Team race tight at NCAAs heading into Session IV

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- On Friday morning at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City, Dylan Ness did what Dylan Ness does ... win big matches and entertain in the process.

Minnesota's Dylan Ness celebrates after pinning No. 1 James Green of Nebraska in the quarterfinals (Photo/Larry Slater)
The Minnesota junior electrified the crowd, pinning No. 1 James Green (Nebraska) in the second period (3:36) in a wild match at 157 pounds. Ness scored the first points of the match with a takedown in the closing seconds of the first period. In the second period Ness looked to be in danger, going to his back briefly, before using his elevator to put Green on his back and secure the pin. It was Ness' third pin in three matches this week.

"I have a lot of confidence in that position, whether I'm on my back or not, I believe I can back out on top and win," said Ness.

Ness was one of four Gopher wrestlers to win in Friday morning's quarterfinals, along with Logan Storley (174), Scott Schiller (197), and Tony Nelson (Minnesota). After a strong quarterfinal round, Minnesota has moved into second place in the team standings and trails Penn State by only two points halfway through the event.

Storley punched his ticket to the semifinals by edging fellow South Dakotan and Big Ten rival Robert Kokesh (Nebraska), 6-4, in the second tiebreaker. Kokesh looked to have the match in hand with a riding time advantage. However, as the final seconds ticked away, Storley remained aggressive, while Kokesh ran to avoid contact. Eventually Storley tracked Kokesh down and scored a takedown on the edge of the mat with one second on the clock for the victory.

The fourth-seeded Schiller topped No. 5 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State), 6-4. It was Schiller's third win in four matches this season against Gadson. Nelson, a two-time NCAA champion, wasted little time in his quarterfinal match, pinning Wisconsin's Connor Medbery in 1:26.

Minnesota, Penn State, and Oklahoma State all have four semifinalists and are separated by only five points in the team standings. Penn State finished Session III with 61 points, Minnesota has 59 points, and Oklahoma State sits in third place with 56 points.

Penn State went 4-1 in the quarterfinals, getting wins from Nico Megaludis (125), Zain Retherford (141), David Taylor (165), and Ed Ruth (184).

Megaludis, a two-time NCAA runner-up, cruised to a 6-0 victory over Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma). The true freshman Retherford defeated red-hot Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa), 5-2, to advance to the semifinals where he will face two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber (Ohio State) for the third time this season.

Taylor and Ruth both earned bonus points for the Nittany Lions in their semifinal victories. Taylor pinned Michael Moreno (Iowa State) at 3:19, while Ruth earned a 10-2 major decision victory over Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota).

Oklahoma State's four semifinalists are Josh Kindig (149), Alex Dieringer (157), Tyler Caldwell (165), and Chris Perry (174).

Kindig has been one of the major surprises of this year's NCAAs. He entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed. His quarterfinal victory came over two-time All-American Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), 7-5. Dieringer, seeded third, won 18-11 over Nestor Taffur (Boston U.). Caldwell dominated Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 14-2, to secure his fourth All-American honor. Perry, a returning NCAA champion, blanked Elliot Riddick (Lehigh), 4-0, to advance to the semifinals where he will face Mike Evans (Iowa), who edged Matt Brown (Penn State) in tiebreaker, 5-4.

The Hawkeyes are in fourth place with 42.5 points and have three semifinalists. Cornell sits in fifth place with 39.5 points and also has three semifinalists.

All but two No. 1 seeds remain alive heading into tonight's semifinals. In addition to the aforementioned James Green (Nebraska) losing at 157 pounds, top-seeded 141-pounder Mitchell Port (Edinboro) lost for the time this season in the quarterfinals to Evan Henderson (North Carolina), 6-4.

Session IV is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CT.

Team Standings

1. Penn St. 61 (4 semifinalists)
2. Minnesota 59 (4)
3. Oklahoma St. 56 (4)
4. Iowa 42.5 (3)
5. Cornell 39.5 (3)
6. Ohio St. 38 (2)
7. Edinboro 30.5 (1)
7. Virginia Tech 30.5 (2)
9. Illinois 30 (1)
9. Oklahoma 30 (1)

Quarterfinal Results

No. 1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. No. 8 Cory Clark (Iowa), 10-5
No. 5 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) vs. Earl Hall (Iowa State), 4-2 SV
No. 3 Nico Megaludis (Penn State) dec. No. 6 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), 6-0
No. 2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) maj. dec. No. 10 David Terao (American), 11-0

No. 1 Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) maj. dec. No. 8 David Thorn (Minnesota), 19-9
No. 5 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) dec. No. 13 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma), 9-6
No. 3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) dec. No. 6 Mason Beckman (Lehigh), 3-1
No. 2 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro) dec. No. 7 Cashe Quiroga (Purdue), 11-7

No. 9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina) dec. No. 1 Mitchell Port (Edinboro), 5-3
No. 4 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) dec. No. 12 Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall), 4-3
No. 3 Zain Retherford (Penn State) dec. No. 11 Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa), 5-2
No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) pinned No. 10 Todd Preston (Harvard), 1:29

No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. No. 9 Eric Grajales (Michigan), 3-1
No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) dec. No. 4 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), 2-1 TB
No. 11 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 14 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), 7-5
No. 15 Mitch Minotti (Lehigh) dec. No. 10 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech), 4-3

No. 9 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) pinned No. 1 James Green (Nebraska), 3:36
No. 4 Ian Miller (Kent State) dec. Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin), 6-2
No. 3 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) vs. No. 6 Nestor Taffur (Boston U.), 18-11
No. 7 Brian Realbuto (Cornell) dec. No. 2 Derek St. John (Iowa), 11-4

No. 1 David Taylor (Penn State) pinned No. 8 Mike Moreno (Iowa State), 3:19
No. 4 Steve Monk (North Dakota State) pinned Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg), 6:41
No. 3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) dec. No. 11 Turtogtokh Luvansdorf (The Citadel), 4-3 TB
No. 2 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) maj. dec. No. 7 Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 14-2

No. 1 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 9 Elliot Riddick (Lehigh), 4-0
No. 4 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. No. 5 Matt Brown (Penn State), 5-4 TB
No. 6 Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. No. 3 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska), 6-4 TB2
No. 2 Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) dec. No. 7 Tyler Wilps (Pitt), 5-2

No. 1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) dec. Blake Stauffer (Arizona State), 6-2
No. 13 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) dec. No. 12 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 7-5
No. 3 Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. No. 6 Jake Swartz (Boise State), 11-4
No. 2 Ed Ruth (Penn State) maj. dec. No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), 10-2

No. 1 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) dec. Cody Reed (Binghamton), 8-1
No. 4 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. No. 5 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State), 6-4
No. 14 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) dec. No. 11 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 6-3
No. 2 J'den Cox (Missouri) dec. Connor Hartmann (Duke), 5-1

No. 1 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) pinned No. 9 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 1:26
No. 5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. No. 4 Adam Coon (Michigan), 3-2 TB2
No. 3 Adam Chalfant (Indiana) dec. No. 11 Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State), 3-2
No. 2 Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State) dec. No. 7 Mike McClure (Michigan State), 4-1


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