Session 4 NCAA Semis – Blood Rounds | Medbery lone Badger in finals
Session 4 NCAAs Semis and Blood Rounds | Medbery lone Badger in finals
Abigail Ruckdashel| Wisconsin Wrestling Online| March 17, 2017
(St. Louis, MO) Inside the Scottrade Center wrestling fans were going crazy as the semifinal round, and the blood round converged into one of the craziest sessions of wrestling ever seen. Between all the upsets, complete shocks and unseeded dark horses the Badgers managed to claim two All-Americans, one of which will have a chance to be the champion.
Isaac Jordan (R SR) and Connor Medbery (R SR) both won through the quarterfinal round to secure All-American honors earlier Friday morning. In the semifinal round, Friday evening, the duo looked to finish their careers in the final matchups that take place tomorrow night. However, only Medbery could execute and earn a chance at the national title. Medbery, a now two-time All American was expected to meet top seeded Kyle Snyder (JR) from Ohio State in the finals, setting up a Big Ten Finals rematch. However, both guys had to get there first.
No.2 seeded Connor Medbery took on No.3 Ty Walz (R SR) of Virginia tech. This is the third time the pair have met this season. When the duo first met at the Cliff Keen Classic out in Las Vegas early in the season Medbery was victorious, picking up a 6-4 decision in overtime.
“Having to beat him once is pretty tough,” Medbery said. “I’ve now had to beat him three times this year. I just take the challenge head on and know what kind of match it’s going to be and know that it’s going to be aggressive.”
Medbery and Walz match up well. Both are “filled out” seniors who have experience at the tournament and share multiple All American honors. After a scoreless first period Walz chose down. He escaped shortly into the period. Medbery then turned around and took Walz down before the second period was through. Heading into the third Medbery chose down with a 2-1 lead. He also escaped shortly into the period.
Now with a 3-1 Medbery lead, Walz managed to finesse a takedown, tying the score at three with under a minute to go in regulation. Luckily, Medbery managed to escape. That would be the last point scored, handing Medbery the 4-3 decision and a chance at knocking off defending national champion and Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder (Jr) from Ohio State who took it to No.4 Jacob Kasper of Duke.
Medbery and Snyder met for the first and only time this season during the Big Ten Finals, two weekends ago. In a back and forth match of unbeatens, Snyder handed Medbery his first and only loss of the season with an 8-5 decision. Medbery will aim for redemption tomorrow evening.
“One of the advantages I have is being a little bit bigger and be able to use my size to wear on him so if in the third period if I need a takedown or be able to ride him out I can do that, but you know that’s easier said than done,” Medbery said.
The second Badger All American came into the weekend knowing to be a champion, he would face his toughest tests yet. After picking up his fourth consecutive All-American honors Friday morning, Isaac Jordan knew he had a feat in top seeded, two-time national champion Isaiah Martinez (R SR) of Illinois. Martinez entered the tournament undefeated, as well as looking to pick up his 3rd NCAA title.
In a match that captured all eyes in the arena, top seeded Martinez and No. 4 Jordan battled it out through a scoreless first period. Both guys were in on shots at one point, but neither managed to finish. In the second Martinez started down. Jordan let him go, clearly choosing to want to take him down instead of riding him. The two again battled on their feet for another entire period. With one period to go Jordan was down 1-0. He chose bottom as well looking to use the escape to knot the score.
After many tries and several trips out of bounds, Zeke finally got away, but not before “Imar” amassed enough riding time to be awarded a point. There was under a minute left and Jordan needed a takedown. As any wrestler would do, with a narrow lead, Martinez stalled and was given a warning. With just over ten seconds remaining Jordan desperately tried to take Martinez down, but was unsuccessful. He will wrestle tomorrow morning against No. 6 Daniel Lewis of Missouri to try and claim a spot in the third-place bout.
Andrew Crone (R JR) was the only Badger battling his way through the blood round. Crone entered the tournament unseeded, but knocked off the 12 and 13 seeds to put himself one match away from All American status. To pick it up he had to again knock of a seeded opponent in No. 15 Kenny Theobold (R SR) of Rutgers. Crone has a knack for knocking off ranked opponents and Theobold looked to be no different. However, Theobold the two-time qualifier, showed his experience and was the one that ended up snagging All-American honors with a 7-3 decision and ending Crone’s run.
Jordan will wrestle tomorrow morning beginning at 10am. He can now finish as high as third and as low as sixth depending on his morning matches. Medbery will wrestle the final match of the 2017 season at the end of the final session that begins at 7pm.