Session Two 2017 NCAA | Badgers Go 7-2
Session Two 2017 NCAA | Badgers Go 7-2 | Jordan, Medbery Advance to Quarters
Abigail Ruckdashel | Wisconsin Wrestling Online | Thursday, March 16, 2017 (Rd. 2)
(St. Louis, MO) With their best ‘overall’ round (championship and consolation brackets combined) at the NCAA Championships, the Wisconsin Badgers leapt into 14th place at the end of day one with 13.5 points. Penn State (30.5 pts.) and Ohio State (26 pts.) lead the tournament with Oklahoma State (25.5 and Iowa (24.5) a close third and fourth.
Eight of nine Badgers remain in contention for All-American honors. In the early session, Andrew Crone (149 R JR), Isaac Jordan (165 R SR) and Connor Medbery (285 R SR) secured spots in the round of 16. All three wrestled on the championship side of the brackets attempting to secure spots in the quarterfinal round on Friday morning. The other six Badgers looked to fight their way through the backside of the brackets.
Crone (27-11) was the first Badger to the mat Thursday evening, taking on Big Ten foe and No. 5 seed Brandon Sorenson (So 28-4) of Iowa. Sorensen, a two-time All American placed second in 2016. During the regular season, Crone fell to Sorenson 9-5 inside Carver-Hawkeye. This time, Sorensen picked up a 6-2 decision, scoring an early takedown and never letting up.
At 165 lbs. No. 4 seed Isaac Jordan (26-4), looking to advance to the quarterfinals and chasing his fourth consecutive All American honor, took on No. 13 Brandon Womack of Cornell. Zeke controlled the match wire to wire picking up a 5-1 decision. After a scoreless first period Jordan scored a takedown and never looked back, adding another takedown for good measure. He will face returning Rider All-American Chad Walsh (R So) tomorrow morning in Session three quarterfinals.
Rounding out the round of 16 for Wisconsin, No. 2 seed Connor Medbery (27-1) took on Pittsburg’s No. 15 Ryan Solomon (18-5). Medbery picked up the 5-0 decision over Solomon in moving on to the quarterfinals. After a scoreless first period, Medbery escaped to start the second and led the entire way.
On the backside (consolation bracket), Johnny Jimenez (JR 16-11) faced Indiana’s Elijah Oliver (14-10) the first of the ‘win or go home’ matches. After being down early 0-2, Johnny executed the 7-3 comeback over two-time qualifier Oliver to stay alive. Jimenez road Oliver a considerable portion of the match and had crucial scores when he needed them. When Wisconsin met Indiana early in the regular season, Jimenez was not in the lineup. Oliver faced Michael Cullen.
Redshirt Freshman Cole Martin (21-17) also faced a conference foe in Topher Carton (SR 26-9) of Iowa who also qualified for his first NCAA’s this season. When the two met in the regular season at Carver-Hawkeye, Carton got the best of Martin, 9-1. History repeated itself as Carton again got the major decision 16-4 this time. This knocked Martin out of the tournament.
Senior TJ Ruschell (16-10) took on Thomas Bullard (FR 21-12) from NC State in his quest for All American status. In a back and forth match, highlighted by scrambles, Ruschell won the last scramble for the crucial takedown and a 7-5 decision. TJ will continue tomorrow.
Ryan Christensen (21-18) will also continue at 174 lbs. as the two-time qualifying sophomore defeated NC State’s Nick Reenan (FR 20-13) 3-1 with a takedown in the first stanza of overtime.
The Badgers closed out the first day with two falls.
At 184 lbs. Hunter Ritter (R FR 20-15) pinned Samson Imonode (JR 24-12) of Army West Point in 3:49. Imonode qualified last year for the first time. After a first period. Both wrestlers spent the first three minutes sizing each other up and early in the second period Ritter locked up two cradles, finally scoring a fall with the second one.
To finish off the first day No. 15 Ricky Robertson pinned Tanner Omdorff (R FR) from Utah Valley in the second period. With the score tied 3-3 Robertson took control and locked Omdorff in a spladle for the pin.
The quarterfinal and second ‘blood rounds’ begin at 10am Friday morning.