By MICHAEL KINNEY
OKLAHOMA CIY — Oklahoma entered Day 1 of the NCAA Wrestling Championships with eight wrestlers competing for a title. They ended the day with all of them still alive and in contention.
Defending champion and No. 4 seed Kendric Maples dominated No. 13 seed Brody Grothus of Iowa en route to a 13-5 major decision. He will take on No. 5 seed Jason Tsirtsis in the quarterfinals of the 149-pound division.
In the 125-pound weight class, senior All-American Jarrod Patterson rallied for a 2-1 victory against No. 11 seed Robert Deutsh.
Patterson trailed 1-0 heading into the third period before getting a quick escape. Neither wrestler was able to score a point after that. Patterson won due to his riding time.
“I felt if I didn’t get out, I was going to get a takedown as well,” Patterson said. “But I just didn’t want to make a dumb mistake towards the end of the match.”
Patterson will face No. 3 seed Nicholas Megaludis in the quarter finals.
Also advancing were Andrew Howe, who beat No. 15 seed Billy Curling of Old Dominion. He will see Pittsburgh’s Tyler Wilps today.
Travis Rutt (197), Nick Lester (141), Justin DeAngelis (157) and Ron Larson (HWT) are also still alive in the tournament. But they are one loss away from their season coming to an end.
“There were a lot of ups and downs,” Oklahoma coach Mark Cody said. “A lot of emotional ups and downs like it always is at this tournament. But we’re pretty happy with the way things are going. We just have to keep going and get as many guys on the podium as we can.”
Lions lead: Penn State came into the NCAA Championships as the favorite to win the overall team title. After one day of competition, they showed no signs why they shouldn’t have been.
The Nittany Lions took the team lead after the morning session and held onto it. They finished Day 1 with 26.5 points, which was five more than second place Oklahoma State and Minnesota.
Both the Cowboys and Lions have five wrestlers wrestling today in the championship quarterfinals.
“We just have to come back tomorrow with eight guys,” OSU coach John Smith said. “It’s a tough tournament. Overall it’s not a bad day for us.”
Iowa (20.5), Oklahoma (20.5), Ohio State (19.5), Edinboro (18.0), Wisconsin (15.5), Iowa State (15.0), Cornell, Nebraska and Virginia Tech (14.0) rounded out the top 10 heading into today.
Burak with dramatic win: Iowa’s Nathan Burak had one of the most dramatic wins of the night in the 197-pound division. The No. 11 seed trailed 3-2 to No. 6 seed Richard Perry of Bloomsburg.
As the clock began to wind down, Burak snuck in a quick double leg takedown with two seconds left. Perry laid on his back stunned as the whistle blew and the match ended.
Burak joined fellow Hawkeyes Tony Ramos, Derek St. John, Michael Evans and Bobby Telford into the quarterfinals.