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Wrestling: Ohio State finishes first day at NCAA championships in first place

Ohio State’s Kollin Moore motions to the crowd during in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

The No. 2 Ohio State wrestling team went 19-1 overall on the first day of the NCAA wrestling championships in Cleveland, with nine wrestlers finishing 2-0 in their respective matches and advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals.

The Buckeyes left Quicken Loans Arena in first place with 36 team points, with No. 1 Penn State in second at 28.5 and No. 7 Iowa in third with 27. Just like Ohio State, Penn State has nine wrestlers returning to the arena for the quarterfinals.

The only Ohio State wrestler not competing in the quarterfinals is No. 13 seed Te’Shan Campbell, who lost 8-0 to Rider No. 4 seed Chad Walsh at 165 pounds in the second round. He can continue to score points for the team in the consolation bracket.

Seven of the nine Ohio State wrestlers who advanced are the higher seed preceding their quarterfinal bouts Friday. No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes will face North Carolina No. 4 seed Troy Heilmann at 149 pounds and No. 6 Bo Jordan will take on Missouri No. 3 seed Daniel Lewis at 174 pounds. Lewis is 31-0 this season and is one of three undefeated wrestlers in his weight class.

Hayes was in a tough spot against Michigan redshirt junior Malik Amine, but somehow found a way to survive the first round. Competing in a sudden victory round tied 3-3, Amine scored a reversal to go up 5-3.

After a stalling point for Hayes, he scored a reversal inside the last 20 seconds to win 6-5. Hayes dispatched of Virginia Tech No. 12 seed Ryan Blees 12-6 in the second round.

The lightweight classes for the Buckeyes each had successful first days. Ohio State No. 2 seed Nathan Tomasello pinned Stanford’s Gabe Townsell in his first-round matchup, then advanced past Arizona State No. 15 seed Ryan Millhof, who suffered an injury.

At 133 pounds, Ohio State No. 3 seed Luke Pletcher found his way into the quarterfinals after a 4-3 decision against Edinboro No. 14 Korbin Myers. The Big Ten champion at 141 pounds, No. 4 seed Joey McKenna won with a 15-0 second-round technical fall against Lehigh No. 13 Luke Karam.

Ohio State heavyweights held strong as their top seeds indicate. The team’s two No. 1 seeds — Kyle Snyder and Kollin Moore — as well as No. 2 seed Myles Martin all scored bonus points. Snyder and Martin both won with a major decision and a tech fall each, while Moore had a decision and a major decision.

The Buckeyes will begin the third session of the NCAA championships at 11 a.m. Friday. The fourth session will start at 8 p.m. later the same day.

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