COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ESPN TV talent referred to it as the “Perfect Storm” and it appeared many of the fans in the sold out Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., were hoping for such a scenario. Collegiate wrestling fans (at least Iowa and Ohio State fans) alike got their wish as No. 1 Lance Palmer will battle for the 149-pound national title against Iowa’s and No. 2 seed Brent Metcalf.
“It’s going to be fun,” Palmer said. “I love wrestling Brent. It’s great because he is a great wrestler and it gives us a chance to see who the best in the country is.”
I feel like I’ve wrestled really well. The first match was a little shaky. I think it’s like that a lot and you just have to toughen up and get through those first couple matches and then after that I felt good.”
The championship portion of the 2010 NCAA Championships will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday with ESPN and ESPN360.com airing all 10 matches live. The medal rounds will start at 11 a.m. ET with ESPNU offering live coverage.
As a team, the Buckeyes are in seventh place with 56.5 points. The Hawkeyes have secured their hold on the team title with a 45.5-point lead over second-place Cornell.
Heading into the final day of action Saturday, the Scarlet and Gray will add three more All-Americans to its previous all-time total of 69. In addition to Palmer, Reece Humphrey (141) and Nikko Triggas (125) will garner All-America laurels in 2010.
One of only two four-time All-Americans in Ohio State history (Tommy Rowlands), Palmer defeated Penn State’s and fifth seed Frank Molinaro, 2-0, in the semifinals for his place in the final. An escape in the second period was the only point scored in the match, but the senior team captain from Columbia Station, Ohio, did accrue a riding time of 1:51 in the win.
Humphrey, the fourth seed, will attempt to finish third after falling in the semifinals to No. 1 seed Kyle Dake of Cornell, 3-2 in a tiebreaker. A senior from Indianapolis, Ind., Humphrey held a slim 2-1 lead entering the third period, but an escape by Dake tied the score and eventually sent the match into overtime. After no scoring in the sudden victory overtime, Humphrey was unable to escape Dake in the first tiebreaker. With Dake taking bottom in the second tiebreaker, he managed to break free from Humphrey’s grasp for the win. Up next for Humphrey is Germane Lindsey of Ohio.
Triggas earned his first All-America accolade Friday night when he beat Jarrod Garnett of Virginia, 7-6, in consolation action. Despite losing the following match to No. 6 Zach Sanders of Minnesota, 8-3, Triggas will contend for a seventh-place finish Saturday morning against No. 4 Anthony Robles of Arizona State.
Junior Colt Sponseller (165) and senior Mike Pucillo (184) were eliminated from competition following consolation losses.
A fifth seed from Glenmont, Ohio, Sponseller suffered a 2-0 setback to Nick Amuchastegui of Stanford for his second loss in the championships.
Pucillo, who entered the field as the 10th seed, dropped an 8-7 decision to Clayton Foster of Oklahoma State. His stellar Buckeye career ends with a 107-16 overall record. Most notable are his 2008 NCAA and Big Ten titles at 184 pounds. Also, the 2009 runner-up at 184 pounds, Pucillo is a three-time All-American. Academically, the Strongsville, Ohio, native is outstanding as well. He is a two-time NWCA All-Academic selection, two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
2010 NCAA Championships
Through Session 4
1. 120.5 Iowa
2. 75.0 Cornell
3. 67.0 Iowa State
4. 62.0 Wisconsin
5. 60.5 Oklahoma State
6. 58.0 Oklahoma
7. 56.5 Ohio State
8. 55.0 Minnesota
9. 47.0 Penn State
10. 44.0 Missouri
Fred Santaite (Boston University) DEC Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) D 8-7
Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) DEC Allen Bartelli (Boise State) D 4-1
Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) DEC Ben Kjar (Utah Valley State) D 4-0
Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) DEC James Nicholson (Old Dominion) D 7-6
Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) DEC Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech) D 7-6
Zach Sanders (Minnesota) DEC Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) D 8-3
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) DEC Dalton Jensen (Iowa State) M 11-3
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) DEC Michael Mangrum (Oregon State) D 4-3
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) DEC Seth Ciasulli (Lehigh) D 5-3
Kyle Dake (Cornell) DEC Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) D 3-2TB1
Lance Palmer (Ohio State) DEC Seth Morton (Ohio University) D 8-1
Lance Palmer (Ohio State) WBF Nicholas Bertucci (Purdue) F 1:23
Lance Palmer (Ohio State) WBF Jason Chamberlain (Boise State) F 1:14
Lance Palmer (Ohio State) DEC Frank Molinaro (Penn State) D 2-0
Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) WBF John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo) F 6:22
Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma) DEC Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) D 3-2
Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) DEC Ross Tice (Kent State) MD 17-3
Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) DEC Kyle Bounds (Michigan State) D 5-1
Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) DEC Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) 2-0
Mike Miller (Central Michigan) DEC Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) D 4-2
Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) DEC Michael Solpek (Virginia) D 2-0
Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) DEC Austin Trotman (Appalachian State) D 4-1
Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) DEC Nick Palmieri (Michigan State) MD 8-0
Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) DEC Dave Erwin (Penn State) D 6-2
Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State) DEC Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) D 8-7