McMullan, Welch Pick up Victories at 2013 NCAA Championships
March 21, 2013
2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships – Session I
Site: Wells-Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa)
Live Stats & Updated Brackets: TrackWrestling.com
2013 NCAA Wrestling Brackets
Session II: Thursday, March 21, 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3; Links to watch)
Session III (Quarterfinals): Friday, March 22, 10 a.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3; Links to watch ESPN3)
Session IV (Semifinals): Friday, March 22, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Session V (Medal Round) – Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m. (ESPNU)
Session VI (Finals) – Saturday, March 23, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
DES MOINES, Iowa – A pair of Northwestern returning All-Americans won their first-round bouts at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. Top-seeded Jason Welch moves on to the second round at 157 while No. 5 seed Mike McMullan picked up a victory at 285. Welch and McMullan were two of six Wildcats competing at NCAA’s.
Welch rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Nestor Taffur of Boston University, 11-5, in his first-round match. Taffur struck first with a takedown and turned Welch for two, going up 4-0. The NU senior then escaped and scored a quick takedown to trail by one, 4-3, going into the second. Welch started the second down and reversed Taffur to take his first lead of the match at 5-4. He then started to accumulate riding time and turned Taffur for three backpoints to go up 8-4, capping an 8-0 run. Welch continued to rack up riding time in the third period and Taffur scored his final point of the match off an escape, putting the score at 8-5. With time winding down and the victory in his hands, Welch added on one more takedown and 3:20 of riding time in the 11-5 win.
Welch now faces Scott Winston of Rutgers. These two are both fifth-year seniors and have not wrestled one another since their freshmen seasons when they each won a match against the other. Welch has the most-recent victory, a 9-1 major decision at the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Fellow returning All-American Mike McMullan started his second trip to NCAA’s out with a victory, defeating Stanford’s Dan Scherer, 6-2. Fifth-seeded McMullan had the 3-1 lead after two periods with a takedown and an escape. Scherer began the third period down and McMullan racked up 1:21 of riding time before the Cardinal wrestler escaped. Leading, 3-2, McMullan scored an insurance takedown in the closing seconds and added a point for 1:26 of riding time in the 6-2 win.
McMullan now takes on No. 12 seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana in the second round. The NU wrestler is 2-1 all-time against Chalfant and has the most-recent victory, a 6-2 decision, during the dual season.
Competing in his first NCAA Championships, redshirt sophomore Pat Greco drew fifth-seeded Evan Henderson of North Carolina in his first bout at 141 lbs. After a scoreless first, Henderson went ahead 3-0 with an escape and takedown but Greco pulled within one point after a reversal. Henderson tacked on one more escape to lead 4-2 going into the third. Greco began the third down and was unable to escape as Henderson recorded the fall in 5:49. Greco now faces a familiar foe, Purdue’s Brandon Nelsen, in tonight’s wrestleback round.
A pair of redshirt sophomores wrestled in their second NCAA Championships and will continue in the wrestleback round this evening. Pierce Harger matched up against No. 4 seed Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State in his opening bout at 165 lbs. Harger trailed by just two at the end of the first with Caldwell scoring the first takedown but he only managed to score a late escape in the third as the Oklahoma State wrestler took the 9-1 major decision. Harger will meet Edinboro’s Johnny Greisheimer tonight, a wrestler he defeated 5-3 during the dual season.
Lee Munster wrestled an exciting bout against Eastern Michigan’s Phillip Joseph at 174. The Wildcat had the 4-2 lead after the first with two takedowns and allowed a pair of escapes. Munster extended his lead to 5-2 with an escape in the second but Joseph cut the deficit to one (5-4) with a takedown. Joseph then knotted things up at 5-5 with an escape in the third and scored the match-clinching takedown to take the 7-5 win. Munster now heads to the consolation round where he will meet Craig Kelliher of Central Michigan.
Redshirt sophomore Alex Polizzi also was competing in his first NCAA Championships and drew Eastern Michigan’s Nick Whitenburg in his first bout at 197. Whitenburg had the 4-2 lead after the first and ended the match early with a second-period fall (4:45). Polizzi now meets a familiar opponent, Caleb Kolb of Nebraska, this evening. Polizzi went 1-1 vs. Kolb this year with a 6-1 decision during the dual season and Kolb took the narrow 3-2 victory at Big Ten’s.
Session II of the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships begins at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday evening.
First Round Matches
141: No. 5 Evan Henderson (UNC) pins Pat Greco (NU), 5:49
157: No. 1 Jason Welch (NU) dec Nestor Taffur (BU), 11-5
165: No. 4 Tyler Caldwell (Ok. State) maj dec Pierce Harger (NU), 9-1
174: Phillip Joseph (EMU) dec Lee Munster (NU), 7-5
197: Nick Whitenburg (EMU) pins Alex Polizzi (NU), 4:45
285: No. 5 Mike McMullan (NU) dec Dan Scherer (Stanford), 6-2
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