As the Wrestle-backs are going on, the Quarter Final Championship round has come to an end in Session 3 of the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship in St Louis, Missouri.
The story of the scores is this: Penn State are soaring and roaring, while Minnesota has taken a tumble down a 'Gopher' hole. At the time of writing Penn State is in first place, Cornell is in second, Iowa is in third and Minnesota is in 4th. The Wrestlebacks may change this with any points that can be salvaged from pins, tech falls or major decisions that might occur.
Iowa's Hawkeyes have reasons to be cheerful: opening the day at 125 lbs, Matt McDonough took home a 13-3 Major Decision against Stanford's Ryan Mango, giving them a short lived leg up the leader board into 2nd place. A Tony Ramos (133) pin over Harvard's Stephen Keith helped them further, while Montell Marrion (141) and Derek St. John (157) garner decisions and join them in the semi-finals. After the St. John win, the Hawkeyes were leading the way.
The opening 125 lbs bracket wasn't without controversy though as Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent State) cruelly had a match winning takedown revoked at the end of the 3rd period, knocking him back down to a 2-2 draw that lead to overtime. Bizarre officiating from the referee continued as he made several warnings for stallings and resets for stalemates when both appeared to be working. Opponent Jesse Delgado (Illinois) managed to get up 5-4, but a lapse of concentration from Delgado allowed Bedelyon to score a takedown and points for a near fall, netting him an 8-5 decision in Over Time.
For one brief moment Iowa managed to be the top scoring team, knocking Penn State down to second. PSU's Frank Molinaro initially struggled against Michigan's Eric Grajales at 149 lbs, with Molinaro favoring his left knee after torquing it in his second match from the night before. Molinaro was able to warm up though, and in the end scored a Major Decision 10-2.
Then 165lbs David Taylor happened. Looking loose and relaxed, opponent Robert Kokesh of Nebraska never saw it coming. One false step and a single opening was all it took as the PSU prodigy ankle-picked and cradled his way to a pin fall victory in just 29 seconds, making it look effortless and as if he used virtually no energy. It was one of the most captivating things you could ever witness in combat sports, like a Mohammed Ali KO from nowhere. Taylor's pin put Penn State back firmly in the lead.
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185 lbs Quentin Wright put on a near repeat performance of his 2011 Semi-Final win, shooting a double-leg takedown and finishing with a beautiful outside leg-hook on the near leg of Central Michigan's Ben Bennet, and immediately got to his back with a Single Leg Ride only to be out of bounds and reset in the middle of the mat. Wright seized on a cradle of his own but was blocked by Bennet who was holding onto a leg of Wright's for dear life. Able to work his way free of Bennet's grip, Wright was able to adjust and score with the cradle pin. Along with Molinaro and Taylor, Wright joins fellow Nittany Lions Nicholas Megaludis (125) and Edward Ruth (174) in the Semi Finals.
Cornell's Kyle Dake (157) was their main points scorer, pinning Bloomsburg's Frank Hickman in the second period. Dake scored early, working a Single Leg Ride from the back and switched between Half-Nelson and Claw attempts at upper body control, while also switching his legs into a heavy Crab / Frog ride. Dake was eventually able to muscle his way into a cradle pin finish.
Cam Simaz (197) scored a decision for Cornell in a match he initially struggled with, but chipped away at opponent Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) until gradually scoring points over the 3 periods for an 8-2 decision win. Simaz and Dake joint Frank Perrelli (125) and Steve Boask (184) in the finals.
Minnesota's fall came when Zach Sanders (125), Chris Dardanes (133), and Nick Dardanes (141) posted a combined 3 losses in a row, with the smaller Dardanes' loss to Ohio State's Logan Stieber being the most surprising. Dylan Ness (149) and Logan Storley (174) came back for the Golden Gophers with a decision win over Jamal Parks (OSU) and Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) respectively, but neither were team scoring victories. 2 more losses and a regular decision win, and the University of Minnesota are only just hanging in there. Outside of pins from their remaining guys, it's hard to see how they could possibly do better than second place when the tournament is said and done.
Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver (133) scored perhaps the most technical pin of the tournament when he bested Michigan's Zachery Stephens. Oliver gets a High Crotch Single takedown early, and a waist-lock takedown a little later before working a Single Leg Ride, transitions to a Split Scissors (Bannan Splits) and from there works to lock up a cradle for the pin. Perhaps the best pin so far, at least until'poetry in motion' occurred. These two have to be the main contenders for the 2012 Schalles Award as arguably the top pinners in the country.
Kellen Russell continues to crusade for Michigan with a decision win over Nick Dardanes, and moves ever closer to rematching Montell Marion (Iowa) should they get past the semi-finals and meet in the 141lbs final.
In Heavyweight action, Ryan Flores (American) continues to look impressive as he Half-Nelson with an Over-Leg Ride pinned opponent Andrew Delaney (Citadel), but only after shooting for a head outside Single-Leg and transitioning to a double-leg pick up and slam. Less impressive looking was Zach Rey (Lehigh) with fairly mediocre decision after the 3rd period was up, though he had an opportunity to try and lock up an open cradle control from the back, but chose to use it as a ride and try to score some points as one of the periods ended. Rey and Flores meet as expected in the Semi Final, and either Rey looks to make it an ugly drawn out match, or Flores runs through Rey as he's been looking on top form this tournament.
