Minnesota’s Scott Schiller tops Iowa State’s Kyven Gadson in the third-place match at the NCAA Championships on Saturday morning. Tony Rotundo photo.
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s only fitting that it’s going to be a fight to the finish at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Minnesota, Penn State and Oklahoma State are still in the hunt to win a gold trophy after the NCAA placing matches Saturday morning before a crowd of 15,587 fans Saturday morning at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Second-ranked Minnesota moved into the lead with 104 points with top-ranked Penn State close behind at 101.5 and third-ranked Oklahoma State third with 87.5.
The finals are set for 7 p.m. Saturday and will be televised on ESPN.
Minnesota, seeking its fourth title since 2001 and first since 2007, has two finalists in two-time NCAA champion Tony Nelson (285 pounds) and two-time NCAA finalist Dylan Ness (157).
“Our guys are fighting great out there,” Minnesota coach J Robinson said. “They’re loose, they’re focused, they’re concentrated, and that’s what we wanted. They’re fighting for points and fighting for bonus points. We have a real close team and they’re fighting for each other.”
Penn State, seeking its fourth straight team title, has two finalists in two-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth (184) and NCAA champion David Taylor (165).
“We knew this was going to be tough and tight,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “Our guys came through this morning to give us a chance tonight. We still have a chance to win a national title. What more can you want?”
Oklahoma State, seeking a record 35th national team title and first since 2006, is still alive as well with four finalists. The Cowboys are led by NCAA champion Chris Perry (174) and two-time finalist Tyler Caldwell (165). OSU also has finalists in two-time All-American Alex Dieringer (157) and All-American Josh Kindig (149).
The match order for the finals has been set with the 165 finals match between Taylor and Caldwell scheduled to conclude what has been an entertaining and hard-fought three days in Oklahoma City.
Each finals winner will score an additional four points for his team. Bonus points, with two for a fall, 1.5 for a technical fall and one for a major decision, are expected to factor into the team equation as well.
Taylor beat Caldwell 5-2 in a dual this season.
Fourth-ranked Iowa has locked up fourth place with 74.5 points. Hawkeye Tony Ramos is shooting for the title at 133 after placing second last year.
Ohio State junior Logan Stieber (141) is gunning for his third straight NCAA title.
Oklahoma senior Andrew Howe will be looking for his second national title in a battle against Perry. They are 1-1 against each other this season, with Perry winning the most recent meeting in the Big 12 finals. Howe won an NCAA title in 2010 for Wisconsin.
Illinois junior Jesse Delgado is looking to repeat as champion at 125.
March 22, Oklahoma City
Team scoring (Top 10)
Minnesota 104, Penn State 101.5, Oklahoma State 87.5, Iowa 74.5, Edinboro 62, Cornell 53, Ohio State 52, Virginia Tech 49, Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 43.5
1st – Jesse Delgado (Illinois) vs. Nahshon Garrett (Cornell)
3rd – Nico Megaludis (Penn State) dec. Joey Dance (Virginia Tech), 6-1
5th – Cory Clark (Iowa) dec. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa), 8-1
7th – Darian Cruz (Lehigh) dec. Earl Hall (Iowa State), 2-1 TB2
1st - Tony Ramos (Iowa) vs. Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
3rd – Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) dec. A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), 1-0
5th – David Thorn (Minnesota) dec. Mason Beckman (Lehigh), 5-3
7th – Joe Roth (Central Michigan) dec. Cody Brewer (Oklahoma), 8-6
1st – Logan Stieber (Ohio State) vs. Devin Carter (Virginia Tech)
3rd – Mitchell Port (Edinboro) dec. Evan Henderson (North Carolina), 9-1
5th – Zain Retherford (Penn State) won by medical forfeit over Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa)
7th – Stephen Dutton (Michigan) dec. Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall), 6-5
1st – Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) vs. Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State)
3rd – Eric Grajales (Michigan) dec. David Habat (Edinboro), 4-2
5th – Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh), 3-0
7th – James English (Penn State) dec. Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), 2-1 TB1
1st – Dylan Ness (Minnesota) vs. Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State)
3rd – James Green (Nebraska) dec. Ian Miller (Kent State), 13-1
5th – Derek St. John (Iowa) won by medical forfeit over Brian Realbuto (Cornell)
7th – Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) dec. Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers), 2-0
1st – David Taylor (Penn State) vs. Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State)
3rd – Steven Monk (North Dakota State) pinned Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 6:20
5th – Michael Moreno (Iowa State) dec. Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Citadel) 9-3
7th – Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota) dec. Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 6-2
1st – Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) vs. Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)
3rd – Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. Robert Kokesh (Nebraska), 3-1 TB1
5th – Matt Brown (Penn State) dec. Mike Evans (Iowa), 6-3
7th – Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh) dec. Bryce Hammond (CSU Bakersfield), 4-2
1st – Ed Ruth (Penn State) vs. Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland)
3rd – Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. Jack Dechow (Old Dominion), 5-4
5th – Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) won by tech. fall over Lawrence Thomas (Penn), 18-2
7th – Jacob Swartz (Boise State) dec. Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 6-1
1st – Nick Heflin (Ohio State) vs. J’Den Cox (Missouri)
3rd – Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. Kyven Gadson (Iowa State), 9-6
5th – Conner Hartmann (Duke) won by medical forfeit over Chris Penny (Virginia Tech)
7th – Morgan McIntosh (Penn State) dec. Nathan Burak (Iowa), 3-1
1st – Tony Nelson (Minnesota) vs. Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State)
3rd – Mike McMullan (Northwestern) dec. Bobby Telford (Iowa), 3-1
5th – Mike McClure (Michigan State) dec. Adam Chalfant (Indiana), 3-2
7th – Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) dec. Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State), 4-2