ST. LOUIS -- Five Ohio State wrestlers advanced on Thursday to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships.
Three-time national champion Logan Stieber began his quest for his fourth title with a technical fall and pin, while Big Ten champion Nathan Tomasello, redshirt freshman Bo Jordan, redshirt junior Kenny Courts and true freshman Kyle Snyder all also went 2-0 in the championship bracket.In the team standings, Ohio State sits in first place with 23 points, two ahead of second-place Iowa (21) and third-place Oklahoma State (19.5)
Stieber was his usual dominant self on Thursday, easily dispatching his first round opponent, Jordan Laster of Princeton 18-1. He followed that up in the evening session with a pin of Mike Morales that took just 2:10. He will now face Anthony Abidin of Nebraska in the quarterfinals.
At 125 pounds, Tomasello ran his winning streak to 16 consecutive matches as he started out the first session with a pin of Joe DeAngelo of NC State (2:25). A 11-3 major decision of Ben Willeford of Cleveland State put Tomasello into the quarterfinals, where he will face Kory Mines of Edinboro. In the Buckeyes' National Duals matchup with the Fighting Scots, Tomasello defeated Mines by major decision 13-2.
Kenny Courts had an equally impressive day, scoring a 6-4 upset against sixth-seeded Hayden Zillmer of North Dakota State with a takedown in overtime. He followed that up in the evening session by jumping out to an early lead on Scott Patrick of Davidson and then hanging on for a 12-8 decision. He will face Penn State's Matthew McCutcheon in the quarterfinals, an upset winner of third-seeded Blake Stauffer.
Bo Jordan, seeded fifth at 165 pounds, was the next Buckeye to advance to the quarterfinal round as he picked up key bonus points in the first round thanks to a fall of Michigan's Garrett Sutton. He then punched his ticket to the next round with a 7-2 decision against Cornell's Dylan Palacio in which he ran up over 2:00 of riding time.
Kyle Snyder, seeded fourth in his bracket (197), had two major decisions on the day, the first coming against Purdue's Braden Atwood (12-4) and the second a 15-4 win against Shane Woods of Wyoming. He will now meet fifth-seeded Scott Schiller of Minnesota in Friday's quarterfinals.
Hunter Stieber, who made a return from injury to qualify for the NCAAs two weeks ago at the Big Ten Championships, lost both his matches on Thursday, but received a standing ovation from the contingent of Buckeye faithful after injury defaulting midway through his consolation round match versus Clayton Ream of South Dakota State.
In the first session of the day, Buckeye wrestlers won seven of 10 matches, highlighted by four wins that came via bonus points (two falls, one tech fall, one major decision). Overall, Ohio State wrestlers went 13-6 and had seven wins that were either by fall, major decision or technical fall.