The #1 ranked St. Cloud State University wrestling team (19-0, 8-0 NSIC) posted impressive numbers on the first day of action at the 2018 NCAA Division II championships, which are being held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 9-10.
The Huskies will be sending six wrestlers into the second day of competition and four of those athletes are still alive in the tournament’s winners brackets. As a team, SCSU currently ranks second in the standings with 46.5 points, while Notre Dame of Ohio is in first with 48.5 points.
SCSU’s Jarred Oftedahl (141-pounds), James Pleski (149-pounds), Larry Bomstad (157-pounds) and Vince Dietz (197-pounds) all won two matches apiece on the first day of competition to advance to the semi-final round in their respective weight brackets. Brett Velasquez (125-pounds) and Kolton Eischens (174-pounds) both went 2-1 on the day to stay alive in the consolation brackets.
The NCAA tournament will wrap up on Saturday, March 10 with a two sessions of matches at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fans stay up to date with the results and access live video through the TrackWrestling.com website.
SCSU fans can also get a complete play-by-play during the tournament by tapping into the KVSC Sports Stream with John O. Peterson and Brad Hildreth on the call from Cedar Rapids.
Here is a complete rundown of all the action from March 9.
At 125-pounds, two-time All-American Brett Velasquez opened his tourney with a 17-0 tech fall at 6:25 against Majid Corbit of Limestone. In the quarterfinals, Velasquez suffered a tough 9-5 loss to Josh Portillo of UN-Kearney. Velasquez returned with a strong showing in the consolation bracket with a 5-2 win over Brandon Vu of San Francisco to advance to action on Saturday.
At 133-pounds, SCSU’s Adam Hedin opened the day with a 9-7 loss to Nathan Cervantez of San Francisco and ended his day in the consolation bracket with a 10-2 loss to Anthony Sparacio of LIU Post.
In action at 141-pounds, Jarred Oftedahl was impressive in his first day of NCAA action with a pair of victories. He started the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Tyler Warner of Wheeling Jesuit and advanced through the quarterfinals with an 8-6 win over Nick Crume of Indianapolis to insure his All-America status.
Another double winner for the Huskies was James Pleski at 149-pounds. His first win of the day was a 10-4 victory over Tyler Makosy of UNC-Pembroke. In the quarterfinals, Pleski rolled with a 3-1 decision against Efe Osaghae of Fort Hays State to earn his second consecutive All-America title.
In play at 157-pounds, the Huskies’ Larry Bomstad also added two first day wins to his resume. He started the day in Iowa with a 7-6 win over Tyler Mies of Newman and moved through the quarters with a 9-5 win over Pernevlon Shepperd of UW-Parkside. This marks the third time that Bomstad has earned All-America status during his time with the Huskies.
At 165, Devin FitzPatrick suffered a pair of losses in his first day of NCAA competition. In the first round, FitzPatrick lost 5-3 to Devin Austin of Pitt-Johnstown and then lost by a fall at 1:28 to Greg Hilliard of Belmont Abbey in the wrestlebacks.
Kolton Eischens gained a 5-1 win over Christian Price of Ashland in first round action at 174 and then suffered a 10-4 loss in the quarterfinals against Bruno Nicoletti of Colorado Mesa. Eischens stayed alive in the consolation bracket with an exciting 9-7 victory over Dalton George of Ohio Valley in the second round of the wrestlebacks.
At 184-pounds, Tyree Overton lost a 3-1 match to Noel Torres of Newman in the first round before earned a pin in the consolation bracket to advance. Overton’s pin was at 3:00 against Brody Conner of Indianapolis. He then completed Friday with a close 1-0 loss to Bradley Metz of Findlay in the consolation second round.
Vince Dietz collected his first All-America title as a Husky on Friday with a pair of big wins at 197-pounds. He opened his day with an 8-3 victory over Logan Kemp of West Liberty. In the quarterfinals, Dietz tallied an impressive 13-1 major decision over Rakin Dean of Fort Hays State to earn team bonus points.
SCSU’s Lawrence Phillips started his day in the 285-pound bracket with a 5-0 loss to Mimmo Lytle of Findlay. He then advanced in the consolation bracket with a 4-3 victory over Ciaran Ball of Simon Fraser. To finish the night, Phillips lost a 2-0 decision against Minot State’s Mitchell Eull in the consolation second round.
Action on Saturday, March is slated to start at 10 a.m.
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