Wrestling Off To Solid Start At NCAA Championships
Sophomore Camden Eppert picked up his first career NCAA win on Thursday.

March 15, 2012

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Purdue wrestling team got off to a great start at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center on Thursday, going 4-2 in their first six matches and totaling 11 team points. The Boilermakers are currently tied for eighth place, matching Ohio State, Edinboro and Oklahoma in the opening session.

Sophomores Camden Eppert and Cashé Quiroga got the Boilermakers off to a fast start, winning their opening bouts at 125 and 133 pounds. Eppert picked up his first career NCAA Championship victory, avenging a late-season loss to Central Michigan's Joe Roth, 5-3, to get things rolling. Eppert scored first, hitting a single-leg attack and then working through a lengthy scramble for the 2-0 edge. Roth countered with a reversal as Eppert got too high on his ride, but the Boilermaker sophomore quickly escaped to make it 3-2. Both wrestlers added escapes in the second and third periods, but Eppert racked up a minute of riding time to tack on another point and earn the victory. Eppert advances to meet fourth-seeded Jesse Delgado of Illinois tonight.

Quiroga was a little slow out of the gate, but roared through to the finish in a 19-6 major decision over Arizona State's Shane McGough. The No. 9 seed at 133 pounds, Quiroga coughed up a takedown in the early seconds, but escaped and countered with a score of his own to make it 3-2 at the end of the first. A quick reversal made it 5-2, and then a release and second takedown pushed the score to 7-3 by the end of the second period. Quiroga let loose in the final period, racking up four more takedowns and a three-point nearfall to pick up bonus points and advance for a rematch with Michigan's eighth-seeded Zac Stevens in tonight's session.

The Boilermakers hit a bump in the road at 149 pounds as 12th-seeded junior Ivan Lopouchanski was upset by Hofstra's Justin Accordino, 8-4. After a scoreless first, Accordino scored a takedown in the second and two more in the third to seal one of four upsets at the weight. In addition to Lopouchanski, the No. 4 seed, No. 10 seed and No. 11 seeds all fell in the opening session at 149 pounds. Lopouchanski has Eric Terrazas of Illinois in tonight's wrestlebacks.

Junior Tommy Churchard bounced back for the Boilermakers at 157pounds, cruising to an 11-1 major decision over Colton Palmer of North Carolina State. Churchard got things going quickly, snaring a single and converting it into a five-point move for the 5-0 lead. He tacked on another takedown in the waning seconds of the first, and added an escape in the second to lead 8-1 going to the third. Churchard locked up the bonus points with another takedown in the third and had more than three minutes of riding time when it was all said and done. Churchard moves on to face third-seeded Jason Welch of Northwestern tonight.

The Boilermakers saw another late season rematch at 184 pounds as Purdue freshman Braden Atwood met fourth-seeded Steve Bosak of Cornell. Atwood was unable to top his Big Red foe, but closed the gap as he dropped a 5-0 decision. Atwood will have another rematch in tonight's session, looking to avenge an early-season loss to Brad Dieckhaus of Northern Illinois.

Senior A.J. Kissel closed out the session with a dominant display at 197 pounds, turning in a 12-2 major decision over Campbell's John Weakley. Kissel took a quick 2-0 lead with a single-leg attack, but went for the kill a little too quickly and surrendered a reversal to tie the score. The Boilermakers senior escaped and never looked back, picking up another takedown and nearly pinning Weakley at the end of the first en route to an 8-2 advantage. Kissel took top in the second and worked his turns for the whole two minutes, but only came up with a stall warning for his efforts. The third period brought another takedown a stall point and the riding time point as he tacked on another bonus point for the Old Gold and Black. Kissel advances to take on the No. 3 seed, Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh this evening.

Tonight's session starts at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and will feature the second round of championship action as well as the first round of consolation matches. Coverage continues on ESPN3, TrackWrestling.com and the official @PurdueWrestling Twitter Page.

125 - Camden Eppert
1st Round - def. Joe Roth (Central Michigan), D 5-3
2nd Round - #4 Jesse Delgado (Illinois)

133 - #9 Cashé Quiroga
1st Round - def. Shane McGough (Arizona State), MD 19-6
2nd Round - #8 Zac Stevens (Michigan)

149 - #12 Ivan Lopouchanski
1st Round - lost to Justin Accordino (Hofstra), D 4-8
Conso. 1st Round - Eric Terrazas (Illinois)

157 - Tommy Churchard
1st Round - def. Colton Palmer (North Carolina State), MD 11-1
2nd Round - #3 Jason Welch (Northwestern)

184 - Braden Atwood
1st Round - #4 Steve Bosak (Cornell), D 0-5
Conso. 1st Round - Brad Dieckhaus (Northern Illinois)

197 - A.J. Kissel
1st Round - def. John Weakley (Campbell), MD 12-2
2nd Round - #3 Matt Wilps (Pittsburgh)




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