March 15, 2012
Watch Video from Session I on Wildcats All Access!
2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships – Session II
Site: Scottrade Center (St. Louis, Mo.)
NU Result: T-9/18.0 points
Championship Website: NCAA.com
Live Stats & Updated Brackets: TrackWrestling.com
Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLive / #d1wrestle / #NCAAWrestle
2012 NCAA Championship Bracket
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
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- All six of Northwestern’s qualifiers are still alive at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The ’Cats once again went 4-2 in Session II as Jason Welch (157) and Mike McMullan (Hwt) advanced to the quarterfinals after winning their second-round matches while Kaleb Friedley (149) and Pierce Harger (165) won their consolation bouts. Levi Mele (125) and Lee Munster (174) are also still fighting in the wrestlebacks. Northwestern had a number of exciting matches in Session II with two falls and a match that took 11 minutes to determine the winner. In total, Northwestern is 8-4 after day one and each qualifier has at least one win.
Northwestern moved into the top 10 in the team standings and is tied with Lehigh and Nebraska for ninth with 18.0 points.
No. 3 Jason Welch punched his ticket to the 157 quarterfinals, defeating Purdue’s Tommy Churchard for the second time this season. Welch jumped out to a 4-1 first-period lead with two takedowns and added a reversal and takedown in the second to lead, 8-2. Churchard scored his final points off a reversal and Welch tacked on a point after 3:31 of riding time for the 10-4 win. Welch now meets No. 11 seed James Green of Nebraska for the first time this season.
Redshirt freshman Mike McMullan scored an upset as the No. 10 seed at heavyweight, pinning Ohio’s No. 7 Jeremy Johnson in the second round. McMullan was aggressive early, scoring a quick takedown and had the 4-2 lead at the end of the first. Johnson chose down to start the second and escaped, putting the score at 4-3 but McMullan ended the match early, pinning the Bobcat in 4:05. The win avenged McMullan’s 3-1 loss to Johnson during the Michigan State Open in November. On Friday morning, McMullan faces second-seeded Tony Nelson in the quarterfinals, an opponent he lost by one point (4-3) to in the Big Ten championship semifinal match.
It took 11 minutes of wrestling to decide the match between No. 8 Lee Munster and Ohio State’s No. 9 Nick Heflin at 174. Both wrestlers scored escapes in regulation, taking a 1-1 tie into sudden victory. Neither wrestler scored in the first overtime, sending the match to two 30 second tiebreakers. Munster started the first 30 seconds down and escaped, taking the 2-1 lead but Heflin would also escape, tying the score at 2-2 after nine minutes of wrestling. After a second scoreless sudden victory period, the two fought to another set of tiebreakers. Heflin began down first and escaped to lead 3-2 and rode out Munster in the final 30 seconds, edging the NU wrestler, 3-2. Munster now meets Navy’s Peter Huntley in the consolation round.
There was another No. 8/No. 9 matchup in the championship round at 125 lbs. as ninth-seeded Levi Mele met Stanford’s No. 8 Ryan Mango. Mele scored six escapes, but it wasn’t enough to advance as Mango won with a 15-6 major decision. Mele faces Oregon State’s Pat Rollins in the wrestleback round.
Sophomore Kaleb Friedley stayed alive in the 149 wrestleback round and scored the third fall of the tournament for Northwestern. He matched up with Lock Haven’s Owen Wilkinson who scored the first takedown. Friedley tied things up with a reversal and added three nearfall points to lead 5-2. He then was working for more nearfall points but was awarded the first-period fall at the 2:30 mark. He now faces Virginia Tech’s Nick Brascetta Friday morning.
Redshirt freshman Pierce Harger continued his first trip to NCAA’s with an 8-5 win over Drexel’s Joe Booth in the wrestlebacks. Booth managed the first takedown but Harger took the 4-2 lead into the second with a reversal and two nearfall points. Harger then escaped to lead 5-2 and Booth kept the bout close, scoring a takedown to put the score at 5-4 before the third. Booth then knotted things up at 5-5 with a third-period escape but Harger scored the decisive takedown with 1:38 remaining and finished with 1:53 of riding time in the win. Harger continues his tournament tomorrow morning in Session III against Patrick Graham of Oklahoma.
Northwestern continues action tomorrow with Session III at 10 a.m. and Session IV at 6 p.m. inside the Scottrade Center.
Session II - Championship Round
125: No. 8 Ryan Mango (Stanford) maj dec No. 9 Levi Mele, 15-6
157: No. 3 Jason Welch dec Tommy Churchard (Purdue), 10-4
174: No. 9 Nick Heflin (OSU) dec No. 8 Lee Munster, 3-2, TB2
Hwt: No. 10 Mike McMullan pins No. 7 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), 4:05
149: Kaleb Friedley pins Owen Wilkinson (Lock Haven), 2:30
165: Pierce Harger dec Joe Booth (Drexel), 8-5
Session III Schedule
157: No. 3 Jason Welch vs. No. 11 James Green (Nebraska)
Hwt: No. 10 Mike McMullan vs. No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota)
Previous meeting: Nelson dec McMullan, 4-3 at Big Ten championship semifinals, 3/3/12
125: No. 9 Levi Mele vs. Pat Rollins (Oregon State)
149: Kaleb Friedley vs. Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech)
165: Pierce Harger vs. Patrick Graham (Oklahoma)
174: No. 8 Lee Munster vs. Peter Huntley (Navy)
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