ST. LOUIS, Mo. – If former Clearfield Area High School wrestlers Brad Pataky of Penn State and Matt Kyler of Army are to attain All-American honors at the 79th annual NCAA Division I Championships in the Scottrade Center, they\’ll have to win three matches in consolation rounds Friday.
Pataky, a redshirt sophomore 125-pounder who qualified by placing fourth in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, won two of his three bouts Thursday.
He sandwiched a fall against Eastern Wrestling League third-placer Ian Moser (22-14) of Bloomsburg in the pigtail round and a 12-2 major decision against EWL runner-up Jay Ivanco (19-14) of Clarion around an 11-6 loss to Colonial Athletic Association champion and No. 6 seed James Nicholson (36-3) of Old Dominion.
Kyler, a junior 149-pounder, reached the 40-win plateau for the second consecutive season by pinning Southern Conference champion Daniel Waddell (12-11) of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 1:28 but was dumped into the wrestlebacks by Big 12 Conference champ and No. 9 seed Kyle Terry (30-1) of Oklahoma.
Both will be back in action in the 11 a.m. round and would have to win two bouts in that session and another in the 7 p.m. consolation fifth round to be assured of wrestling for a medal on Saturday.
Pataky (30-10), ranked No. 13 in the InterMat/National Wrestling Coaches Association/National Wrestling Media Association poll, made his national tourney debut a quick one by hitting Moser with a cement mixer and turning him for a fall at the 1:20 mark.
Nicholson proved too tough of a customer for the Nittany Lion, building a 7-1 lead with a takedown in the first period and a Peterson Roll for a reversal and near fall in the second period.
Pataky escaped to start the third period and, after Nicholson used up all but seven seconds of his injury time, took down the redshirt sophomore make it 7-4.
He cut Nicholson loose to look for a big move, but Nicholson countered his mixer attempt for another takedown. He gave up a late escape and stalling point but added a point for 1:32 in riding time advantage.
Nicholson was upended 5-4 by No. 11 seed Zach Sanders of Minnesota in the second round.
Pataky rebounded with a strong performance against Ivanco, taking down the Clarion junior and putting him on his back twice for a seven-point first period. He added another takedown and tilted Ivanco for two points in the third period. Riding time gave him the extra point for the major decision.
In the consy third round, Pataky will try to repeat his 8-4 Big Ten Conference tourney win over B.J. Futrell (24-13) of Illinois.
Kyler, who placed sixth at 141 last year, rated the seed edge over Terry because of a 4-1 win when the two met in the Oklahoma Gold Classic at SUNY-Brockport on Nov. 8, but the Sooner got his revenge by taking away the Black Knight\’s offense in the neutral position.
Terry got the initial takedown with a minute gone and rode for 1:01 before Kyler escaped.
In the second period, Terry chose the bottom position and opened a 5-1 lead with an escape and takedown. Kyler reversed but gave up an escape to trail 6-3 with two minutes remaining.
The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association runner-up escaped with 1:10 left, but Terry fended off his takedown attempts and added a point for riding time.
Kyler (40-5) is paired against EIWA Cesar Grajales (27-9) of Penn in his first consy bout.
Pataky is one of five Penn State qualifiers to survive the first day.
No. 10 seed Jake Strayer (18-8) at 133 and No. 14 seed Quentin Wright (31-10) of Wingate (Bald Eagle Area High School) at 174 led the way by advancing to the quarterfinals.
Strayer turned a first-period takedown and three-point tilt into a 7-2 victory over Rick Deubel (28-12) of Edinboro and then pulled off a thrilling triple-overtime 7-3 win over Big 8 Conference champ and No. 7 seed Nicholas Fanthorpe (21-5) of Iowa State. Fanthorpe erased the Nittany Lion redshirt senior\’s riding time advantage after tying the match 4-4 on a takedown with 21 seconds left, and the two dueled through a pair of two-minute overtimes before Strayer prevailed with an escape in the 11th period and a near fall in the 12th period. He will take in No. 2 seed Reece Humphrey (28-3) of Ohio State in the quarters.
Wright decked Byron Sigmon (17-10) of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1:17 and followed up with an come-from-behind 8-6 upset over EIWA runner-up and No. 6 seed Steve Anceravage (28-5) of Cornell. Trailing 3-0, the Nittany Lion freshman took Anceravage down and put him on his back for three points. He added an escape and takedown in the third period to earn a crack at Big 8 Conference champ and No. 3 seed Brandon Browne (28-3) of Nebraska in the quarters.
Unseeded 165-pounder Dan Vallimont (22-11) was unable to join his two Nittany Lion teammates in the quarters as he lost 11-3 to No. 8 seed Jonathan Reader (27-6) of Iowa State. Earlier, the redshirt junior All-American took down ninth seed Brandon Mason (27-11) of Oklahoma State for the fourth time with 13 seconds left in the first overtime for an 8-6 sudden victory.
Nittany Lion redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro (20-17) won by forfeit after losing 7-1 to eight-seeded senior Ryan Williams (36-4) of Old Dominion, with all of the points scored in the third period.
However, Penn State\’s hopes for a high finish in the team race suffered a serious blow when No. 2 ranked 149-pounder Bubba Jenkins (24-3) injured his back in his first-round bout and bowed out of the tourney with two losses.
The returning national runner-up was leading EWL champ Matt Fittery (30-8) of Lock Haven 6-1 when he was injured. The Bald Eagle redshirt senior went on to record a 12-6 upset with a reversal and near fall late in the second period and an escape, takedown and near fall in the third period.
Jenkins gamely battled David Jauregui (15-5) of West Virginia in the consolations but could not overcome the injury and dropped a 10-2 major decision for a disappointing finish to his season.