Big Tens: Thoughts After Session 1

Iowa has a commanding lead after only the first session at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships in State College, PA, as well as sending 9 to the semifinal round. See how the day went for the Hawks and what they have to look forward to in the next session.

125 Pounds - Charlie looked a bit unsure of himself, especially in the bottom position, but had built a large enough lead that he held on for the 4-2 victory.  Next up, he's got the #3-seed Angel Escobedo.  If he's going to have a shot, he's going to need to be much, much more active.  Escobedo has a motor that doesn't quit, and he'll push Charlie.  Fortunately, Charlie's got a victory over him this year, 3-1 in sudden victory. 

133 Pounds - Daniel Dennis looked excellent in a 16-7 major decision over Carson Beebee of Purdue.  Up next he'll Have Reece Humphrey, who scored a dominating upset of Jayson Ness 11-4, thanks to some great holds and turns in the first period, which he held the lead 10-0 at one point.  Dennis looked a bit frustrated he couldn't get more back points or the pin, but was active and sharp, immediately hooking a Turk, almost from his feet, it was beautiful.

141 Pounds - Tsirtsis did well through two periods, but the referreees allowed this match to go much slower than most would like.  Sulzer clammed up, not giving Alex much room to clear and arm or get leverage.  There were some scramble situations late, but they didn't amount to much of anything, and the match ended fairly calmly, 5-1.  Next up is Kellen Russell, who got a close win over Ryan Prater of Illinois, 5-4.  The two have not met this year.

149 Pounds - A typical Brent Metcalf match.  A few takedowns, a few near falls, and a pin.  I feel bad that I can't write much, but it was a workmanlike performance, and about what we've come to expect, especially in March.  He'll have Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin next, two beat Jake Patacsil 11-7 in the quarterfinals.  Metcalf is 2-0 against Ruschell this season, with a major decision and a pin.

157 Pounds - Matt Ballweg hung in there for a little while, but just outgunned in the second period, and rode nearly the entire third.  It would be great if he could wrestle back well.  First up he'll have Anthony Jones of Michigan State, who beat Ballweg 1-0 in their dual meet.  Hopefully he'll make it over the hump.

165 Pounds - Ryan Morningstar got a quick takedown early on, but couldn't quite keep it going, and reverted to the old familiar Morningstar ways, leaving it close late.  Next up is the #2 seed Colt Sponseller.  Ryan will need to pick it up, as Colt won his quarterfinal match 10-4. 

174 Pounds - After a sluggish pigtail, Borschel turned it on against Robert Kellog of Northwestern, scoring a major decision victory.  Next up, he'll get Quentin Wright, who scored a thrilling last-second victory over Trevor Perry of Indiana, scoring an escape and takedown in the last 18 seconds of the match.  Borschel (as someone once told me, I can't remember who) seems to get better the further from weigh-in he gets.  It's nothing to do with cutting, Borschel doesn't cut too terribly hard, it's just a strange thing people have noticed.

184 Pounds - Phil Keddy gave the crowd quite a scare, being tied 3-3 heading into the final period.  He pulled away a bit with a late takedown and riding time, but it wasn't the sort of performance you'd hope to see with Pucillo up next.  Pucillo scored a very quick pin of Palmieri in their match-up.

197 Pounds - Chad Beatty really turned it on in his quarterfinal match, scoring an 11-5 victory over #6-seeded Matt Powless, but he wasn't happy.  He wants bonus points, and he didn't get them.  He'll have his ahnds full in the semi finals against #2-seeded Tyrel Todd, who needed only 1:37 to pin Logan Brown of Purdue.  This would be a huge win for Beatty, and as the two on the other side of the bracket, Patrick Bond and Dallas Herbst, won their matches 5-2 and 3-0, respectively. 

285 Pounds - Dan Erekson dominated the mat in his quarterfinal battle, with a 6-0 win over Chris Kasten of Purdue, but again, he was furustrated with the lack of bonus points.  He's got John Wise up next, with whom he had one of the most exciting heavyweight contests I've ever seen back in Carver, a match Erekson won 9-8.  The other side of the heavyweight bracket went just about as planned, with Berhow and Massey each winning, but neither scoring bonus points.

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