Results collated from information found at TrackWrestling.com
Team Results (at time of writing)
1. Penn State 78.5
2. Cornell 60.0
3. Iowa 57.0
4. Minnesota 56.0
5. Oklahoma St. 50.0
6. Lehigh 39.0
7. Ohio St. 35.5
8. Illinois 33.0
9. American 31.0
10. Pittsburgh 30.0
- Matt McDonough (Iowa) 34-1 won by major decision over Ryan Mango (Stanford) 27-6 (Maj 13-3)
- Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent St.) 32-4 won in overtime over Jesse Delgado (Illinois) 32-7 (OT 8-5)
- Frank Perrelli (Cornell) 33-5 won by decision over Anthony Zanetta (Pittsburgh) 29-5 (Dec 6-3)
- Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State) 27-7 won by decision over Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) 27-4 (Dec 7-4)
- Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma St.) 27-1 won by pin over Zachery Stevens (Michigan) 25-10 (Pin 2:35)
- Bernard Futrell (Illinois) 30-6 won by pin over Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) 27-3 (Pin 0:44)
- Tony Ramos (Iowa) 31-3 won by pin over Steven Keith (Harvard) 33-9 (Pin 1:57)
- Logan Stieber (Ohio St.) 31-2 won by decision over Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) 25-11 (Dec 7-4)
- Kellen Russell (Michigan) 31-1 won by decision over Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) 21-9 (Dec 7-3)
- Hunter Stieber (Ohio St.) 28-4 won by decision over Michael Mangrum (Oregon St.) 35-4 (Dec 6-5)
- Montell Marion (Iowa) 30-3 won by decision over Borislav Novachkov (Cal Poly) 29-4 (Dec 7-6)
- Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) 31-1 won by major decision over Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) 22-11 (Maj 15-3)
- Frank Molinaro (Penn State) 31-0 won by major decision over Eric Grajales (Michigan) 20-7 (Maj 10-2)
- Justin Accordino (Hofstra) 26-11 won by major decision over Nick Lester (Oklahoma) 22-11 (Maj 11-3)
- Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh) 30-5 won by decision over Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) 38-3 (Dec 9-5)
- Dylan Ness (Minnesota) 23-8 won by decision over Jamal Parks (Oklahoma St.) 32-1 (Dec 3-2)
- Kyle Dake (Cornell) 33-0 won by pin over Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg) 31-6 (Pin 4:10)
- Ganbayar Sanjaa (American) 25-3 won by decision over Daniel Kolodzik (Princeton) 33-10 (Dec 7-3)
- Jason Welch (Northwestern) 26-1 won by decision over James Green (Nebraska) 32-8 (Dec 2-1)
- Derek St. John (Iowa) 20-2 won in overtime over Dylan Alton (Penn State) 26-6 (OT 3-1)
- David Taylor (Penn State) 30-0 won by pin over Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) 30-6 (Pin 0:30)
- Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) 34-4 won by decision over Paul Gillespie (Hofstra) 30-6 (Dec 6-1)
- Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) 21-3 won by decision over Andrew Sorenson (Iowa St.) 28-3 (Dec 7-3)
- Josh Asper (Maryland) 28-1 won by decision over Shane Onufer (Wyoming) 33-2 (Dec 5-3)
- Edward Ruth (Penn State) 29-0 won by decision over Nick Heflin (Ohio St.) 25-9 (Dec 11-4)
- Logan Storley (Minnesota) 26-6 won by decision over Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) 27-8 (Dec 3-1)
- Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) 23-0 won by decision over Ryan DesRoches (Cal Poly) 26-4 (Dec 6-1)
- Chris Perry (Oklahoma St.) 29-0 won in overtime over Jordan Blanton (Illinois) 27-8 (OT 3-2)
- Steve Bosak (Cornell) 31-4 won by decision over Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) 29-5 (Dec 1-0)
- Quentin Wright (Penn State) 29-3 won by pin over Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) 32-4 (Pin 2:35)
- Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) 32-1 won by decision over Josh Ihnen (Nebraska) 25-6 (Dec 7-4)
- Austin Trotman (Appalachian S.) 36-4 won by decision over Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) 32-2 (Dec 12-9)
- Cam Simaz (Cornell) 29-1 won by decision over Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) 38-6 (Dec 8-2)
- Cayle Byers (Oklahoma St.) 26-3 won by decision over James Nakashima (Nebraska) 22-10 (Dec 5-4)
- Matthew Wilps (Pittsburgh) 33-3 won by pin over Brent Haynes (Missouri) 25-7 (Pin 7:13)
- Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) 39-1 won by decision over Sonny Yohn (Minnesota) 28-6 (Dec 9-4)
- Ryan Flores (American) 21-0 won by pin over Andrew Delaney (Citadel) 29-3 (Pin 2:27)
- Zachery Rey (Lehigh) 25-2 won by decision over Bobby Telford (Iowa) 27-8 (Dec 2-0)
- Clayton Jack (Oregon St.) 38-1 won by decision over Cameron Wade (Penn State) 27-5 (Dec 7-0)
- Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) 30-2 won by pin over Michael McMullan (Northwestern) 25-11 (Pin 4:50)