OMAHA, NE – Day one of the 2010 NCAA National Wrestling Championships concluded on Thursday evening at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, NE. Collecting victories on day one were 18th nationally-ranked Desi Green and 17th nationally-ranked Kevin Smith while sophomore John-Martin Cannon and junior Jimmy Hamel's journeys at the national championships have come to a close.
In the opening round of the 149-pound weight class, Green captured a close 9-8 decision over Shawn Harris of Virginia. Following the first period, Green held a 4-1 advantage off a pair of takedowns. The sophomore extended his lead to 6-3 off a double-leg takedown in the second period with Harris collecting a pair of escapes. In the third period, Green scored an early takedown to widen the gap to 8-3. Harris gained some momentum off an escape followed by a quick takedown, bringing the score to 8-6. Despite being penalized twice in the final minute for stalling, Green held on for a 9-8 decision.
After an opening victory on Thursday morning, Green was shut out by sixth nationally-ranked Matt Kyler of Army, 9-0. In the bout, Kyler scored his points off three penalty points, a pair of takedowns, an escape and riding time. On Friday morning, Green will look to rebound against Nick Fisher of Cal Poly or Seth Morton of Ohio, who Green defeated in the title bout at the 2010 MAC Championships.
Also making his first appearance, 17th nationally-ranked Smith fell to third nationally-ranked Daniel Dennis of Iowa, 6-2, in an opening round bout of the 133-pound weight class. After a takedown-escape exchange, Dennis held a 2-1 lead over the sophomore after one period. Dennis widened the gap to 5-1 in the second period off an escape followed by a takedown in the final 30 seconds. Smith scored the only points in the final period off an escape with the second-seed being awarded riding time for the 6-2 victory over Smith.
On Thursday evening, Smith rebounded with an 11-5 decision over Jimmy Kirchner of Rider. At the sound of the whistle, Smith took Kirchner down to the mat for a two-point nearfall. With a 6-1 lead after the first period, Smith went right back to work on Kirchner. After scoring a takedown and a two-point nearfall, Smith found himself on the wrong end of a reversal. Smith managed to escape from Kirchner for an 11-4 lead at the end of the second period. In the third, Kirchner recorded the period's lone point off 1:34 of riding time with Smith holding on for an 11-5 victory. On Friday morning, Smith will continue his journey at the national championships as he faces 11th nationally-ranked Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly or 14th nationally-ranked Steve Mytych of Drexel.
In his first appearance at the national championships, Cannon dropped his opening round 165-pound bout to fifth nationally-ranked Colt Sponsellor of Ohio State by fall at 6:22. With Cannon trailing 2-0 after one period, fifth-seeded Sponsellor scored four points in the second to take a 6-0 lead. On Sponsellor's final takedown of the third period, he pinned Cannon, sending the sophomore to the consolation round. In the loss, Cannon tweaked a lower body injury he suffered at the MAC Championships.
Cannon's run in his first national championship appearance ended, as he fell to 10th nationally-ranked Paul Young of Indiana, 10-2. After the opening period, Cannon trailed Young, 2-1. In an attempt to escape from the bottom position at the start of the second period, Cannon was bothered by his lower body injury again. After 1:54 of injury time, Cannon decided to battle through his injury to finish the bout. Holding a 4-1 lead heading into the final period, Young collected six points to record the 10-2 major decision.
Making his second consecutive appearance in the 197-pound weight class, Hamel was edged by 20th nationally-ranked Micah Burak of Penn, 6-5, in the second overtime. Following three periods, Hamel and Burak were knotted up at 4-4. Choosing bottom to start the second period, Hamel extended his lead to 3-1 off an escape. Burak would pick up a takedown towards the end of the period to tie the bout at 3-3 with Hamel recapturing the lead off a late escape, 4-3. The lone point of the third period would be Burak's escape from bottom to tie the bout at 4-4. After a scoreless first sudden victory period, each exchanged an escape in extra overtime periods to force an extra round of overtime with the score, 5-5. After a scoreless second sudden victory period, Burak collected an escape in the first overtime period with Hamel unable to score in either extra overtime period for the 6-5 victory by Burak.
Looking to rebound from his opening round loss, Hamel faced Tyler Sorenson of South Dakota State. After a scoreless first period, Hamel jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Sorenson countered with a takedown. Off the takedown, Sorenson added a two-point nearfall to erase Hamel's lead. Holding a 4-3 edge, Sorenson added an escape at the start of the third to hold on for a 5-3 victory.
Green and Smith will compete in the third session of the 2010 NCAA National Championships, which will begin on Friday, March 19 at 11:00 am EDT at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, NE.