Photo Credit: Abbey Carnivale

Bracket Buster Gives Bobcat Big Hope

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174lb Weight Class Top-10

No. 1- Bo Nickali (Penn State)- win

No. 2- Brian Realbuto (Cornell) – loss

No. 3- Blaise Butler (Missouri)- loss

No. 4 – Ethan Ramos (North Carolina) loss.

No. 5- Zach Brunson (Illinois)- win

No. 6- Bryce Hammond (CSU Bakersfield) – win

No. 7- Cody Walters (Ohio) – Win

Ohio’s Cody Walters is in a great position after the first round of the national tournament after he beat David Kocer from San Diego State, 7-3. As pointed out above, three out of the top seven have been sent to the wrestlebacks bracket after upset losses. Both Walters and Kocer were penalized for stalling during their match, but those points and a two escapes were Kocer’s only points. Kocer was unable to handle Walters’s legs and earned all of his points in escapes and a stalling call.

“My job is to beat the guy in front of me,” said Walteres. “I don’t care if they’re the number one seed or this is their first tournament. They’re in my way of my dreams.”

Ohio true freshman no. 13 Cameron Kelly was the first bobcat to get a win on the day, making his presence known from the first whistle blow. Kelly started quick, earning a takedown immediately, and following that up by scoring another eight points before the first three minutes were over. He slid through round 13-0 in his national tournament debut.

Kelly wrestled Bryan Lantry from Buffalo, another Mid American Conference school. The MAC had the third highest number of wrestlers of any Division I wrestling conference, at 41.

“He [Kelly] needed to get the bugs out, the nerves out. It’s a big thing stepping into a lineup as a freshman and coming into the national tournament,” said assistant coach Eric Morrilk. “ Getting that first match and winning it big will lead to good things leading forward.”

Sparty Chino, Shakur Laney, Austin Reese and Andrew Romanchik will be placed in the wrestlebacks bracket to work their way back into contention for the next day’s competition. Another loss tonight will eliminate them from the tournament.

Senior Sparty Chino was the first of the Green and White squad to hit the mats for competition. He was able to earn a few escapes, but seemed slow in his first round, losing 9-2.

Not following him in order of competition but in weight class was Austin Reese. He wrestled no. 5 Max Rohskopf of NC State and held his own until Rohskopf got a late takedown. This 2-0 decision was still a great debut for the redshirt freshman hitting the national stage for the first time.

Ohio finished on a heartbreaking match as Phil Wellington got his turn on the mat. He met with ISU’s Downey, and both went scoreless for almost the entire first two periods. After the first two periods, it was clear Downey was beginning to get fatigued. Both got an escape in the latter portions of the match, leaving it tied at one at the end of the third period. A sudden death overtime period began, where Downey mustered up energy to take down Wellington in the upset win.

The second round of day one is scheduled to start today at 7:00 pm, with gates opening at 6:00pm.

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