Iowa 125-pounder Spencer Lee discusses his quarterfinal pin of Oklahoma State’s Nick Piccininni. Chad Leistikow/HawkCentral
CLEVELAND, Iowa — Friday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships is always full of madness and insane highlights. More and more wrestlers get eliminated, and others move closer to both the finals and to All-American status.
Iowa had a fairly strong showing in the wrestlebacks and pushed two individuals into Friday night's semifinals. Northern Iowa had two wrestlers come through and reach the bloodround, and Iowa State's Jarrett Degen put forth an exceptional morning session as well.
Here’s how it all went down:
1. Ohio State, 80.5 (6 semifinalists, 3 in the wrestlebacks)
2. Penn State, 67 (5, 3)
3. Michigan, 59.5 (5, 0)
4. Iowa, 53.5 (2, 4)
5. N.C. State, 44 (3, 2)
6. Missouri, 41 (2, 4)
125: No. 3 Spencer Lee over No. 6 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) by fall, 3:58
Lee looked very good here. Takedown and four backs led to a 6-1 lead after the first. He escaped to start the second, and countered a Piccininni shot attempt by wiggling free and taking Piccininni down for two plus two backs. Lee then methodically flipped Piccininni to his back for the pin midway through the second.
Lee gets Ohio State's Nathan Tomasello, the two seed at 125, in tonight's semifinals. It will be their third meeting this season — Lee beat Tomasello, 3-2, in the dual. Tomasello beat Lee, 2-1, in the Big Ten semifinals.
157: No. 3 Jason Nolf (Penn State) over No. 6 Michael Kemerer, 6-2
Nolf struck quickly with a first-period takedown, then added another in the third and followed by piling up enough riding time for the extra point. Kemerer struggled getting to his offense — and when he did, he struggled to finish. Kemerer drops to the bloodround tonight.
165: No. 5 Alex Marinelli over No. 4 Chad Walsh (Rider), 7-6
Excellent match here from Marinelli. Walsh had two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-2, but Marinelli battled back with a takedown in the second and another in the third for the lead. He nearly had another for an exclamation point, but couldn't finish.
Marinelli advances to tonight's semifinals, where he'll face Illinois's Isaiah Martinez, a two-time NCAA Champion and three-time finalist.
The fifth-seeded freshman discusses his 7-6 win against Rider’s Chad Walsh. Chad Leistikow/HawkCentral
141: Vince Turk over No. 15 Nate Limmex (Purdue), 3-2
Hard-fought victory for Turk here. Down 1-0, he scored a takedown midway through the third period and piled up enough riding time to earn an extra point there — which was crucial, because he got hit for stalling twice and gave Limmex another point.
Chad Red (Nebraska) over Turk, 3-2
In Turk's second consolation match this session, he couldn't overcome a late third-period takedown to reach the bloodround. That late takedown from Red lifted him to victory. Turk's tournament ends at 3-2. He is eliminated.
149: No. 2 Brandon Sorensen over Eleazar Deluca (Rutgers), 13-0
Strong response from Sorensen after losing in the second round on Thursday. He went up 6-0 in the first period after a takedown and four backs, then piled up takedowns in the second and third to secure the major decision and advance.
Sorensen over No. 7 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern), 4-2
In their third meeting this season, Sorensen wins again. He scored a takedown in the first period, then scored on a technical violation in the third when Deakin illegally scissored Sorensen's head with his legs. Sorensen is into tonight's bloodround.
184: Mitch Bowman over Kayne MacCallum (Eastern Michigan), 19-2 technical fall
Bowman gave up the first takedown, then proceeded to rip off 19-unanswered points for the tech. He scored a takedown and three sets of back points in the first, then scored a reversal and four more backs in the second to win and advance.
No. 7 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) over Bowman, 16-4
Venz rolled up Bowman pretty good in this one. He led 6-2 after the first period, then went up 11-2 after two. Bowman never really found a rhythm in this one. He is eliminated, finishing 2-2.
197: No. 14 Cash WIlcke over Thomas Lane (Cal Poly) by fall, 4:51
Even Wilcke scoring bonus points today. After a scoreless first period, Wilcke escaped to start the second, then took Lane to his back for the fall on the edge. He advances through the wrestlebacks.
Wilcke over Nathan Traxler (Stanford), 5-2 (TB2)
Wilcke fought through this one to win. He scored an escape in the second tiebreaker to lead 3-2, then scored a takedown to win decisively 5-2. He's back in the bloodround for the second year in a row.
