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    'Cats Begin NCAA Championships With Four Wins

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Levi Mele recorded his team-leading 13th fall in Session I of the NCAA championships.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Levi Mele recorded his team-leading 13th fall in Session I of the NCAA championships.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    March 15, 2012

    Watch Video from Session I on Wildcats All Access!

    2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships – Session I
    Site: Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Mo.)
    NU Result: T-13/10 points
    Championship Website: NCAA.com
    Live Stats & Updated Brackets: TrackWrestling.com 
    Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLive / #d1wrestle / #NCAAWrestle

    Complete Schedule
    Session II (Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. CT): ESPN3.com
    Session III (Friday, March 16, 10 a.m. CT): ESPNU / ESPN3.com
    Session IV (Friday, March 16, 6 p.m. CT): ESPNU / ESPN3.com
    Session V (Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. CT): ESPNU / ESPN3.com
    Session VI (Saturday, March 17, 6:30 p.m. CT): ESPN / ESPN3.com

    NCAA Championships Brackets Get Acrobat Reader

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Northwestern had a solid showing at Session I of the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships, going 4-2 in opening round matches. Levi Mele (125), Jason Welch (157), Lee Munster (174) and Mike McMullan (Hwt) continue to wrestle in the championship round while Kaleb Friedley (149) and Pierce Harger (165) are still fighting in the wrestleback round. Northwestern sits in a five-way tie for 13th place with 10 points after Session I.

    Ninth-seeded Levi Mele got things off to a good start for Northwestern, tallying his team-leading 13th fall of the season at 125. Mele faced Princeton’s Garrett Frey for the second time this season and after scoring the first takedown, he pinned Frey in 2:38. Mele now meets Stanford’s No. 8 seed Ryan Mango in tonight’s second round. These two met during their freshmen seasons two years ago with Mango edging Mele, 10-9.

    No. 3 Jason Welch also won his first match of the tournament at 157, defeating Oklahoma’s Matt Lester for a second time this season, 4-1. Welch scored the first takedown and racked up 1:40 of RT by the end of the first. He chose down to start the second and was unable to escape as Lester erased Welch’s riding time. After a neutral third-period start, Welch added another takedown to lead 4-0 but Lester got on the board with 27 seconds left, scoring his only point off an escape. Welch now faces another regular-season opponent as he takes on Purdue’s Tommy Churchard, whom he pinned in 1:12 during the dual season, in Session II.

    Redshirt freshman Lee Munster was victorious in his first NCAA championships match in Session I, defeating Pitt’s Ethan Headlee at 174. Munster, the No. 9 seed, scored the first takedown but Headlee countered with a reversal, tying the score at 2-2 heading into the second. Neither wrestler scored in the second as Munster erased Headlee’s riding time, staying on top for the entire period. In the third, Munster outscored Headlee 6-0, using a takedown, three nearfall points and 1:48 of riding time to win, 8-2. Munster faces Ohio State’s No. 9 seed Nick Heflin in a re-match from the Big Ten championships. Munster won the first meeting, 4-2 in the consolation semifinals.

    No. 10 Mike McMullan needed overtime, but he’s still alive in the championship round at heavyweight. The redshirt freshman exchanged second and third-period escapes with Kent State’s Brendan Barlow, ending regulation 1-1. With riding time not a factor, the two battled in sudden victory and McMullan scored the match-winning takedown with 18 seconds left. He now looks to avenge a regular season loss as he meets No. 7 Jeremy Johnson of Ohio University in the second round. Johnson edged McMullan 3-1 in his third match of the season at the Keystone Classic in November.

    Sophomore Kaleb Friedley lost a tough match against No. 3 seed Cole VonOhlen of Air Force at 149. Friedley had the 5-0 lead early in the first period but surrendered five points as the score was knotted 5-5 heading into the second. VonOhlen added a reversal to lead 7-5 before pinning Friedley in 4:34. The NU wrestler now meets Lock Haven’s Owen Wilkinson in the wrestleback round tonight.

    Redshirt freshman Pierce Harger lost a close match to Cornell’s Marshall Peppelman in the first round. Peppelman scored the first takedown but Harger’s reversal tied things at 2-2 at the end of the first. After a neutral start, neither wrestler scored in the second and Harger chose down to begin the third. Peppelman managed to turn Harger for three points and advanced with a 5-2 decision. Harger continues the tournament in the wrestlebacks, facing first-time opponent Joe Booth of Drexel.

    Session II begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. inside the Scottrade Center.

    Session I - Championship Round
    125: No. 9 Levi Mele pins Garrett Frey (Princeton), 2:38
    149: No. 3 Cole VonOhlen (Air Force) pins Kaleb Friedley, 4:34
    157: No. 3 Jason Welch dec Matt Lester (Oklahoma), 4-1
    165: Marshall Peppelman (Cornell) dec Pierce Harger, 5-2
    174: No. 9 Lee Munster dec Ethan Headlee (Pittsburgh), 8-2
    Hwt: No. 10 Mike McMullan dec Brendan Barlow (Kent State), 3-1 SV

    Session II Schedule

    Championship Second Round
    125: No. 9 Levi Mele vs. No. 8 Ryan Mango (Stanford)
    Previous meeting: Mango dec Mele, 10-9 at NU Duals, 11/14/09

    157: No. 3 Jason Welch vs. Tommy Churchard (Purdue)
    Previous meeting: Welch pins Churchard, 1:12 at Purdue dual, 1/29/12

    174: No. 8 Lee Munster vs. No. 9 Nick Heflin (Ohio State)
    Previous meeting: Munster dec Heflin, 4-2 at Big Ten Championships, 3/4/12

    Hwt: No. 10 Mike McMullan vs. No. 7 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio)
    Previous meeting: Johnson dec McMullan, 3-1 at Keystone Classic, 11/12/11

    Wrestlebacks First Round
    149: Kaleb Friedley vs. Owen Wilkinson (Lock Haven)
    First Meeting

    165: Pierce Harger vs. Joe Booth (Drexel)
    First Meeting

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