Spartans Complete Day One at NCAA Wrestling Championships
Defending champ Gomez advances to quarterfinals.
March 18, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. - After two sessions at the NCAA Championships, Michigan State will have five of its six wrestlers advance to Session III on Friday morning. Defending 133-pound national champion Franklin Gomez went 2-0 on Thursday and will compete in the quarterfinals on Friday. David Cheza (149), Anthony Jones Jr. (157), Kyle Bounds (165) and Nick Palmieri (184) all suffered one loss on Thursday and will be in action in the consolation bracket on Friday morning.
"It's good to have five guys going tomorrow," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "Franklin, of course, wrestled just an outstanding match this evening, so he's looking good. For the most part, we wrestled pretty well, and with five guys alive, we can still do some good things."
Cheza and Bounds each got off to good starts in the evening session with wins. Cheza picked up a first-period fall in the first round of consolation matches - pinning Frank Gayeski of Liberty at 2:10. Bounds was also successful, as he registered a 7-1 win over Rob Morrison of Rider.
In his second-round match, Gomez took on Rutgers' Bill Ashnault for the second time this year. In their first meeting at the Spartan Duals earlier this season, Gomez defeated the then 17th-ranked Ashnault, 4-1. Thursday, a focused Gomez got to work early with takedown in the first period. Leading 2-1, Gomez started the second period and down, and got an escape seven seconds in to extend his lead. Later in the round, Gomez made it 5-1 with takedown. Gomez finished with two more near fall points in the third, and got another point with over three minutes of riding time for the 8-1 win.
"I felt a lot better in my second match today, it was like how I was supposed to feel," Gomez said. "I wrestled pretty well and executed my moves."
Gomez will meet Dan Mitcheff, the sixth seed, of Kent State in the quarterfinals on Friday morning.
After a dramatic comeback victory in the early session, Jones met third-seeded Jessee Dong of Virginia Tech in the second round. Jones took Dong to the mat less than two minutes into the bout for the first points of the match. Dong then got consecutive escapes to knot the score at two early in the second period. Jones registered his second takedown with 35 seconds remaining in the second period but, again Dong got two more escapes to tie the score at four heading to the third period. In the third period, Jones started down and couldn't get free from Dong as he controlled the remainder of the bout and won with riding time, 5-4.
Palmieri also took on a third seed, Dustin Kilgore of Kent State, in the second round of the championship bracket. Palmieri scored early in the first period with a takedown, but Kilgore came back with a quick escape and another takedown before getting the fall at 1:34.
Wrestling the No. 10 seed Barrett Abel of UC Davis in the first-round of the 149-pound consolation bracket, Cheza got the Spartans' first upset of the tournament. In a high-scoring first period, where Cheza trailed 5-0 early, he eventually fought back with a late reversal then scored three near fall points before the end of the period. In the second, Cheza got an early escape, followed by a takedown to gain the lead for good. He added another takedown in the third period and then got one more point with riding time for the 12-8 victory.
Bounds picked up the Spartans' final victory of the night, defeating Donnie Jones of West Virginia, 9-4. After a scoreless first period, Bounds started down and got a quick escape, followed by a takedown. Bounds later made it 5-1 with another takedown late in the second period. In the third, Jones made it a one-point match at 5-4, but that was as close as he came as Bounds got an escape, another takedown and then added a point with riding time.
At 174 pounds, Ian Hinton suffered his second loss of the day in the evening session, falling in the consolation round to David Rella of Ohio State, 3-1.
Friday's Session III will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPNU and online at ESPN360.com.