Day One at Big Ten Championships Completed
March 9, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Ryan LeBlanc (165 lbs) and Adam Chalfant (285 lbs) earned automatic bids to the NCAA Championships on Day One of the Big Ten Championships while Joe Duca (125 lbs) and Taylor Walsh (157 lbs) remain in contention for slots in the nationals heading into Day Two of competition at the conference tournament.
Chalfant has advanced to the wrestleback semifinals while LeBlanc, Walsh, Duca and Luke Sheridan (184 lbs) will each battle for seventh place in their respective weight classes. Due to the Big Ten earning varying amounts of automatic bids to the NCAA Championships at each weight, the path to nationals is different for each Hoosier. LeBlanc has already clinched a spot as eight 165-pounders from the Big Ten qualified. Meanwhile, Duca and Walsh must win their seventh-place bouts to seize NCAA qualification. At 184 pounds, just six auto bids were up for grabs. Therefore, Sheridan must now await the committee's wild card selections midweek to determine the remaining NCAA field.
Chalfant won three of four bouts on Saturday, starting with a 4-1 decision over Illinois' Chris Lopez in the opening round. Following a 7-3 defeat to third-seeded Connor Medbery, the Hoosier heavyweight responded with back-to-back decisions over Alex White (Purdue) and Jimmy Lawson (Penn State). Chalfant enters Sunday needing two more victories to seize third place at the Big Ten Championships.
Duca's second win over Dom Malone (Northwestern) in the last three week's advanced him to the seventh place bout and a winner-take-all shot at an NCAAs trip. Walsh and LeBlanc won a pair of matches each on Day One, also finding their way into the seventh-place bout.
Walsh began by blanking Purdue's Tommy Churchard, 3-0, in the first round and later getting past Kalvin York of Wisconsin, 4-2. LeBlanc posted bonus points in his opening bout, majoring Pat Robinson (Purdue), 10-1. He then stamped his NCAA entry form in the wrestlebacks by topping Nebraska's Austin Wilson, 9-2.
Day Two competition is slated to begin at 11:30 am CT/12:30 pm ET.