NEW YORK, N.Y. – From unseeded to NCAA All-American!
Casey Kent posted a 6-2 record at the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships to finish fourth overall – and become the University of Pennsylvania’s 28th wrestling All-American.
As a team, Penn finished with 23.5 points, good for a 20th-place finish. The 23.5 points are the most by the Quakers at the NCAA Championships since scoring 28.0 at the 2007 NCAA Championships. The Top-20 finish for Penn is the Red and Blue’s first since taking 12th with 51.0 points in 2006.
Casey’s Quest …Penn’s 28th NCAA All-American
Kent, who has one year of eligibility remaining, continued his climb with an impressive 9-5 win over Indiana’s No. 12 Nathan Jackson in the Consolation Semifinals. Kent trailed, 2-1, after one period but went to work on top as he had done throughout the tournament. Jackson chose down for the second period, and Kent worked a turn off a mat return to take a 5-2 lead. The match would enter the third period tied, 5-5, after an escape and takedown for Jackson near the end of the middle period, but a quick escape for Kent and a takedown off a cradle with 0:45 to go sealed the win over a wrestler in Jackson who had reached the semifinals.
In the Third Place match, Kent ran into the wrestler he began his tournament against – No. 8 seed Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech. Kent had earned the win way back in Thursday’s Session I, but Epperly was able to reverse the result via an 8-4 decision. Epperly scored a takedown in the first period, and added a reversal in the second after Kent was called for an illegal hold while trying to stretch Epperly out from top position. In the third, Kent tried a lat drop to get back in the match, but the attempt backfired and Epperly scored the final takedown.
From the brink of elimination to the All-American podium, unseeded Casey Kent pinned his way to becoming Penn’s 28th NCAA All-American in wrestling with a gritty performance on Day Two.
As starts to a match go, Kent might have wished he had dialed up a better one than he had in his Consolation Third Round match with Nebraska’s No. 16 Micah Barnes. Kent conceded a big move in the first period, spotting Barnes an 8-1 lead after one period – a deficit which grew to 10-3 at the conclusion of two periods.
Faced with his season coming to an end, Kent went big – throwing Barnes to his back and securing the fall at 5:30 to put himself in position for a spot on the All-American podium.
Kent racked up bonus points in all four of his matches on Day Two – including pins in three consecutive bouts.
In the Round of 12, Kent came out firing against Oklahoma’s Matt Reed, scoring a takedown in the first period and building over two minutes of riding time. With a 3-0 lead in the third period, Kent put himself in position for the fall with a whirling win of a scramble and secured his second pin of the tournament at 6:49 to land himself a spot on the podium.
In the Consolation Quarterfinals, Kent picked up right where he left off. With a 1-0 lead in the third period, Kent turned No. 7 seed Cody Walters of Ohio and picked up the fall at 5:23
Kent was picking up bonus points throughout Day Two for the Quakers. Earlier in the session, he added a second win to his national tournament resume with an 8-0 major decision over South Dakota State’s David Kocer. Kent jumped out quickly, building a 5-0 lead after the first period. A takedown in the final 20 seconds of the third period secured the major decision.
Casey Kent started his tournament with the first of his four wins over ranked opponents. He knocked off returning All-American Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech – the No. 8 seed – via a 3-2 decision in the first round. Kent rode strong in the second period, building up 1:33 of riding time before Epperly scored a reversal. Kent would escape quickly from that – and replicate the escape at the start of the third. Both quick exits kept his riding time at 1:12, and that was the difference as Epperly was unable to mount any offense in the final minute.
In the second round, Kent conceded two big moves early – a pair of six-point throws for No. 9 Chandler Rogers who would go on to counter a late lateral drop attempt from Kent into a fall at 6:59.
174: Casey Kent – FOURTH PLACE
First Round: def. #8 Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech), 3-2
Second Round: lost to #9 Chandler Rogers (Oklahoma State), FALL 6:59
Consolation Second Round: def David Kocer (South Dakota St.), 8-0
Consolation Third Round: def. #16 Micah Barnes (Nebraska) FALL 5:30
Round of 12: def. Matt Reed (Oklahoma), FALL 6:49
Consolation Quarterfinals: def. #7 Cody Walters (Ohio), FALL 5:23
Consolation Semifinals: def. #12 Nathan Jackson (Indiana), 9-5
Third Place Match: lost to #8 Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech), 8-4
133: Caleb Richardson
Preliminary Round: lost to Rossi Bruno (Michigan), 2-1 TB
Consolation Preliminary Round: lost to Dom Malone (Northwestern), 14-1
157: May Bethea
First Round: def. #14 Austin Matthews (Edinboro), 8-7
Second Round: lost to #3 Jason Nolf (Penn State), 25-10
Consolation Second Round: lost to Tyler Berger (Nebraska), 7-4
184: #11 Lorenzo Thomas
First Round: def. Bubba Scheffel (West Virginia), 4-2
Second Round: def. #6 Blake Stauffer (Arizona State), 10-1
Quarterfinals: lost to #14 Willie Miklus (Missouri), 16-6
Round of 12: lost to #9 Matthew Miller (Navy), FALL 1:50