Sabatello, 5-3, in overtime. The other came when Central Michigan’s Zach Horan, seeded No. 7, scored the winning takedown in sudden victory to defeat Cornell’s Mike Nevinger, 9-7.

Returning All-Americans

  • Logan Stieber, Ohio State — Champion at 125 (in 2012 and ’13)
  • Mitchell Port, Edinboro — 2nd (2013)
  • Chris Dardanes, Minnesota — 4th at 133 (2012), 6th at 133 (2013)
  • Ugi Khishignyam, The Citadel — 4th (2013)
  • Mike Nevinger, Cornell — 7th (2012), 5th (2013)
  • Devin Carter, Virginia Tech, 5th (2012)
  • Evan Henderson, North Carolina — 6th (2013)

141-pound Preview

Two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber (back) avenged his only loss of the season by beating Penn State's true freshman Zain Retherford in the Big Ten final.

Two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber (back) avenged his only loss of the season by beating Penn State’s true freshman Zain Retherford in the Big Ten final.

Even as a two-time NCAA champ, Ohio State’s Logan Stieber has something to prove as the nation’s top-ranked 141 pounder. Two reasons are that the Buckeye narrowly won two titles at 133 pounds; first against Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver in the 2012 final and then against Iowa’s Tony Ramos in last March’s championship bout.

This year, Stieber lost to Penn State’s true freshman Zain Retherford back in December, but eventually avenged that loss against the Nittany Lion in this year’s Big Ten final and enters the NCAAs with a 16-match winning streak.

Retherford is quite a story, considering the former Benton High School (Pa.) star was winning a second Pennsylvania state high school championship just a year ago. But before losing to Stieber in the Big Ten final, the Lion had won 29 straight bouts.

The only undefeated wrestler at this weight class is Edinboro’s Mitchell Port (26-0), who finished second nationally to Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple last March. The Midlands champion has also pinned 11 foes.

Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter is both a returning All-American and surprise qualifier. He suffered a torn hamstring in December which looked to end his season, but surprisingly he returned quickly and won the ACC tournament.

A trio of 2013 All-Americans also return:

The Citadel’s Ugi Khishignyam, a native of Mongolia, was a fourth-place finisher in 2013 and is coming off a Southern Conference championship with 13 straight wins.

Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes, up from 133 pounds where he finished fourth and sixth the past two NCAAs, opened up the season with 17 straight wins and finished third in the Big Tens.

Cornell’s Mike Nevinger is 11-7 in two previous NCAAs, finishing seventh and fifth the past two years, included winning nine wrestleback matches.

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