CLEVELAND — The Ohio State wrestling team had an unblemished first session at the NCAA championships at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, even if the 10 Buckeyes weren’t all flawless.
Top-seeded Kollin Moore struggled to a 12-8 decision at 197 pounds, and sixth-seeded Bo Jordan and fifth-seeded Ke-Shawn Hayes needed extra time to prevail.
“We looked tight,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said. “We looked like the nerves got to us a little bit. This is a big tournament. There are a lot of good guys. Everyone’s record is 0-0, and you’ve got to be ready to score points.
“We went 10-0. We thought we’d get some more bonus points in that round, but we’re all moving forward and that’s good.”
Ohio State is in second place in the team standings with 17 points. Iowa leads with 18.5. Penn State, which is trying to win its seventh title in eight years, has 16 points. The Nittany Lions took a blow when Nick Lee, the eighth-seeded wrestler at 141 pounds, got pinned.
Moore led only 10-8 late in his match against Utah Valley’s Tanner Orndorff before getting a late takedown to seal his match.
Jordan got a takedown in overtime to survive against Cornell’s Brandon Womack, 4-2.
“I found a way to get it done,” Jordan said. “It was really tough. Nothing was working out there. Nothing felt good. But no matter what’s going on and how I feel, I’ve got to bring the right fight like I did in past matches.”
Hayes nearly became the biggest upset victim of the first session. He trailed Michigan’s Malik Amine 5-3 with 15 seconds left in overtime when Amine was called for stalling and then Hayes got a reversal in the final seconds.
“I was thinking that I need a quick escape and I know I can take him down,” Hayes said. “I can get to his legs. I just have to finish. I ended up getting the reversal instead.”
Not everyone struggled. Nathan Tomasello at 125 pounds got the day off to a strong start with a pin, his first of the season. Joey McKenna rolled 16-1 at 141. Myles Martin was also dominating in getting a technical fall with a 24-9 victory at 184. Heavyweight Kyle Snyder had no trouble in a 15-5 victory.
Also advancing for the Buckeyes were Luke Pletcher (133), Micah Jordan (157) and Te-shan Campbell (165).