St. Louis, Mo. - The Nebraska wrestling team advanced four wrestlers to the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championship in St. Louis, Mo., on Thursday. NU has a total of seven wrestlers still alive in the tournament, as three Huskers attempt to work their way back through the consolation bracket at the Scottrade Center.
Also on Thursday, Head Coach Mark Manning was presented with his International Freestyle Coach of the Year honor, which he was awarded with on Nov. 1, 2011, after coaching former Husker Jordan Burroughs to the 163 pounds/74 kg World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey.
Nebraska is in ninth place after the first day of competition with 18 team points, while Penn State continues to lead with 38.5 points. Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Cornell and Iowa round out the top five teams. Seven Big Ten teams are currently inside the top 10.
James Green (157), Robert Kokesh (165), Josh Ihnen (184) and James Nakashima (197) will all wrestle in the quarters after winning their first and second round matches on Thursday. Nakashima was especially impressive, having won three matches after wrestling in the pigtail round to begin the tournament. Nakashima is the only unseeded wrestler still active in the championship bracket at 197 pounds.
True freshman Green (NU) and James Fleming battled to a 0-0 tie, before Green took Fleming down at the 1:23 mark in the second period, but surrendered an escape to make the score 2-1. Fleming gained the riding time point in the third period, which would send the match to overtime. After a scoreless one minute sudden-victory, Green was unable to escape in the first tiebreaker and fell behind by one point when he chose to start neutral in the second 30 second period of the tiebreaker. With just 11 seconds remaining, Green took Fleming down and tallied two 2-point nearfalls to clinch the 8-3 victory.
Kokesh, the No. 8 seed at 165, recorded the Huskers second come-from-behind victory after falling behind early to Patrick Graham (Oklahoma). The Wagner, S.D., native gave up a takedown to go down 2-0, but got two escape points to tie the score at 2-2, before regaining the lead at 4-2 with a takedown at the 1:10 mark in the second. Kokesh surrendered a takedown as time expired in the match, but the redshirt freshman had accumulated over one minute of riding time to gain the riding time advantage and seal the deciding point, winning 5-4.
Junior Josh Ihnen (184) advanced to the quarterfinals after a one-point win over 10th-seeded Jacob Swartz (Boise State), 3-2. The three-time NCAA qualifier recorded a takedown with one minute left in the first period and earned an escape point in the third for the winning point. Ihnen, who has now advanced to the quarterfinals for the third-straight time in his career, will take on No. 2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) in the quarterfinals.
Nakashima gained an early lead over Cody Reed (Binghamton) in his second round match with a takedown at the 1:30 mark in the first period, but entered the third tied at 2-2 after giving up two escape points. The senior was able to seal the victory with two takedowns in the final period and held the riding time advantage to win by a 7-5 score. Nakashima will take on the No. 5 seed Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State) in the quarterfinals.
At 174 pounds, junior Tyler Koehn couldn't gain any momentum against the No. 3 seed Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford), and fell to the wrestlebacks after going down by major decision, 8-0. Koehn will wrestle Ethan Headlee (Pitt.) in the consolation second round.
In the consolation bracket, junior Ridge Kiley (133) saw his season come to an end with his 7-2 loss to the No. 12 seed Bryan Ortenzio (Penn). Kiley finished the season with a 17-16 overall record.
True freshman Jake Sueflohn picked up his first victory in the consolation first round when he defeated Mike Kessler (Appalachian State), 6-2. Sueflohn score six unanswered points after falling behind 2-0 in the first period. The No. 10 seed will take on William Ashnault (Rutgers) in the second consolation round.
Senior Tucker Lane (Hwt) responded to his first round loss with a dominant 6-0 win over Quintas McCorkle (Clarion) in his first consolation match. The four-time NCAA qualifier will continue his journey through the wrestleback bracket against Wesley Schroeder (Eastern Michigan) Friday morning.
Session III will start on Friday morning at 10 a.m. from the Scottrade Center with quarterfinals and consolation second and third round matches scheduled. Session III will be available on ESPNU and will also be streamed on ESPN3.com. Continue to check back to Huskers.com for more updates on the Huskers at the NCAA Championships. A full list of results from session II and next round match-ups are below.
Second Round Matches
157- #11 James Green (NU) by dec. over #6 James Fleming (Clarion), 8-3
165- #8 Robert Kokesh (NU) by dec. over Patrick Graham (Oklahoma), 5-4
174- .#3 Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) by major dec. over Tyler Koehn (NU), 8-0
184- #7 Josh Ihnen (NU) by dec. over #10 Jacob Swartz (Boise State), 3-2
197- James Nakashima (NU) by dec. over Cody Reed (Binghamton), 7-5
Consolation First Round Matches
133- #12 Bryan Ortenzio (Penn) by dec. over Ridge Kiley (NU), 7-2
141- #10 Jake Sueflohn (NU) by dec. over Mike Kessler (Appalachian State), 6-2
Hwt- #11 Tucker Lane (NU) by dec. over Quintas McCorkle (Clarion), 6-0
157- #11 James Green (NU) vs. #3 Jason Welch (Northwestern)
165- #8 Robert Kokesh (NU) vs. #1 David Taylor (Penn State)
184- #7 Josh Ihnen (NU) vs. #2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)
197- James Nakashima (NU) vs. #5 Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State)
Second Round Consolation Matches
141- #10 Jake Sueflohn (NU) vs. William Ashnault (Rutgers)
174- Tyler Koehn (NU) vs. Ethan Headlee (Pitt.)
Hwt- #11 Tucker Lane (NU) vs. Wesley Schroeder (Eastern Michigan)