The Ohio State wrestling Buckeyes entered Friday night's NCAA championship semifinals with five wrestlers still alive and firmly in first place as a team. Now that the dust has settled three wrestling Buckeyes have earned spots in the NCAA championships and the Ohio State remains atop the team standings with a 13.5-point lead over Iowa. Let's take a quick look at the semifinal results.
Nathan Tomasello - 125 pounds
One of three Ohio State freshman captains, Nathan Tomasello got the Buckeyes started off right in the semis. His opponent was Alan Waters of Missouri, who had defeated him 11-8 earlier in the season. This time around, things were different. Behind the strength of two third-period takedowns (including the clincher in the matches waning seconds), Tomasello earned his way into the finals with a 4-2 victory. His opponenet will be Zeke Moisey of West Virginia. The two have wrestled twice this season with Tomasello winning both.
Logan Stieber - 141 pounds
The march toward four national championships is still on track for Logan Stieber. Paired against Cinderella story Kevin Jack of NC State, an unseeded wrestler who had knocked off three consecutive seeded opponents, Logan used his quick feet and dominant top game to earn a 12-2 Major Decision victory (and the ever-important bonus point for his team). Stieber will face Mitchell Port of Edinboro in the finals. The two met earlier this season with Stieber earning a 6-3 decision victory.
Kyle Snyder - 197 pounds
Perhaps no Ohio State wrestler had a more daunting task than what true freshman Kyle Snyder faced in the semifinals. His opponent was undefeated, defending national champion J'Den Cox of Missouri. Snyder was up to the task, though, using an early takedown and some elite takedown defense late to hold off Cox and win a 3-2 decision. Up next for Snyder is a rematch against Kyven Gadsen of Iowa State, who beat Snyder by one point very early in the season.
Headed to the consolation bracket
Bo Jordan - 165 pounds
Bo Jordan is an elite wrestler, but defending 157-pound champion Alex Dieringer is just a step above. Dieringer controlled the match throughout, winning 6-1 over the Ohio State Freshman. Jordan moves to the consolation bracket where he will face Nick Sulzer of Virginia in the consi semifinal.
Kenny Courts - 184 pounds
Kenny Courts, who finished eighth in the Big Ten championships, was someone that almost nobody expected to make the semifinals, but he did. And he is a big part of the reason why Ohio State is where it is in the team race. Unfortunately his underdog run came to an end as he fell 6-0 to Nate Brown of Lehigh. He will face Blake Stauffer of Arizona State tomorrow afternoon in the consolation semifinal.
The team race is still very much up in the air but Ohio State has to feel good about its chances. Wrestlebacks begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow with finals to follow at 8:00 p.m. live on ESPN.
1. Ohio State 86.5
2. Iowa 73.0
3. Cornell 66.5
4. Edinboro 64.5
5. Missouri 60.0
6. Penn State 58.0
7. Oklahoma State 55.5
8. Minnesota 49.0
8. Nebraska 49.0
10. Michigan 44.0