NCAA Wrestling Championships: Upsets highlight first day of nationals

Three-time defending champion Penn State leads going into Friday’s action. Oklahoma State is tied for second, and OU is tied for fourth.
by Trent Shadid Published: March 20, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma State's Edeward Klimara takes on Appalachian State's Dominic Parisi in the 125 pound match during the 2014 NCAA Div. 1 Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Edeward Klimara takes on Appalachian State's Dominic Parisi in the 125 pound match during the 2014 NCAA Div. 1 Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Much like the regular season, there was no shortage of upsets Thursday during the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The national team title contenders weren’t spared, making for a tight race at the top heading into Friday.

Three-time defending champion Penn State holds the lead with 26.5 points, followed by Oklahoma State and Minnesota in second with 21.5 points. Oklahoma and Iowa are tied for fourth with 20.5 points.

All five teams had wrestlers fall victim to upsets in first- and second-round championship matches.

Minnesota was the first to have a highly seeded wrestler go down as No. 2 seed Nick Dardanes dropped a first-round decision to The Citadel’s Matthew Frisch.

Iowa also suffered a surprising defeat in the first round when No. 5 seed Nick Moore fell to unseeded Josh Veltre of Bloomsburg. Moments later, another No. 5 seed went down for Iowa as Ethen Lofthouse was knocked off by unseeded Nick Avery of Edinboro at 184 pounds.

“Takedowns were hard, and points were hard to get (in the first round),” said Iowa coach Tom Brands. “It doesn’t matter why, just go do (it). I don’t know if why is relevant to me and let’s not try to figure it out. Let’s go out there with action. We have a lot of ability. It’s about one match at a time to (come back) and get as high on the stand as you can. We’ve got a lot of work to do on both sides of the bracket.”

With the losses for Minnesota and Iowa, Penn State and Oklahoma State jumped out in front heading into Session II. But that’s when Penn State and OSU would be dealt disappointing losses of their own.

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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