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2014 NCAA Championships • 184 pounds

The following is a breakdown of the 184-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.

184 bracket before finals

All-American Placement Highlights

3rd Place — Gabriel Dean (Cornell) dec. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion), 5-4 — A 1:12 riding time advantage gave the Big Red freshman the victory. Dean used a first-period takedown to lead 3-2 before the Monach took a short-term lead, 4-3, on a double with 29 seconds left. Dean tied the bout 4-4 on an escape.
5th Place — Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) won by TF over Lawrence Thomas (Penn), 18-2, (6:03) — The Gopher put the Quaker on his back four times, three in the first period to go along with three takedowns.
7th Place — Jacob Swartz (Boise State) dec. Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 6-1 — Two takedowns and a 3:10 riding time advantage gave the Bronco the victory.

Semifinal Highlights

No. 1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) dec. No. 13 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion), 3-2 — Becoming Maryland’s first finalist in 45 years, Sheptock scored a first-period takedown, then jumped on top for good with a third-period escape.

 No. 2 Ed Ruth (Penn State) vs. No. 3 Gabe Dean (Cornell), 5-3 — The Nittany Lion built up over two minutes of riding time — after scoring a first period takedown — to help him overcome a late rally by Dean, whose takedown late in the match temporarily tied the bout, 5-5.

Quarterfinal Highlights

No. 1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) dec. Blake Stauffer (Arizona State), 6-2 — The Terp scored takedowns in the first and second periods off strong doubles, then added a reversal in the third frame.

No. 13 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) dec. No. 12 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 7-5 — The Monarch clinched a semifinal spot by scoring a takedown in each period before adding a 1:48 riding time advantage point.

No. 3 Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. No. 6 Jake Swartz (Boise State), 11-4 — The first of three takedowns by the Big Red freshman put the Bronco on his back for a three-point nearfall 5-0 lead.  Dean’s final point came from a 1:49 riding time advantage.

No 2 Ed Ruth (Penn State) major dec. Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), 10-2 — Ruth scored four takedowns — two in the first period — and added a 1:41 riding time advantage to give the Nittany Lion a final team bonus point. Ruth’s third takedown came with seven seconds left in the second period and was upheld by video replay.

Second-round Notes

• Unseeded Blake Stauffer upset his second seeded wrestler with a 7-2 decision against Nebraska’s T.J. Dudley.

• Old Dominion’s No. 13 Jack Dechow scored a takedown with four seconds in sudden victory to upset No. 4 seed Max Thomusseit (Pitt), 3-1

• Minnesota’s No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus broke open a 6-6 deadlock in the second period with a three-point tilt and eventually defeated No. 10 Kenny Courts (Ohio State), 13-8.

First-round Notes

• Four seeded wrestlers fell in the first round and none were bigger than Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse (seeded No. 5) who lost 5-3 to Edinboro’s Vic Avery.     The other seeds to lose were No. 9 Dom Abounader (Michigan), who fell 4-1 to Arizona State’s Blake Stauffer; No. 15 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), who lost 6-4 in sudden victory to Illinois’ Nikko Reyes and No. 16 Nick Vetterlein (Va. Tech), who lost 5-1 to Devin Hightower of Air Force. Like Lofthouse, Loder is a returning All-American.

• Two-time defending national champion Ed Ruth is only seeded No. 2, but the Nittany opened up his final NCAAs with a 1:59 pin over Wisconsin’s Jackson Hein.

Returning All-Americans

  • Ed Ruth, Penn State — 3rd-174 (2011); Champion-174 (2012); Champion (2013)
  • Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland — 6th (2013)
  • Ethen Lofthouse, Iowa — 7th (2012); 5th (2013)
  • Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota — 8th (2011); 5th (2012)
  • Ryan Loder, Northern Iowa — 7th (2013)

184-pound Preview

2013-14 was not a perfect year for Penn State's Ed Ruth (bottom), but the Nittany Lion hopes his fourth Big Ten title helps him earn a third NCAA championship.

2013-14 was not a perfect year for Penn State’s Ed Ruth (bottom), but the Nittany Lion hopes his fourth Big Ten title helps him earn a third NCAA championship.

Penn State’s Ed Ruth is hoping to become his school’s first three-time champion, which appears possible after the Nittany Lion captured his fourth Big Ten title and has scored bonus points in 27 of his wins during a 29-1 campaign.

But the Nittany Lion (who avenged his only NCAA loss in the 2012 finals against Stanford’s Nick Amuchastegui at 174 pounds before moving up to 184 and beating Lehigh’s Robert Hamlin last March) is seeded No. 2 behind Maryland Jimmy Sheptock.

The Terp, who finished sixth in last year’s NCAAs, enters the NCAAs undefeated  (28-0) after claiming an ACC championship.

One of Sheptock’s victories came against Cornell freshman Gabe Dean, who officially put his name on the map in early January when he upset Penn State’s Ruth, 7-4, at the Southern Scuffle to end the Lion’s 84-match winning streak.

Pitt’s Max Thomusseit, the 2013 ACC champion, is looking to earn his first All-American honor after finishing 3-4 in the past two Nationals.

The Big Ten also features two other former All-Americans. One is Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse, who has finished seventh and fifth in the past two NCAAs and the Hawkeye is coming off a second-place finish at the Big Tens. The other is Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus, who finished eighth and fifth, respectively, in the 2011 and ’12 Nationals but failed to place last March.

No wrestler at this weight may be hungrier for All-American honors than Boise State’s Jake Swartz, who has competed in three former Nationals and came close last March before losing in the Round of 12. Injuries limited the Bronco to just 13 matches this winter.

Northern Iowa’s Ryan Loder is a returning All-American, but lost a pair of matches late in the year to Old Dominion’s Jack Dechow.

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