NEW YORK, N.Y. – What started out as a frustrating Session III at the 2016 NCAA Championships for the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team ended with a bang as unseeded Casey Kent pulled off a huge comeback which was punctuated with a pin to send a pair of Quakers to the Round of 12 – one win away from All-American honors.
In the Consolation Third Round, Kent battled back from a massive deficit to earn a spot in the Round of 12 with a pin of No. 16 Micah Barnes of Nebraska. Kent struggled in the first period, falling behind 8-1 off two takedowns and a set of nearfall. Kent’s deficit was 10-3 after the second period, and he entered the third frame needing a big move. That move came just 15 seconds in as he threw Barnes to his back and worked the fall at 5:30.
Earlier in the session, Kent had 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.
Penn’s lone quarterfinalist, No. 11 seed Lorenzo Thomas came up short in his bid to reach the semis, suffering a loss to No. 14 Willie Miklus of Missouri. For the second consecutive year, Thomas scored two takedowns in the first period to take a 4-2 lead over Miklus. For the second consecutive year, Thomas could not hang on to that lead as Miklus found two sets of four-point nearfall to build to a 16-6 win. Miklus changed the match with a strong ride in the second period, scoring four nearfall on a cradle to take a 6-4 lead. In the third period, Thomas was in on a shot, but Miklus got the better of the scramble to get the takedown and four backpoints on the edge of the mat to take a 13-4 lead.
May Bethea connected on the first takedown against Nebraska’s Tyler Berger in a consolation bout at 157 pounds. Berger would build to a 4-3 lead after two periods, but a Bethea escape early tied the match up. Berger would find the winning score late in the third and ride out for a 7-4 decision.
Session IV begins at 8 p.m. on ESPN for coverage of the semifinals and WatchESPN for the Round of 12 bouts.
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
174: Casey Kent
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:
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: