Eight unseeded wrestlers won their first-day matches to advance to Friday's quarterfinals, while a number of seeded grapplers had their title hopes derailed in Day One at the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Thursday.
The eight non-seeds: 125-pounder Dominic Parisi, Appalachian State; 149 pounders Kevin To of American and Missouri's Drake Houdashelt; 157 pounders David Bonin of Northern Iowa, Josh Demas of Ohio State, and Boise State's Georg Ivanov; and, at 174, Iowa State's Tanner Weatherman, and Pitt's Max Thomusseit.
Among the seeded wrestlers who lost Thursday: Wyoming's Tyler Cox at 125, Minnesota's Dylan Ness and Binghamton's Donnie Vinson at 149, Illinois' Jordan Blanton at 174, and, at 184, Nebraska's Josh Ihnen and Oklahoma State's Chris Chionuma.
The 157 weight class was particularly hard on top seeds, as No. 3 seed Joey Napoli of Lehigh, No. 4 seed James Green of Nebraska, and fifth-seeded James Fleming of Clarion all lost in the opening rounds.
On a brighter note, six freshmen are still in the hunt for an individual title.
Team title race: Defending champ Penn State leads after the first day with 32.5 points. Oklahoma State is 3.5 points behind, with Minnesota in third, with 24 points.
Fall guys: Two wrestlers -- Penn State's Ed Ruth, and Oklahoma State's Alan Gelagoev -- appear to be battling for the Gorriaran Award, presented each year at the NCAAs to the grappler who scores the most pins in the shortest amount of time. Ruth, top seed at 184, pinned Lock Haven's Fred Garcia in 28 seconds in the first round, then scored a fall at 3:42 over Arizona State's Kevin Radford. Gelagoev, seeded third at heavyweight, put Michigan's Ben Apland's shoulders to the mat in just 18 seconds, then pinned Ohio's Jeremy Johnson at :34 in the second round.
According to wrestling historian Jay Hammond, the Cowboy-from-Russia's 18-second fall now ranks as the fastest in NCAA history, beating the previous record set by fellow Oklahoma State heavyweight Earl McCready, who pinned Kansas' Ralph Freese in 19 seconds to win the 1928 NCAA title. (Though, 85 years ago, a wrestler's shoulders had to be held to the mat for a full three seconds, not one sec as today.)
For photos and info on McCready, check out NCAA Heavyweight Champs Yahoo group.
Team Standings after Day One (top ten)
1. Penn State, 32.5 team points
2. Oklahoma State, 29
3. Minnesota, 24
4. Iowa, 22
5. Oregon State, 16
6. Missouri, 14.5
6. Ohio State, 14.5
8. Nebraska, 13.5
9. Oklahoma, 13
10. Boise State, 12
10. Cornell, 12
Want to know more? Check out quarterfinals match-ups here. For complete brackets for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, click here. For a preview of each weight class, take a look at College Wrestling Examiner's exclusive "Mat Bracketology" series... and check out all College Wrestling Examiner articles on the 2013 NCAAs.
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