NCAA Wrestling: Cowboys On Top

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State picked up four falls in the second round and maintained its lead after the first day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. After the first day of action Thursday, Oklahoma State has 36.5 points. Oklahoma is currently in second-place with 24.5.

"It is what you would hope to see," said OSU head coach John Smith. "If you keep wrestling, good things will happen. We put ourselves in good position to pin and then we put our opponents on their backs."

The Cowboys received four falls by their four defending national champions in the second round and have eight falls thus far in the tournament. Zack Esposito and Steve Mocco both recorded falls in the first round, while Coleman Scott pinned two opponents in the wrestlebacks.

The four champions have each recorded bonus points in all of their matches. The Cowboys recorded eight pins, two tech falls and one major decision, to give the Cowboys 11 bonus point wins on the first day of competition.

Nathan Morgan advanced to the quarterfinal round for the second consecutive year by recording a decision over Illinois' Gabriel Flores. Morgan got an escape in the second period and rode Flores for the entire third period to record a 2-0 victory.

Coleman Scott rebounded after suffering an opening round loss by winning a pair of matches in the consolation bracket. Scott needed just 37 seconds to pin Oregon State's Eric Stevenson. He came back to pin Javier Maldonado of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2:12.

Freshman Brandon Mason advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-1 victory over Edinboro's Eric Ring in a tiebreaker.

Defending champs Johny Hendricks and Jake Rosholt kept the momentum going by each recording falls in the second round.

The Cowboys will send six wrestlers, the most by any team in the tournament, to the quarterfinals.

Kevin Ward picked up a tough win in his consolation match against Michigan's Steve Luke, 3-1. The lone loss of the session for the Cowboys came when senior Rusty Blackmon was eliminated by Edinboro's Alex Clemson, 3-1.

Quarterfinal action will begin Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Team Standings
1. Oklahoma State .... 36.5
2. Oklahoma ............ 24.5
3. Edinboro .............. 22.5
Hofstra ................ 22.5
5. Michigan .............. 22.0
Nebraska ............. 22.0

Consolation Pigtail
125 -#6 Coleman Scott Fall Eric Stevenson (Oregon St.); :37

133 - #2 Nathan Morgan Dec. Gabriel Flores (Illinois); 2-0
149 - #3 Zack Esposito Fall Morgan Atkinson (Cal State Fullerton); 4:25
165 - #2 Johny Hendricks Fall Garrett Atkinson (North Carolina); 5:52
174 - #11 Brandon Mason Dec. Eric Ring (Edinboro); 4-1TB
197 - #4 Jake Rosholt Fall Adam Wright (Old Dominion); 1:28
285 - #2 Steve Mocco Fall Andrew Patrick (Boise State); 1:18

Consolation First Round
125 - #6 Coleman Scott Fall Javier Maldonado (Chattanooga); 2:12
157 - Kevin Ward dec. #12 Steve Luke (Michigan); 3-1
184 - Alex Clemsen (Edinboro) dec. Rusty Blackmon; 3-1

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