CLEVELAND — This was not the outcome Bo Jordan envisioned for his final NCAA wrestling championships.
He came to Ohio State five years ago with the highest of expectations. Yet a national title had eluded him. A year ago, Jordan lost in the finals.
The redshirt senior didn’t get that far this year, losing 3-1 in the 174-pound quarterfinals Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. His loss and the stunning pin of top-seeded Kollin Moore by Kent State’s unseeded Kyle Conel at 197 pounds started the reversal in momentum the Buckeyes had built by winning 19 of 20 matches on Thursday.
Jordan was the aggressor in his loss to undefeated and third-seeded Daniel Lewis of Missouri, but he couldn’t convert his shots at takedowns. At the end of the second period, Lewis got the bout’s only takedown, which provided the margin of victory.
“It was like a soccer game when one team has 20 shots and the other has one, but it went in,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said.
Afterward, Jordan tried to collect his thoughts while Ryan consoled and encouraged him.
“I feel pretty crushed,” Jordan said. “My dream has always been to be national champ, and that can’t happen now.”
But he could regroup to finish as high as third — he’s done that twice in his career — and earn the Buckeyes valuable team points.
“It’s emotional because he came into college dreaming of being undefeated and a four-time national champ,” Ryan said. “He won’t leave a national champ, but he’s a team captain and we’ll see who he is (Saturday night). I know he’ll come back ready to go.”
Moore’s defeat was even more stunning. He got pinned 90 seconds into his match by Conel, who didn’t even wrestle last year after winning two matches at the NCAA championships the previous season.
“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 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.”
The feeling didn't last long — Conel was pinned in the semifinals.
Both Jordan and Moore won their first consolation-bracket matches Friday night. Jordan’s victory clinched All-America status for him. He, Nathan Tomasello and Kyle Snyder are the first trio from one team to earn their fourth career All-America honors in the same year.