OKLAHOMA CITY – After Day One of the NCAA Championships, Penn will send one wrestler on to Day Two in search of a podium finish.
No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas opened the scoring in his match with Austin Moorehead of Oregon State with a takedown and three nearfall to take a 5-0 lead. Moorehead would rally a bit before the first period closed, reversing Thomas to cut the Quaker’s lead to 5-2. Thomas would counter with a reversal of his own in the second period, taking a 7-2 lead to the third. Moorehead chose neutral, but Thomas scored a crucial takedown to take a 9-2 lead. In range of a major decision, Thomas had to scramble following a Moorehead reversal late in the third frame, and did so with a reversal of his own in the final seconds to add riding time and lock up a 12-4 major decision.
In his Second Round match, Thomas was unable to get out from under No. 6 seed Jacob Swartz of Boise State in the second period, and an escape from Swartz to start the third was enough in a 2-0 decision. Thomas was scrambling in the final minute and appeared to have come out the back door with side control, but he didn’t secure enough control for the call and was unable to tie the match. A final shot attempt in the last 10 seconds also was defended and denied on the edge. Thomas will wrestle Friday morning in the consolation second round. His opponent will be two-time All-American and No. 5 seed Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa.
The morning session saw Penn put together three close calls without a victory as its three unseeded wrestlers took seeded opponents to the brink before dropping close decisions.
Caleb Richardson stunned No. 9 seed Tyler Cox of Wyoming, scoring a takedown and adding two nearfall on a cradle at the 1:50 mark. Cox countered, though, with an escape and a takedown in quick fashion. A Richardson escape kept him ahead, 5-3, after one period. In the second, Richardson worked an escape early to build a three-point lead, but a Cox takedown closed the gap and allowed him to build 1:52 of riding time after two periods. In the third, Cox escaped early to tie the bout, and added a takedown with one minute remaining. Richardson attempted a roll late, but it didn’t pay off and riding time made it a 9-6 decision for Cox.
In his wrestleback match, Richardson did his best to negate two takedowns by Kory Mines of Edinboro, bringing the match to the third period just 4-3 in favor of the Fighting Scot, but an escape and riding time from Mines in the third were enough for a 6-3 final score.
Casey Kent found himself down early, 5-0, to No. 4 seed Steven Monk of North Dakota State in their bout at 165 pounds after a takedown and three backpoints, but Kent slowly crawled back into the match with an escape before the buzzer in the first and an early escape in the second. In the third period, he would ride Monk enough to erase riding time before trying to get to work. Kent would notch a takedown to get within two, but that was all as a final attempt went by the wayside in a 7-4 loss.
Kent’s tournament came to an end with a late 2-1 loss to John Staudenmayer of North Carolina. Kent had escapes in the second to lead, 1-0, after two periods but a reversal by Staudenmayer with 25 seconds to go was the difference.
Unseeded Brad Wukie found the first points of his match with No. 7 seed Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh, connecting on a double at 2:30. Wilps escaped before the first period ended, and then tied the match with an escape in the second period. Wilps would take the lead on his only takedown of the match before the close of the second period. Wukie chose neutral for the third, but could not secure a tying takedown in a 4-2 loss.
Wukie’s NCAA Tournament came to an end on the wrong side of a wild 13-11 match with Joe Latham of Oregon State. Wukie led, 6-1, early in the bout after two takedowns and a set of nearfall, but a takedown from Latham in the last minute of the match completed the comeback.
Thomas will return to competition on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST on ESPNU and ESPN3.
125 – Caleb Richardson
First Round: lost to #9 Tyler Cox (Wyoming), 9-6
Consolation First Round: lost to Kory Mines (Edinboro), 6-3
165 – Casey Kent
First Round: lost to #4 Steven Monk (North Dakota St.), 7-4
Consolation First Round: lost to John Staudenmayer (North Carolina), 2-1
174 – Brad Wukie
First Round: lost to #7 Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh), 4-2
Consolation First Round: lost to Joe Latham (Oregon State), 13-11
184 - #11 Lorenzo Thomas
First Round: def. Austin Moorehead (Oregon State), 12-4
Second Round: lost to #6 Jacob Swartz (Boise St.), 2-0
ESPN/ESPNU/ESPN3/WatchESPN Live Match Coverage
Session I (Thursday, March 20 at 12 p.m. EST) – ESPNU/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Session II (Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. EST) – ESPNU/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Session III (Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m. EST) – ESPNU/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Session IV (Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m. EST) – ESPN/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Session V (Saturday, March 22 at 11 a.m. EST) – ESPNU/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Session VI (Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m. EST) – ESPN/ESPN3/WatchESPN
In addition to the wide-ranging coverage on ESPN3/WatchESPN each specific mat can be viewed. Stay tuned to TrackWrestling or @PennWrestling on Twitter for upcoming mat assignments.
ESPN Special Coverage
NCAA Wrestling Championships Scoreboard (ESPN3) | 3/20 at 12 p.m. EST
NCAA Wrestling Championships Scoreboard (ESPN3) | 3/20 at 7 p.m. EST
NCAA Wrestling Championships Scoreboard (ESPN3) | 3/21 at 11 a.m. EST
NCAA Wrestling Championships Scoreboard (ESPN3) | 3/21 at 8 p.m. EST
NCAA Wrestling Championships Scoreboard (ESPN3) | 3/22 at 11 a.m. EST
NCAA Wrestling Championships Inside The Mat (ESPN3) | 3/22 at 8 p.m. EST