Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

Garrett Frey will take on Trent Sprenkle in Thursday night wrestlebacks at the NCAA Championships.

Despite a first-period lead, unseeded sophomore Garrett Frey was eliminated from the 125-pound championship round of the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Frey dropped his first wrestleback match to Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota State to be eliminated from the competition.

Frey, who has made the NCAA Championships in both of his collegiate seasons, dropped a 16-5 major decision to sixth-seeded and former All-America Nic Bedelyon of Kent State. It is the second year Frey has lost in the first round against a Top 10 opponent; last year, Frey was eliminated by top-seeded Angel Escobedo of Indiana.

Bedelyon opened the match with a quick takedown, but Frey showed his competitiveness early with a reversal. He rode Bedelyon for a bit, but gave up an escape on the edge of the mat to trail 3-2. Frey got in on a single and scored a takedown to build a 4-3 lead late in the first, but Bedelyon scored a reversal to carry a 5-4 lead into the second period.

"We wrestled great in the first period," head coach Chris Ayres said. "He was aggressive. It was a fun period to watch. I felt confident."

Frey evened the score at 5 with an escape in the second, and the two wrestled neutral for a stretch. Bedelyon took control in the final minute with a takedown and three near fall points to build a 10-5 lead entering the third.

"Garrett got a little cautious in the second period," Ayres said. "We stopped and they kept wrestling. In this sport, once you turn the engine off, you can't get it back on. You can't try to squeak through."

Frey needed to gamble a bit in the third, and Bedelyon wouldn't let him get back into the match. An escape and takedown gave Bedelyon full control, and he rode Frey out for the 16-5 victory.

"We talked at length afterwards, and he knows what happened," Ayres said. "This could be the best thing for him. He just needs to continue trying to score points and not think about anything else. If he stays aggressive, he can make a real run here."

Frey's weekend ended with a first-period pin by Sprenkle, who hung tough against EIWA champion Frank Perrelli of Cornell in the first round before losing by one. Sprenkle scored first with a takedown, and he turned it into a pin with 13 seconds remaining in the period.