McFadden, Zavatsky, Haught reach semifinals at 2018 NCAA Championships

Virginia Tech 35.5

CLEVELAND - Virginia Tech sent a program record three wrestlers to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships on Friday as redshirt sophomore David McFadden, redshirt junior Zack Zavatsky and redshirt senior Jared Haught each earned All-American status.

The Hokies are one of only five teams in the field with three or more semifinalists. The others are Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and NC State. Despite the trio being the lone Hokies still competing, Tech currently sits in seventh in the team standings with 35.5 points. Tech’s two semifinalists at last year’s tournament, Haught at 197 and Ty Walz at heavyweight, was the previous program record before Friday.

After no points were scored in the first period between McFadden and Wick, McFadden started the second on bottom and was able to pick up a reversal to take a 2-0 lead. He rode Wick for the remainder of second and kept him down the entire third period that locked the riding time point and gave him a 3-0 decision. McFadden became a two-time All-American with the win in his second appearance at nationals. He’s the 10th multi-time national placer in program history.

At 184, Zavatsky looked to avenge a loss earlier in the season to Lehigh’s Ryan Preisch, the No. 3 seed, and become an All-American for the first time in his third trip to NCAAs. It was a 1-1 bout after three periods after both wrestlers picked up escapes. With 37 seconds left in the sudden victory overtime period, Preisch shot in on a high single that Zavatsky took control on and attempted to scoot around for the takedown. The two then launched into a wild scramble that ended in Zavatsky getting control of Preisch’s leg. Zavatsky held on and got the leverage to needed to secure the takedown, clinching his spot on the podium for the first time.

Haught followed Zavatsky’s win with a workmanlike 3-1 decision over Missouri’s Willie Miklus, the six seed at 197. Haught struck first with a takedown with 30 seconds left in the first period and later escapes from bottom in the third period to extend his lead to 3-1. His win made him the fourth three-time All-American in program history and the second Virginia Tech wrestler to reach multiple semifinalists. Haught and 2017 graduate Ty Walz both reached the semifinals in their respective weight classes twice.

On the backside, redshirt freshmen Kyle Norstrem, Brent Moore and Andrew Dunn saw their season’s come to close with losses. All three went 1-2 at the tournament.

Redshirt junior Ryan Blees dropped his second match of the tournament to Virginia’s Sam Krivus, wrapping up a campaign that saw him cut to 149 pounds at the start of the second semester and qualifying for his first NCAA tournament.

Redshirt senior Dennis Gustafson wrapped up his career as a Hokie on Friday after dropping his second consolation match. In four seasons, Gustafson was a two time ACC champion and finished with 79 career victories.

The evening session will begin tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN and WatchESPN.

125: Kyle Norstrem (1-2)
First Round - #13 Zeke Moisey (West Virginia) dec. Norstrem, 10-7
Consi First Round - Kyle Norstrem dec. Gerald Wert (Rider), 9-8
Consi Second Round - #14 Luke Welch (Purdue) WBF Kyle Norstrem, 1:06

133: Dennis Gustafson (1-2)
First Round - #9 Dennis Gustafson dec. Charles Tucker (Cornell), 4-1
Second Round - #8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) dec. #9 Dennis Gustafson, 4-1
Consi Second Round - Sean Nickell (CSUB) dec. #9 Dennis Gustafson, 13-8

141: Brent Moore (1-2)
First Round - #12 Tyler Smith (Bucknell) dec. Brent Moore, 7-0
Consi First Round - Brent Moore MD Russell Rohlfing (CSU Bakersfield), 8-0
Consi Second Round - #11 Michael Carr (Illinois) dec. Brent Moore, 8-5

149: Ryan Blees (1-2)
First Round - #12 Ryan Blees dec. Michael Sprague, 4-3 (TB-2)
Second Round - #5 Te-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State) dec. #12 Ryan Blees, 12-6
Consi Second Round - Sam Krivus (Virginia) TF #12 Ryan Blees, 16-0 (5:56)

165: David McFadden (3-0)
First Round - #2 David McFadden dec. Zach Finesilver (Duke), 4-0
Second Round - #2 David McFadden MD #15 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State), 14-3
Quarterfinals - #2 David McFadden dec. #10 Evan Wick (Wisconsin), 3-0

184: Zack Zavatsky (3-0)
First Round - #6 Zack Zavatskty dec. Michael Coleman (Navy), 9-2
Second Round - #6 Zack Zavatsky dec. #11 Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin), 9-6
Quarterfinals - #6 Zack Zavatsky dec. #3 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh), 3-1 (SV OT)

197: Jared Haught (3-0)
First Round - #3 Jared Haught MD Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado), 11-2
Second Round - #3 Jared Haught dec. #14 Cash Wilcke (Iowa), 5-3
Quarterfinals - #3 Jared Haught dec. #6 Willie Miklus (Missouri), 3-1

285: Andrew Dunn (1-2)
First Round - #6 Amar Dhesi (Oregon State) dec. Andrew Dunn, 6-1
Consi First Round - Andrew Dunn m. for. Jake Gunning (Buffalo)
Consi Second Round - #12 Sam Stoll (Iowa) dec. Andrew Dunn, 7-0

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