OKLAHOMA CITY - Two Virginia Tech wrestlers remain alive in the championship brackets of the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championship after three sessions of action Friday morning inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Two other Tech wrestlers remain in the consolations while five have been eliminated.
Devin Carter, seeded fourth at 141 pounds, had to rally in the final 30 seconds to get past 12th-seeded Richard Durso of Franklin & Marshall, 4-3. Durso got a takedown in the first period and rode Carter for the final 1:25 of the period. In the second period, Durso escaped to take a 3-0 lead, but Carter took him down midway through and rode him to get the riding time to 40 seconds. In the third period, Carter chose neutral and stalked for the perfect timing, getting the takedown with about 30 seconds left and rode out Durso for the exciting victory that assured him of All-America honors.
Carter will take on Evan Henderson of the University of North Carolina in Friday night’s semifinal with a title match appearance on the line. Carter, a junior from Christiansburg, Va., tore a hamstring in December that required surgery and is back just three months later and assured of no worse than sixth place. Carter went 3-0 against Henderson last year (16-7 major decision at the Hokie Open; 16-8 major decision at the Nittany Lion Open; 7-3 at the Midlands Championships). The two did not meet this year.
Zach Neibert couldn’t follow suit as he dropped a tough 4-3 decision to 15th-seeded Mitchell Minotti of Lehigh in the quarterfinals at 149 pounds. Minotti got the best of a wild scramble early on to take the lead and rode Neibert for over two minutes. Trailing 3-1 in the third period, Neibert got a takedown at the buzzer, but the riding time still sat at 1:15 to give Minotti the win. Neibert will have to regroup for Friday night’s action as he will take on unseeded James English of Penn State for All-American status.
Senior Chris Penny continued his improbable run to the 197-pound podium with another big win, this time over 11th-seeded Nathan Burak of Iowa. Penny used a pair of early takedowns and controlled the pace, cruising to a 6-3 win over a guy he lost to earlier this season. With the win, Penny is assured All-America honors and can finish no lower than sixth and continues his journey from 3-16 as a freshman to an All-American as a senior. He’ll take on true freshman and second-seeded J’Den Cox of Missouri in Friday night’s semifinals.
Joey Dance won his opening match of the day, downing Michigan’s Conor Youtsey, 10-6 before using a second-period takedown to beat seventh-seeded Bradley Taylor of Wisconsin. Now in the Round of 12, Dance will wrestle for All-America honors tonight against sixth-seeded Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma.
Chris Moon dominated 13th-seeded Daniel Yates of Michigan, racking up over five minutes of riding time, three takedown and two nearfall combinations en route to a 13-1 major decision. In his second match, he gave up a takedown and nearfall points late in the second period, falling to Ryan Leblanc of Indiana, 5-1.
Dennis Gustafson saw his fine freshman season come to an end with a 6-3 loss to ninth-seeded Johnni DiJulius Ohio State at 133 pounds. Austin Gabel lost his first match of the day, dropping a 4-3 decision in the tiebreaker to 12th-seeded Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State to end his season. Ty Walz lost his first match of the day, a 6-2 decision to No. 10 Jeremy Johnson of Ohio at heavyweight to wrap up his season.
Tech has 30.5 points after the third session and is sitting in top 10.
Session IV will begin at 7 p.m. local time, 8 p.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: def. Conor Youtsey (Michigan), 10-6
Consolations: def. #7 Bradley Taylor (Wisconsin), 3-2
Consolations: vs. #6 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) - FRIDAY NIGHT
133: Dennis Gustafson (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #7 Cashé Quiroga (Purdue), Fall 4:51
Consolations: def. Joey Palmer (Oregon State), 2:56
Consolations: lost to #9 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State), 6-3
141: #4 seed Devin Carter
First Round: def. Nick Flannery (Buffalo), Fall 3:52
Second Round: def. #13 Stephen Dutton (Michigan), 11-7
Quarterfinals: def. #12 Richard Duson (F&M), 4-3
Semifinals: vs. #9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina) - FRIDAY NIGHT
149: #10 seed Zach Neibert
First Round: def. Ken Theobold (Rutgers), 9-4
Second Round: def. #7 Gus Sako (Virginia), 3-2
Quarterfinals: lost to #15 Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh), 4-3
Consolations: vs. James English (Penn State) - FRIDAY NIGHT
165: Chris Moon (2-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 9-3
Consolations: def. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), 2-1
Consolations: def. #13 Daniel Yates (Michigan), MD 13-1
Consolations: lost to Ryan Leblanc (Indiana), 5-1
174: Austin Gabel (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #11 Stephen Doty (Virginia), 3-2
Consolations: def. Caleb Marsh (Kent State), 3-1 (SV)
Consolations: lost to #12 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State), 4-3 (TB-1)
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: def. #11 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 6-3
Semifinals: vs. #2 J’Den Cox (Missouri)
285: Ty Walz (2-2; ELIMINATED)
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: lost to #10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), 6-2
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