March 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Senior heavyweight Mike McClure and junior 184-pounder John Rizqallah both won their first-round matches in the first session of the NCAA Wrestling Championships Thursday afternoon at the Chesapeake Energy Center.
Seeded seventh at heavyweight, McClure edged Pittsburgh's Patrick Tasser in sudden victory, 6-4. McClure trailed 2-1 entering the third period, but quickly escaped to make it 3-2. He recorded a takedown with 1:16 remaining to take a 4-3 advantage, but Tasser escaped to tie it at 4. With riding time a non-factor, the matched headed into sudden-victory overtime. McClure sealed the victory with the clinching takedown 51 seconds into the extra period.
McClure will face 10th-seeded Jeremy Johnson of Ohio in the second round.
Rizqallah also posted a come-from-behind victory with a 7-3 decision over Lock Haven's Fred Garcia. Rizqallah, who beat Garcia earlier in the season in the title match at the Cradle Gear Invitational, gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-1 after two periods. In the third, Rizqallah came to life, tying the score at 2 on an escape and then adding two takedowns and riding time for the 7-3 win.
Rizqallah will take on third-seeded Gabriel Dean of Cornell in the second round.
Session two of the NCAA Wrestling Championships begins tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Every
match of the championships is being streamed live on WatchESPN.com.