285: No. 5 Sam Stoll over Andrew Dunn (Virginia Tech), 7-0
Stoll scored two takedowns and also forced Dunn into a stalling point. It appeared he was trying to get another stalling point in the third to try and get the major, but he never got it. He advances.
Stoll over Shawn Streck (Purdue) by fall, 4:28
Stoll made easy work of Streck. He scored a takedown in the first, then another in the second, after which he methodically flipped Streck over for a pin. Stoll is into the bloodround tonight.
174: No. 2 Mark Hall (Penn State) over No. 7 Taylor Lujan, 6-2
Workmanlike outing from Hall, the defending NCAA Champ. He scored a takedown and two backs in the first period, then rode out Lujan in the third period for a riding-time point. He'll advance to the semifinals. Lujan drops to tonight's wrestlebacks.
149: No. 9 Max Thomsen over Frank Garcia (Binghamton), 14-4 major
Thomsen looked very good here, scoring two takedowns in the first, then adding another takedown and four back points in the third to secure the major and advance.
Thomsen over Cortland Schuyler (Lehigh), 11-8
Good first couple of periods for Thomsen. He scored four takedowns for a 9-3 lead entering the third, but Schuyler made it interesting with two late takedowns to close the gap. Thomsen is into tonight's bloodround.
184: No. 10 Emory Parker (Illinois) over No. 8 Drew Foster, 13-10
Wild match. Parker scored a takedown and locked up a cradle for four backs in the first period. Foster fought back with two takedowns and another two points via stalling, but couldn't fully comeback. Last season, Foster was an All-American. This year, he went 1-2 and is eliminated.
197: Jacob Holschlag over Daniel Chaid (North Carolina), 10-5
Holschlag used a takedown and two backs in the first period to lead 4-1, then an escape and takedown in the second to lead 7-1. That was enough to hold off Chaid, who scored two takedowns in the third, but couldn't fully come back. Holschlag advances.
Holschlag over Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 3-2
After a scoreless first, Holschlag rode out Schultz the entire second period, which proved crucial as Schultz scored a takedown in the third. Holschlag added two escapes, and the riding-time point gave him the win. He's into tonight's bloodround.
149: Jarrett Degen over Steve Bleise (Minnesota), 9-7 (SV1)
Another wild match here. Degen allowed two takedowns in the first two periods, but battled back to score a takedown in the third to force overtime, then scored another midway through to win and stay alive.
Degen over Sam Krivus (Virginia), 8-0 major
Degen looked very good here, scoring takedowns in the first and second periods, then adding an escape and a couple of stalling points for the major. He is into tonight's bloodround.
197: No. 3 Jared Haught (Virginia Tech) over No. 6 Willie Miklus (Mizzou, former Southeast Polk), 3-1
Haught scored a takedown in the first period, which was ultimately the difference in this one. Haught's defense stifled Miklus's shot attempts. He'll wrestle in the bloodround tonight.
141: No. 5 Kevin Jack (N.C. State) over Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU, former Johnston), 8-0 major
Pohlmeyer ran up against one of the country's best here. Jack used takedowns in the second and third periods to top Pohlmeyer by major. Pohlmeyer is eliminated, and finishes 1-2.
149: Colton McCrystal (Nebraska, former Sergeant Bluff-Luton) over Beau Donahue (N.C. State), 10-4
McCrystal looked very good in his run through the wrestlebacks. He used two third-period takedowns to distance himself here and advance.
Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) over McCrystal, 5-2
McCrystal couldn't keep it going in this one, falling to Oliver just shy of the bloodround. He is eliminated, and finishes 2-2.
165: No. 6 Richie Lewis (Rutgers, former Iowa Central) over Keilan Torres (Northern Colorado), 12-5
Lewis looked very good here, scoring two takedowns in the first period, then a reversal and four backs in the third to win big and advance through the wrestlebacks.
Lewis over No. 14 Branson Ashworth (Wyoming), 7-3
Lewis again looked solid, scoring takedowns in the first, second and third period to advance. He's into tonight's bloodround.
174: Josef Johnson (Harvard) over No. 14 Yoanse Mejias (Oklahoma, former NIACC), 2-1 (SV1)
Johnson and Mejias traded escapes in regulation and went to overtime tied at one, but a penalty point gave Johnson a 2-1 win. Mejias is eliminated, and finished 1-2.
The semifinals will be on ESPN, and start at 7 p.m., central time.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.