It all started at Noon at Quicken Loan Arena in Cleveland.
The 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships kicked off with 330 wrestlers, including six Scarlet Knights.
First up was unseeded Eleazar DeLuca in a pigtail match versus Minnesota’s Steve Bleise. Bleise had pinned DeLuca in the first period of their 7/8 consolation at the Big Ten Tournament. There was better wrestling from DeLuca but the result was the same as Bleise took a 5-3 victory. He will wrestle Kyle Springer from Eastern Michigan in the wrestlebacks. We originally incorrectly reported he was out of the tournament.
Scott DelVecchio, the other unseeded Knight, took on No. 14 Korbin Myers of Edinboro and dropped a 4-0 decision. He’ll take on Stanford’s Mason Pengilly in a win or go home match.
All four of Rutgers seeded wrestlers moved ahead, three of them earning bonus points. Four seed Nick Suriano went out with a purpose and easily disposed of Rider’s JR Wert on a tech fall, 17-0. He’ll face No. 13 Zeke Moisey (West Virginia) tonight in the second round.
Winner! pic.twitter.com/IFyeOlelHN— RVision (@RVisionRU) March 15, 2018
At 157, John Van Brill added to the “pin pool” as he built a 6-2 lead on a takedown and near fall before pinning EWL champion Lock Haven’s Alex Klucker in 4:21. No. 15 John Van Brill will get unseeded Kennedy Monday (UNC) tonight. In the dual match on January 12, Monday took a 16-4 major over JVB.
BOOM!! pic.twitter.com/3TclY49ibY— RVision (@RVisionRU) March 15, 2018
No. 6 Richie Lewis added a major decision to the bonus point total as he easily topped Quentin Perez (Campbell), 14-5. Lewis will face No. 11 Isaiah White from Nebraska. In their dual match in January, No. 12/12/11 Richie Lewis was then the No. 12 wtestler and took a 2-1 decision over then-No. 11/10/13 Isaiah White.
Nick Gravina and his 14 seed took care of Brown’s Christian LaFragola by a 6-0 count. Gravina will face Lehigh’s Ryan Preisch; Preisch is the three seed. Here’s what we said in our preview:
Preisch is good, losing to top seed Bo Nickal in their dual, 3-2. But Gravina only lost to Nickal by a point. I’m thinking he can do this and move to AA territory.
And look at that smile on Nick’s face below!
All smiles here! pic.twitter.com/XEnhZclGbl— RVision (@RVisionRU) March 15, 2018
The bonus points by Suriano, Van Brill, and Lewis scored, well, bonus points for Rutgers. In a way-too-early-to matter total, Rutgers has 8.5 points and is in seventh place. Iowa leads the team score with 18.5 points, followed by Ohio State (17) and Penn State (16). OSU advanced all ten of its wrestlers out of round one.
We had some big wins to open the #NCAAWrestling championships.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 15, 2018
Relive this afternoon's action, courtesy of @RVisionRU #RUWR | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/uhqL9jHHMG
There is a lot of wrestling tonight, and it all starts at 7 pm.
Session 2- Eight Mat Configuration
Preliminaries: Wrestle-Back Prelims (pigtail matches) as needed.
Wrestle-Back First Round.
Followed by Championship Round, Second Round and Consolation Round.