OKLAHOMA CITY -- All eight Oklahoma qualifiers are still alive at the 2014 NCAA Championships inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, and four Sooners are still in contention for individual titles.
After beginning the second session tied for 11th place with eight points, OU climbed the leaderboard to finish the day tied for fourth with 20.5 points.
“It was good,” OU head coach Mark Cody said of the day. “A lot of ups and downs and a lot of emotional ups and downs like it always is in this tournament. We’re pretty happy with the way things are going, especially with that round (session two). We went 9-1, and it was a pretty good round for us.
"We just have to keep going and getting as many guys on the podium as we possibly can and hopefully get those four (Jarrod Patterson, Cody Brewer, Kendric Maple and Andrew Howe) through to the semifinals,” Cody continued.
One of the Sooners’ biggest wins came in the 133-pound bout, which saw No. 13 seed and redshirt sophomore Brewer take on No. 4 seed and Big 12 foe Jon Morrison from Oklahoma State.
The first period saw lots of actions as Brewer registered three takedowns and Morrison added three escapes and a takedown to make the score 6-5. However, those points did not matter as Brewer reversed Morrison late in the first, winning by a 2:45 fall. The win was Brewer’s first against the Cowboy in seven tries.
“Brewer did a really good job,” Cody shared. “It was the fourth time that they’ve met this year, and he was 0-3 against him. He finally put a good match today and had confidence going out there and let it fly. He’s capable of doing that to everybody, and hopefully now he has the confidence. Sometimes you get a breakthrough match like that, and you’re a different person. We’re hoping that he takes that to heart and he realizes how great of a wrestler he really is.”
Starting the championship bracket action for the Sooners, where they went 4-1, was No. 6 seed Patterson. The redshirt senior faced No. 11 seed Robert Deutsch from Rider at 125 pounds. The bout remained scoreless until late in the second period when Deutsch registered an escape. Patterson answered with an escape to start the third period and went on to claim the match by a 2-1 decision after accumulating 1:03 riding time.
As the No. 4 seed, redshirt senior Maple took on No. 13 Brody Grothus from Iowa at 149 pounds. Maple jumped to a 7-1 lead after the first period and, after starting the second on the bottom, stretched it to 10-4. With another takedown and the riding time point with 3:34, Maple took the match by a 13-5 major decision, his 10th such win this season.
With an 18-7 major decision, redshirt senior Howe marched on to the quarterfinals after downing No. 15 seed Billy Curling of Old Dominion. Howe, the No. 2 seed at 174 pounds, was aggressive throughout the bout, registering eight takedowns and grabbing the riding time point with 2:19.
At 197 pounds, No. 7 seed Travis Rutt suffered OU’s only loss of the session as he was upset by Duke’s Conner Hartmann by decision, 6-0.
The session started with pigtail consolation matches, in which redshirt senior Nick Lester and redshirt junior Justin DeAngelis competed. Both grabbed wins to advance to the consolation round later in the session, where they also recorded victories.
At 141 pounds, Lester rolled to a 13-2 major decision of Undrakhb Khiskignya of The Citadel in the pigtail match. Later in the session, Lester shut out Boston’s Tyler Scotton by a 7-0 decision to advance to Friday morning’s session.
DeAngelis faced No. 15 seed Cody Pack from South Dakota State. DeAngelis, who is competing in his first NCAA Championships, tied it at six right before end of the second period. He added an escape to start third to take a 7-6 lead and went on to win by decision, 9-7.
Later in the consolation round, DeAngelis added his second decision of the day, this time by a 6-3 score against Lehigh’s Joseph Napoli. In the bout, DeAngelis scored with two takedowns, an escape and the riding time point with 2:38.
OU’s last wrestler to compete Thursday night was redshirt freshman Ross Larson. He faced Eloheim Palma from Campbell at heavyweight and won by a 10-2 major decision.
Session three of the NCAA Championships will begin at 10 a.m. CT Friday, with the broadcast on ESPN. Session four is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN. For both sessions, all mats can be found online at ESPN3.com.
Oklahoma’s Session Three Matchups (with tournament seed)
125: No. 6 Jarrod Patterson (OU) vs. No. 3 Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State)
133: No. 13 Cody Brewer (OU) vs. No. 5 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
141: Nick Lester (OU) vs. Stephen Dutton III (Michigan); in consolations
149: No. 4 Kendric Maple (OU) vs. No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
157: Justin DeAngelis (OU) vs. No. 16 Zach Brunson (Illinois); in consolations
174: No. 2 Andrew Howe (OU) vs. No. 7 Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh)
197: No. 7 Travis Rutt (OU) vs. No. 9 Christian Boley (Maryland); in consolations
HWT: Ross Larson (OU) vs. No. 14 Jonathan Gingrich (Penn State); in consolations