It’s the end of the second day of competition at the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships. It’s crazy exciting.
Round four: the semi-finals and the “blood round”.
For Anthony Ashnault, it was an opportunity to go to the national finals.
For Scott DelVcchio, Ken Theobold, and Nick Gravina, it was a shot at being an All American.
And it was a day of ups and downs for the Scarlet. On the plus side, with Ken Theobold’s win, Rutgers has two All Americans for the second year in a row and only the third time in program history. On the down side, there are no Scarlet wrestlers in the finals.
Wrestlers still in: Anthony Ashnault (141), Ken Theobold (149),
Wrestlers eliminated: Scott DelVecchio (133), John Van Brill (157), Jordan Pagano (174), Nick Gravina (184), Matt Correnti (197)
133: In the round of 12 consolation, Scott DelVecchio faced Eric Montoya of Nebraska. DelVecchio had won three straight in the wrestlebacks, but Montoya put an end to tje senior’s run. The seventh-seeded Montoya took a 4-3 decision, leaving DelVecchio with a 3-2 record in the tournament.
141: Anthony Ashnault entered the semifinals against the tournamet’s top seed, Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil (32-0). It was Heil who beat Ashnault in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, 9-4. It would happen again.
Heil picked up the opening takedown just a minute into the match. Heil extended the lead in the second with an escape, matched by Ashnmault’s third period neutral. A stall point against Heil would bring the match a bit closer, but the final 4-2 score ended AA’s run to a tile.
“I expect him [Ashnault]t o bounce back,” Goodale said. “He’s a champion, a leader, a warrior and everything you want in a student-athlete. I expect him to come back with the same desire.”
Ashnault can finish as high as third, is guaranteed at least sixth, and will start that quest against Wyoming’s No. 10 Bryce Meredith.
149: For Ken Theobold, it was a shot at All American, a fitting way to cap an outstanding college career. Facing Andrew Crone of Wisconsin, Theobold went after his fellow Big Ten wrestler with aggression. A first period takedown plus four back points put Theobold in control. Crone would pick up three points in the third, but the damage was done as Theobold took the 7-3 victory.
In a follow up wrestleback, Theobold dropped a 7-5 decision to Solomon Chisko of Virginia Tech and will go for seventh place versus Alex Koser of South Dakota State.
“I’m really happy for him,” Goodale said. “You look back on his career, what he means to this program and how he lives his life, it’s good for him. It’s a big deal to be an All-American in this tournament. Some really good wrestlers come through here and never get a chance to do it, so we’re excited for Kenny.”
185: Seventh seed senior T.J. Dudley Nebraska topped Nick Gravina, 4-1. Gravina won their dual last year in dramatic fashion to earn the win for RU. Dudley took 4th in the Big Ten this year. Gravina finished the tournament at 3-2.
After four rounds, the Big Ten has nine teams in the top 20, including six in the top ten. was still a force at the top of the team standings.
The Knights scored 3.5 points in the last round and only have two more wrestlers who have an opportunity to score points in Ashnault and Theobold. Sitting in 18th place, the team can’t move up much and can drop a few spots.
Big Ten Team Standings after Friday night none at 141
The Big Ten will have eleven wrestlers in the finals, led by Penn State’s four. The Lions have raced away from the field. Oklahoma State, which many felt would press PSU for the title, has fallen back to third place (86 points). The Cowboys have one in the finals and seven others in consolation matches.
There are three all Big Ten finals: 149, 165, and 174; each of them involve Penn State. They’re marked with asterisks in the list below
1 Penn State 121 - four in finals: Zain Retherford 149, Jason Nolf 157, Vincenzo Joseph 165*, Mark Hall 174**, Bo Bickal 184
2. Ohio State 89.5 - two in finals: Bo Jordan 174**, Kyle Snyder Hwt ***
5. Iowa 60 - one in finals: Cory Clark 133
6. Minnesota 60 - two in finals: Ethan Lizak 125, Brett Pfarr 197
9. Nebraska 50
10. Illinois 41.5 - one in finals: Isaiah Martinez 165*
12. Wisconsin 33.5 - one in finals: Connor Medbery (Hwt) ***
13. Michigan 33
18. Rutgers 21.5
35T. Maryland 8.5
41. Michigan State 4.5
48. Northwestern 3.5
35T. Indiana 8.5
51. Purdue 2.5
New Jersey Schools
Princeton: 24 place, 14.5 points
Rider: 22nd place 18 points
Session 5: Saturday, 11:00 am, ESPNU
Session 6: Saturday, 8:00 pm, ESPN