Session II at NCAAs brings fireworks, quarterfinals set

Andrew Hipps

3/20/2014
Andrew Hipps, InterMat Senior Editor
andrew@intermatwrestle.com, Twitter: @InterMat

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Session II on Thursday night at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City brought more fireworks as more top seeds from top programs fell.

No. 3 Morgan McIntosh was upset in the second round (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)
Three-time defending NCAA champion Penn State took a major hit at 197 pounds when Big Ten runner-up Morgan McIntosh, seeded third, was upset by ACC champion Chris Penny of Virginia Tech, 3-2.

Oklahoma State had an up-and-down session as No. 4 Jon Morrison (133) was pinned and All-American Blake Rosholt (197) was knocked out of the competition, but two No. 11 seeds, Josh Kindig (149) and Austin Marsden (285), earned upset victories to advance to the quarterfinals.

Two-time All-American Dylan Ness picked up a critical victory for Minnesota, avenging an earlier season loss with a pin over Oregon State's R.J. Pena, after teammate Chris Dardanes (141) was upset in the second round.

Iowa rebounded from a tough opening session to go 6-1 in second-round matches. Hawkeye Nathan Burak (197) earned an upset victory, while Brody Grothus (149) suffered Iowa's lone loss in the second round, losing to NCAA champion Kendric Maple (Oklahoma).

Minnesota's Dylan Ness pinned Oregon State's R.J. Pena at 157 pounds (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
Penn State and Oklahoma State both have five wrestlers in the quarterfinals, while Minnesota and Iowa have the most with six.

Heading into Session III, Penn State leads the team race with 26.5 points. Oklahoma State and Minnesota are tied for second with 21.5 points, followed by Iowa and Oklahoma with 20.5 points each.

Five unseeded wrestles advanced to the quarterfinals: Earl Hall (Iowa State) at 125, Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) at 165, Blake Stauffer (Arizona State) at 184, Cody Reed (Binghamton) at 197, and Connor Hartmann (Duke) at 197.

Returning 141-pound All-American Undrakhbayar (The Citadel) went 0-2 and was eliminated from the competition after getting crushed by 2012 All-American Nick Lester (Oklahoma), 13-2.

Below is a look at some of the notable results from Session II.

125: Six of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals. The biggest surprise in this weight class came when Earl Hall (Iowa State) took out No. 4 Josh Martinez (Air Force), 8-1. Martinez needed an at-large to get in the tournament after placing third at the West Regional. It was Hall second straight win over a seeded wrestler. He topped No. 13 Evan Silver (Stanford) in Session I.

133: No. 13 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma), a returning All-American, used a first-period cradle to pin Bedlam rival Jon Morrison (Oklahoma State) and bring the Sooner crowd to their feet. Morrison had won the three previous meetings this season, including in the Big 12 finals, 8-1. Morrison was the lone wrestler seeded in the top eight in this weight class who failed to advance to the quarterfinals. No. 3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) was pushed in his second-round match, but prevailed 6-4 in sudden victory over freshman Zane Richards (Illinois).

141: The No. 5, No. 6, and No. 8 seeds were upset in the second round at this weight class. Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall), who reached the round of 12 in 2013, edged No. 5 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion), 3-2, to improve to 36-3 this season. Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) scored a takedown with one second on the clock to upset No. 6 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota), 10-8. Lazor remains red-hot after winning a MAC title less than two weeks ago. No. 9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina), a returning All-American, pinned No. 8 Luke Vaith (Hofstra) at 4:03 to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals.

149: The bottom half of the bracket has been turned upside down in this weight class. After No. 2 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) fell in Session I, No. 3, No. 6, and No. 7 lost in Session II. Two-time All-American Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), after a roller coaster season, shocked No. 3 Chris Villalonga (Cornell), winning with a defensive fall to advance to the quarterfinals. Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State) won a hard-fought victory over No. 6 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska), 7-5. No. 9 Eric Grajales (Michigan) won a high-scoring affair, 15-10, over No. 8 David Habat (Edinboro).

157: No. 9 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), a two-time All-American, pinned No. 8 R.J. Pena (Oregon State), a returning All-American, avenging an earlier season loss at the Southern Scuffle. The top seven seeds won in the round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals. No. 5 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) and No. 7 Brian Realbuto (Cornell) both needed a sudden victory period to secure their wins.

165: No. 1 David Taylor (Penn State) pinned No. 16 Jim Wilson (Stanford) at 6:55. It was Taylor's second pin in as many matches. Unseeded Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) earned a spot in the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Ryan LeBlanc (Indiana). Veltre won earlier in the day over No. 5 Nick Moore (Iowa). No. 11 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel) topped SoCon rival Corey Mock (Chattanooga), 4-3, in the rubber match between the two this season. Mock had won the previous meeting 7-1 in the SoCon finals.

174: No. 9 Elliot Riddick (Lehigh) earned a 12-9 victory over Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa), who had upset All-American Cody Walters (Ohio) earlier in the day. Riddick will be the lowest seeded wrestler in the quarterfinals in this weight class, as the top seven seeds won in the second round. The top three seeds, Chris Perry (Oklahoma State), Andrew Howe (Oklahoma), and Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) all earned bonus-point victories.

184: After No. 5 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) lost earlier in the day, the top half of the bracket at 184 pounds was blown even more wide open in Session II when No. 4 Max Thomusseit (Pittt) was upset in the second round by Jack Dechow (Old Dominion), 3-1, in sudden victory. No. 8 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska) was upset by Blake Stauffer (Arizona State), 7-2. The bottom half of the bracket played out according to seeds. No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) found himself in trouble early after giving up three first-period takedowns in his match against No. 10 Kenny Courts (Ohio State). But the Gopher senior two-time All-American worked his way back into the match and eventually pulled away for a 13-8 victory.

197: On the bottom half of the bracket, No. 3, No. 6, and No. 7 lost in the second round, giving No. 2 J'den Cox (Missouri) what seems to be a clear path to the finals. No. 3 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State), as previously mentioned, dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 14 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech). No. 6 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) suffered only his second loss of the season when he was edged by Nathan Burak (Iowa), 4-3. Burak scored the winning takedown with just one second remaining in the match. Two-time All-American Travis Rutt (Oklahoma), seeded seventh, was blanked by Connor Hartman (Duke), 6-0. On the top half of the bracket, No. 8 Phil Wellington (Ohio) was upset by Cody Reed (Binghamton), 4-0. It was Reed's second win over a seeded wrestler. Earlier in the competition he knocked off No. 9 Christian Boley (Maryland).

285: No. 11 Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State) pulled the second-round shocker at heavyweight when he defeated NCAA runner-up Mike McMullan (Northwestern), 3-2, to advance to the quarterfinals. Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) avenged an earlier season loss by pinning J.T. Felix (Boise State) in a battle of the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds.

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