Courtesy of Iowa State Athletic Communications OMAHA, Neb. – Iowa State’s wrestling team had a very good second round Thursday at the NCAA Championships. All five Iowa State wrestlers in the winners bracket advanced to the quarterfinals of their respective weights’ after the first day of the 2010 NCAA Championships in the Qwest Center. Iowa State has nine wrestlers still alive as the team went 9-1 Thursday evening. ISU stands third as a team with 24 points. Iowa leads with 34.5 points and Oklahoma State is second with 26 points. ISU standout Jake Varner added bonus points in his second round of 197-pound victory. Four Cyclones remain active in consolation action.
The third session of the NCAA Championships begins Friday at 9:30 a.m. The quarterfinal round will be televised live on ESPNU. Four of ISU’s championship bracket wins in the second round (125, 133, 149 and 197) combined to total over 10 minutes in riding time.
“We are glad to still have nine guys alive in the tournament,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Jackson said. “The tournament will be decided tomorrow. We have guys with big matches and they have a chance to make a major difference in how it all works out. It is a long road back for the guys in the wrestlebacks but that is the challenge.”
Varner, a three-time finalist, punched his ticket to the 197-pound quarterfinals with a major decision of Cal State-Bakersfield’s Riley Orozco, 10-1. Varner, the defending champion at his weight, controlled the match and compiled 4:22 in riding time in the victory. The No. 1-seeded Cyclone (28-0) moves forward to take on No. 8 Sonny Yohn of Minnesota. Varner pinned the Gopher earlier this season in 6:59.
Top-seeded David Zabriskie advanced to the quarterfinals for ISU with a 4-2 decision of Arizona State’s Eric Nye. Zabriskie will face a familiar foe in Missouri’s Mark Ellis, who is seeded ninth but is the returning national champion. Zabriskie is 7-0 against the Tiger heavyweight.
“Time is short for me,” Zabriskie said. “This is my last tournament. You have to trust everybody on your team to do what needs to be done.”
Long, seeded fifth, advanced to the quarterfinals at 125 pounds for Iowa State with a 4-0 shutout win over Utah Valley’s 12th-seeded Ben Kjar. The Cyclone compiled 1:58 in riding time in the bout. The ISU 125-pounder advances to face No. 4 Anthony Robles of Arizona State. Long, a redshirt freshman, fell to the Sun Devil All-American earlier this season by decision, 12-10.
“During the first part of the match (Kjar) was slowing down,” Long said. “He didn’t want me to get into my offense. But because I was beating him in the tie-ups, I wasn’t really worried about it.”
Senior 133-pounder Nick Fanthorpe used the third period to his advantage by riding out his Cornell foe, No. 7 Mike Grey to a 5-2 decision to advance to his third career NCAA quarterfinal. Leading 4-2 heading into the final period, Fanthorpe secured the win by adding an additional point for riding time with 1:33. Fanthorpe will next face second-seeded Daniel Dennis of Iowa.
Fanthorpe notched his 100th career victory after coming through in the tough match with Grey.
“No. 100 win is a big victory, but there are matches to come that will be bigger,” Fanthorpe said. “It was a scramble and actually, I was in bad position. There was an opening there and I went after it to score. Each of us needs to take care of ourselves and get ready for tomorrow.
Mitch Mueller moved ahead to the quarterfinals at 149 pounds for Iowa State with an 8-4 decision of Central Michigan’s Anthony D’Alie. The senior Iowa Stater rode the Chippewa tough with 2:41 of riding time. Mueller, seeded seventh, advances to take on No. 2 Brent Metcalf of Iowa.
Mueller was happy with his performance to advance to his second career NCAA quarterfinal.
“I was feeling stronger than I did this morning,” Mueller said. “I hit the shots that were there. Now I’m going to go take care of myself and get set for the quarters.”
In consolation action, Cyclones Dalton Jensen (141), Jon Reader (165), Duke Burk (174) and Jerome Ward (184) advanced with victories. Jensen scored a 9-5 decision of Nebraska’s Mike Koehnline. Reader scored extra points with a major decision of Navy’s Robby Neill, 12-1. Burk turned away Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, 7-3. Ward got the best of Binghamton’s Nathan Schiedel, 3-1.
Iowa Stater Andrew Sorenson (157) bowed out of his first NCAA Championships after falling by major decision to Drexel’s Joseph Booth, 12-3. Sorenson finishes his sophomore campaign with a 26-9 record after going 0-2 in the tournament.
Session II Results
Championship Round of 16
125 pounds – No. 5 Andrew Long (ISU) dec. No. 12 Ben Kjar (Utah Valley), 4-0 133 pounds – No. 10 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU) dec. No. 7 Mike Grey (Cornell), 5-2 149 pounds – No. 7 Mitch Mueller (ISU) dec. Anthony D’Alie (Central Michigan), 8-4 197 pounds – No. 1 Jake Varner (ISU) major dec. Riley Orozco (CS Bakersfield), 10-1 HWT – No. 1 David Zabriskie (ISU) dec. Eric Nye (Arizona State), 4-2
Consolation Round 2 141 pounds – Dalton Jensen (ISU) dec. Mike Koehnline (Nebraska), 9-5 157 pounds – Joseph Booth (Drexel) major dec. Andrew Sorenson (ISU), 12-3 165 pounds – No. 4 Jon Reader (ISU) major dec. Robby Neill (Navy), 12-1 174 pounds – Duke Burk (ISU) dec. Robert Hamlin (Lehigh), 7-3 184 pounds – Jerome Ward (ISU) vs. Nathan Schiedel (Binghamton), 3-1