CLEVELAND — Ohio State advanced six wrestlers to the NCAA championship semifinals in Friday’s early session, but it was not a banner quarterfinal round for all of the Buckeyes.
Top-seeded Kollin Moore got pinned after 90 seconds by unseeded Kyle Conel of Kent State in the 197-pound division, and sixth-seeded Bo Jordan’s dream of an NCAA title ended in a loss to No. 3 Daniel Lewis of Missouri at 174 pounds.
Nathan Tomasello (125) pounds, Luke Pletcher (133), Joey McKenna (141), Micah Jordan (157), Myles Martin (184) and Kyle Snyder (heavyweight) advanced to Friday night’s semifinals.
Ohio State’s Ke-Shawn Hayes (149) also lost, falling to North Carolina’s Troy Heilmann 2-1 in overtime after the Buckeyes lost a challenge seeking points for a Hayes reversal.
“It was a tough round, an emotional round,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said.
Still, Ohio State is atop the team standings with 80.5 points. Penn State, which has won six of the past seven NCAA titles, has 67. The Nittany Lions have five wrestlers through to the semifinals.
For Bo Jordan, the loss was the end of a dream.
“I feel pretty crushed,” he said. “My dream has always been to be national champ and that can’t happen now.”
He was the aggressor in his match, but couldn’t convert his chances. Lewis got a takedown at the end of the second period and held on for a 3-1 win.
“It was like a soccer game when one team has 20 shots and the other has one, but it went in,” Ryan said.
“It’s emotional because he came into college dreaming of being undefeated and a four-time national champ. He won’t leave a national champ, but he’s a team captain and we’ll see who he is tonight. I know he’ll come back ready to go.”
The same applies to Moore, whose loss was perhaps the most stunning of the entire tournament. Conel won two matches at the NCAAs two years ago but didn’t wrestle last year.
“I had some injury problems and some issues I had to work through,” Conel said. “Wrestling just wasn’t part of that equation for me.”
He came back this year re-motivated. Conel had to wrestle a preliminary bout just to get into the main draw, but said he had been visualizing over the last few days getting a pin against Moore.
Conel countered a Moore move, got a takedown and then completed the pin.
“I was not letting him go when I got him to the mat,” Conel said. “I wanted the pin.
“I feel amazing. This is the greatest feeling in the world.”
Most of the Buckeyes who advanced did so easily. Tomasello, the No. 2 seed, got the day rolling with a 12-4 victory over Taylor LaMont of Utah Valley.
At 133, Pletcher defeated Scott Parker of Lehigh 3-1. Pletcher defeated Parker by the identical score in the Pennsylvania state finals four years ago.
McKenna continued his domination at 141 with an 8-3 victory over Bucknell’s Tyler Smith.
Micah Jordan was also impressive, dominating Rutgers’ John Van Brill in a 17-5 victory.
Martin was in control throughout a 10-6 victory over North Carolina’s Chip Ness.
Snyder had a methodical 6-3 victory over Oklahoma State’s Derek White, who got a takedown to take a brief lead before Snyder asserted himself.
“Tonight, we have some huge matches,” Ryan said. “We’ve got to come back — Bo and Kollin have to come back for third – and we have got to punch a bunch through to the finals.”