Friday, March 21, 2008

Wrestling Wreport: NCAA Championship Update

After one day of wrestling Penn State still has three wrestlers alive for a national championship. The Nittany Lions entered the day with 7 and 6 are still alive. Bubba Jenkins, Dan Vallimont, and Phil Davis all went 2-0 and advanced to today's quarterfinal round. Phil Bomberger is the only Penn State wrestler to be eliminated.


Phil Bomberger

Still Alive

125 - Mark McKnight (unranked)

Senior Mark McKnight had the only upset for Penn State when the unranked wrestler beat #12 Tyler Shinn of Oklahoma State 5-1 in round one. Mark then lost a tough 5-2 decision to #5 Charlie Falck of Iowa to drop down to the wrestle-backs and will face unranked Marcus Orozco of UC-Davis.

141 - Garrett Scott (#12 seed)

Garrett Scott's first taste of NCAA championship wrestling started out with a bang when he pinned Carter Downing of Wyoming in 3:32. Scott then had a lead against #5 Manuel Rivera of Minnesota in his second match but reinjured the same knee that kept him out of action a week ago in the Big Ten's. Scott lost a tough 8-5 decision and will face #11 Keith Sulzer of Northwestern.

165 - Dave Rella (unranked)

Coming off of a great effort in the Big Ten championship Dave Rella looked to keep momentum going in the NCAA's. Unfortunately, Rella came up just short in the opening round losing a tough 3-1 decision to #12 Jarrod King of Edinboro. Rella could not break through in the final period to get the tying takedown. Dave came back strong in the wrestle-backs and posted a strong 14-5 major decision over Ryan Patrovich of Hofstra. Rella will face #11 Kurt Gross of Kent State in the next round of consolations.

In the Quarterfinals

149 - Bubba Jenkins (#6 seed)

Bubba started the day off dominating unranked Bryce Saddoris of Navy for a 15-5 major decision. Jenkins then squeaked by #11 Ryan Lang of Northwestern 4-3 a match that went down to the wire. Jenkins beat Lang earlier this season in a high scoring 11-8 but this match was a little less open. Bubba now gets the task of taking on third ranked J.P. O'Connor of Harvard.

157 - Dan Vallimont (#3 seed)

Vallimont survived a first round scare when he beat unranked Seth Garvin of Chattanooga in sudden-victory overtime 8-6. Vallimont bounced back to beat another unranked wrestler, Steven Brown of Central Michigan, 10-7 and will face #11 Tyler Sherfey of Boise State.

197 - Phil Davis (#2 seed)

While the other two quarterfinalists are sophomores and have lots of wrestling left this is Phil Davis' last chance as he looks to end his Penn State career with a national championship. Davis looks good so far as he's tore through two unranked wrestlers in dominating fashion pinning Riley Orozco of Cal-State Bakersfield in 1:47 and beating Logan Brown of Purdue 9-2. Davis now gets #7 Hudson Taylor of Maryland.

Wrestling starts at 11:00 AM this morning and can be seen live on ESPN-U. I'll be heading to the local watering hole to catch the action so be sure to check back in for updates.

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