5 Boilermakers Alive in Cleveland
March 15, 2018

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After two sessions and 460 matches contested at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday, five of Purdue’s seven qualifiers have advanced through the first day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. All five Boilermakers will be tackling one match at a time on Friday; win and advance or lose and bow out. Action resumes with session III at 11 a.m. ET. Championship quarterfinals will run concurrently with the second and third rounds of wrestlebacks.

No. 14 Luke Welch (125), No. 15 Dylan Lydy (174) and Shawn Streck (285) were victorious in their opening round matches. The trio dropped into the consolation bracket with second round losses to a top-five seeded opponent.

Welch notched his 30th win of the season, cruising past South Dakota State’s Connor Brown 10-5. A six-point third period lifted the redshirt senior over the Jackrabbit. Third-seeded Spencer Lee of Iowa then used 3:59 to defeat Welch 18-0. Virginia Tech’s Kyle Norstrem is on the docket for Welch (30-10) on Friday.

Round 4 of Lydy vs. Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern went to Lydy, with a 6-2 win that came in the first set of tiebreakers. The win, Lydy’s second in the tiebreakers over Sebastian, came when it mattered most. True to the series’ form, the two were deadlocked at 1-1 at the end of regulation. Lydy asserted himself, riding the Wildcat out through the first half of the breaker. The redshirt sophomore Boilermaker quickly escaped from his turn on bottom and exploded for a pair of takedowns with 10 seconds left on the clock.

It was another Big 10 foe for Lydy in the second round. Second-seeded Mark Hall of Penn State won by technical fall, 21-3 (6:54). Lydy (33-13) will fight for his right to stay alive against Matt Finesilver of Duke in wrestlebacks.

Streck began his birthday by upsetting 13th-seeded Billy Miller of Edinboro 11-5. After a slow start, Streck broke the match open with four takedowns over the final 2:20. With the win, the Merrillville, Indiana, native became Purdue’s winningest true or redshirt freshman since Luke Manuel had 29 wins in 2007-08.

In the second round, he nearly knocked off Duke’s fourth-seeded All-American Jacob Kasper, losing 4-2 in sudden victory. Streck will go up against Stephen Suglio of Kent State in his next bout.

No. 15 Nate Limmex and Christian Brunner rebounded from first round losses with major decisions in wrestlebacks at 141 and 197 pounds, respectively. Limmex was dealt a 3-2 setback by an all too familiar foe in Wisconsin’s Eli Stickley. The Purdue redshirt sophomore was impressive in a 14-2 major decision over A.C. Headlee of North Carolina in the first round of wrestlebacks. The major decision, his sixth of the season, lifted his record to 26-15 and set him up for a match against Iowa’s Vince Turk.

Princeton’s Patrick Brucki narrowly edged 16th-seeded Brunner to start the day, 8-6. A pair of takedowns and a four-point nearfall earned the two-time NCAA qualifier a 10-1 major decision over Tanner Orndorff of Utah Valley. Brunner (24-10) will take on No. 15 Matt Williams of CSU Bakersfield in the second round Friday.

Two Boilermakers were bounced from the tournament during Thursday’s evening session. Ben Thornton closed the book on his redshirt junior campaign and his first NCAA appearance in the 133-pound wrestlebacks. He was able to avenge an early season loss to Ohio’s Cameron Kelly by beating the Bobcat 5-3 in a consolation pigtail match. Thornton went 1-2 and concludes his season with a mark of 27-13.

Jacob Morrissey wore the Purdue singlet for the last time Thursday. The redshirt senior suffered back-to-back losses to exit his second NCAA Championships. Morrissey, a native of Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, leaves his name scattered on the Boilermakers’ season and career records lists for back points and reversals. He finishes with a career record of 67-47, with over half of his wins resulting in bonus points (8 MD, 11 TF, 16 F).



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