125 Pounds – As I had feared, Charlie just wasn't ready for the onslaught from Angel Escobedo when it finally showed up. Angel only won the match 4-0, but Charlie really wasn't able to get much of an offense going. He bounced around with Escobedo's leg above the knee for quite some time, but he couldn't finish the shot. Unfortunately for Charlie, it's not going to get much easier. Up next is Zach Sanders, the youngster from Minnesota who beat Charlie during the dual meet in Iowa City. If Charlie can't find some pacing to his matches and get his offense going, he's not going to find much success. Extremely disappointing showing for Charlie.
133 Pounds – What happened, Dan Dennis? Very few people saw this one coming, as Dan Dennis had been wrestling very, very well. I can't really pinpoint one thing that went wrong for Dan Dennis, it just wasn'tthere. Up next he's got Jimmy Kennedy, who he's defeated twice this year, once at Midlands and once in the dual meet. After that he'll get Strayer or Ness. That's a tough weight class, ladies and gentlemen.
141 Pounds – The story remains the same for Alex Tsirtsis. An inability to finish shots quickly and with consistency. He was in plenty, he had chances in overtime, he had chances to get out, and just couldn't make it happen. Knowing he was going to lose on riding time after a second set of 30-second overtimes, he went for a bit inside trip and got taken down. Tsirtsis has Mike Thorn of Minnesota up next, followed by either J Jaggers or Keith Sulzer.
149 Pounds - Brent at least got a workout in, this time. Ruschell staved off a few early shots, had Metcalf off balance once or twice, but Metcalf soon wore him down, for a 16-4 victory. His counterpart, Bubba Jenkins, had a really rough match against Nadir of Northwestern. Nadir had opportunities to score late takedowns to steal the match from Jenkins, but couldn't quite pull it out, with Jenkins winning 2-1. Jenkins (sporting a tightly-braided, Allen Iverson-esque hairdo and a skull cap) will have to pick it up if he's going to back up some recent talk in the media.
157 Pounds – Ballweg got bounced by a better wrestler. Not much to say here.
165 Pounds – Ryan Morningstar surprised a lot of people by beating (a bloodied) Colt Sponseller. Morningstar drew the ire of the crowd, crusing to a very slow-paced overtime win, 2-1. Up next is #1-seeded Andrew Howe of Wisconsin. In the dual meet, Howe and Morningstar wrestled to criteria, with Morningstar losing based on delta riding time. Morningstar showed some offense in his match that was exciting to see. He needs to get on those shots early against Howe in the finals. A Big Ten title for Morningstar would be huge for the team, as Wisconsin is one of the teams nipping at the heels of the Hawkeyes.
174 Pounds – We saw the evil Jay Borschel today. Quentin Wright, fueld by the home crowd, hit blast double after blast double, and Jay had no defense for it. He knew not to shoot single legs on Borschel, and was very disciplined. Borschel gets David Rella of Ohio State , followed by Trevor Perry or John Dergo. All three matches are very winnable for Jay, if he can get back to his own offense instead of waiting for someone to take an ill-advised single-leg shot. The trick knee is nice, but it doesn't do much good if your opponent's got you a foot off the ground on a sharp double-leg shot.
184 Pounds – Not to brag or anything but….. I told you so. Phil Keddy wrestled Pucillo tough for much of the match, pushing the pace to his own speed, but had trouble finishing a few shots late in the game. In one of the sudden-victory periods, there was approximately a 15-20 second scramble which was the best, most active, sharpest scramble I've seen from anyone this year, not to mention a pair of 84-pounders. After several rounds of overtime, Phil hit a slick move (inside trip maybe? It was out of focus in my viewfinder…) and took Pucillo directly to his back for a few near-fall points. Up next: Jake Herbert. Sorry folks, no Pucillo-Herbert match-up.
197 Pounds – Chad Beatty injured his leg early on in this match and could not do much of anything. I'd be surprised if he wrestles tomorrow. If he does, it'll be against Gordon Bierschink.
285 Pounds – Dan Erekson really stepped up in his match and put his offense on Jon Wise. It wasn't as entertaining a match as the version in Iowa City, but Erekson controlled the entire thing. He amassed, at one point, nearly three minutes of riding time. Wise made very little attempt to get out from the bottom position, but also didn't give Dan room to make a move toward a pin. Up next in the finals will be Kyle Massey, who Erekson beat 3-2 in Iowa City. I see no reason why he can't do it again.