OKLAHOMA CITY - Three Virginia Tech wrestlers remain alive in the championship brackets of the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championship after two sessions of action Thursday evening inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Five other Tech wrestlers remain alive in the consolations while one has been eliminated.
Devin Carter, seeded fourth at 141 pounds, faced his stiffest challenge since his return to the mat from a torn hamstring injury, but perservered with an 11-7 win over 13th-seeded Stephen Dutton of Michigan. Dutton got two takedowns on Carter, but Carter got four, including one late, to hold off the Wolverine wrestler. Carter will now face 12th-seeded Richard Durson of Franklin & Marshall in Friday morning’s quarterfinal action with the winner earning All-America honors.
Zach Neibert continued his hot streak at 149 pounds, beating seventh-seeded Gus Sako of Virginia in the second round. After a scoreless first period, the 10th-seeded Neibert escaped and took a 1-0 lead into the final stanza, where Sako chose neutral. The move backfired as Neibert took him down with 23 seconds left. While Sako reversed him late, it wasn’t enough as the senior marched on to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win. Neibert will now take on 15th-seeded Mitchell Minotti of Lehigh in Friday morning’s quarterfinal action with the winner earning All-America honors.
Senior Chris Penny pulled one of the bigger upsets of the evening when he beat third-seeded Morgan McIntosh of Penn State, 3-2. After a scoreless first period, McIntosh escaped early on, but Penny worked hard to get a takedown midway through. McIntosh escaped late to tie it up and Penny escaped in the third period to take a 3-2 lead. Penny fought off several attacks late to hold on for the gigantic win. Penny will now take on 10th-seeded Nathan Burak of Iowa in Friday morning’s quarterfinal action with the winner earning All-America honors. Penny and Burak wrestled at the Midlands Championships with Burak winning 9-7 in sudden victory.
After winning his first match, 16th-seeded Joey Dance fell to top-seed and defending national champion Jesse Delgado of Illinois 6-1. He will now drop into the consolations and will have to battle his way back to the podium starting Friday morning.
Dennis Gustafson kept his freshman season alive with a first period pin of Oregon State’s Joey Palmer. Scoreless late in the period, the two were engaged in some spaghetti wrestling and Gustafson caught him in a spladle, sticking him at the 2:56 mark. He’ll try to keep his season going tomorrow in the wrestlebacks Friday morning against ninth-seeded Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State. Chris Moon got his first career NCAA win with a 2-1 victory over Ohio’s Harrison Hightower in the 165-pound consolations. He got a takedown in the first period and made it hold up as he advanced to Friday’s action.
At 174 pounds, Austin Gabel kept his season alive with a takedown in sudden victory to beat Kent State’s Caleb Marsh, 3-1. The two traded escapes in the second and third period before Gabel got in and converted the takedown with 17 seconds left to secure the win. Heavyweight Ty Walz rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second period to get a takedown in sudden victory for the 6-4 win over Missouri’s Devin Mellon.
Nick Vetterlein lost his first match in the consolations and was eliminated. The senior finished his career with an 80-45 mark and two appearances in the NCAA Championships.
Tech sits in a tie for 10th place with 14.0 points after the second session.
Session III will begin at 10 a.m. local time, 11 a.m. on the East Coast. Find where you can catch all of the action at this link.
125: #16 seed Joey Dance
First Round: def. Paul Petrov (Bucknell), 6-1
Second Round: lost to #1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois), 6-1
Consolations: vs. Conor Youtsey (Michigan) - FRIDAY
133: Dennis Gustafson
First Round: lost to #7 Cashé Quiroga (Purdue), Fall 4:51
Consolations: def. Joey Palmer (Oregon State), 2:56
Consolations: vs. #9 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State) - FRIDAY
141: #4 seed Devin Carter
First Round: def. Nick Flannery (Buffalo), Fall 3:52
Second Round: def. #13 Stephen Dutton (Michigan), 11-7
Quarterfinals: vs. #12 Richard Duson (F&M) - FRIDAY
149: #10 seed Zach Neibert
First Round: def. Ken Theobold (Rutgers), 9-4
Second Round: def. #7 Gus Sako (Virginia), 3-2
Quarterfinals: vs. #15 Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh) - FRIDAY
165: Chris Moon
First Round: lost to #3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 9-3
Consolations: def. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), 2-1
Consolations: vs. #13 Daniel Yates (Michigan) - FRIDAY
174: Austin Gabel
First Round: lost to #11 Stephen Doty (Virginia), 3-2
Consolations: def. Caleb Marsh (Kent State), 3-1 (SV)
Consolations: vs. #12 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State) - FRIDAY
184: #16 seed Nick Vetterlein (0-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to David Hightower (Air Force), 5-1
Pigtail Consolation: vs. Lucas Sheridan (Indiana), 4-2
197: #14 seed Chris Penny
First Round: def. Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt), 3-1
Second Round: def. #3 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State), 3-2
Quarterfinals: vs. #11 Nathan Burak (Iowa) - FRIDAY
285: Ty Walz
Pigtail: def. Nick Tavanello (Ohio State), 3-1 (SV)
First Round Match: lost to #8 J.T. Felix (Boise State), Fall 2:54
Consolations: def. Devin Mellon (Missouri), 6-4 (SV)
Consolations: vs. #10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) - FRIDAY
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