March 21, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - Three Boilermakers are still standing after the first day of competition at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena, after a pair of wins in the evening session. Purdue scored four team points on the day, sitting in a tie for 35th in the standings.
The session got off to a slow start as senior Ivan Lopouchanski was ousted from the championship bracket by seventh-seeded Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State, 4-1. The match went down to the wire, tied 1-1 after trading escapes in the second and third periods, but it was Sakaguchi who was able to score the bout's only takedown in the last 30 seconds. Lopouchanski is set to take on a familiar foe in Wyoming's Brandon Richardson, meeting for the second time this season as Lopouchanski earned a 4-0 decision over the Cowboy at Missouri last month.
Sophomore Brandon Nelsen got the wrestlebacks going at 141 pounds, picking up bonus points with a pin over Northwestern's Pat Greco. Nelsen put Greco on his back early, scoring a five-point move in a first-period scramble, and returned him to his blades in the second period, countering Greco's shot and pancaking him straight to the mat for the fall at 4:36. It's Nelsen's ninth fall of the season and 18th of his career, matching the No. 17 spot on the Boilermakers' single-season record list and moving into a tie for 14th all-time with Israel Blevins and Nick Bertucci. Nelsen will meet Virginia Tech's Zach Neibert tomorrow morning in the second consolation round.
The Boilermakers made it two in a row at 157 pounds as senior Tommy Churchard picked up a 3-0 decision over Cody Pack of South Dakota State. The match's only offense came in the first period as Churchard picked up a takedown, and he held off Pack down the stretch to pick up his 20th win of the year. Churchard is scheduled to face Ohio's Spartak Chino tomorrow morning.
Freshman Chad Welch saw his season come to a close Thursday night, suffering a 12-4 major-decision loss to Penn's Ian Korb. Korb hit a variety of takedowns through the match, as Welch was never able to get much offense working. Welch finishes the season at 22-15 at 174 pounds.
Sophomore Braden Atwood suffered a similar fate at 197 pounds, dropping a 7-1 decision to Mario Gonzalez of Illinois to be eliminated from the tournament. Gonzalez spent most of the match on top, building almost four minute of riding time, and Atwood gave up a takedown late in the match trying to make something happen. Atwood wraps up his second year at 25-12, ranking second on the team in wins.
Tomorrow morning's action begins at 10 a.m. (CT) and will consist of the championship quarterfinals and two rounds of consolation action.
141 Pounds – Brandon Nelsen
First Round – lost to #12 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion), D 6-3
Conso. First Round – def. Pat Greco (Northwestern), Fall 4:26
Conso. Second Round – Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech)
149 Pounds – #10 Ivan Lopouchanski
First Round – def. Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg), D 3-0
Second Round – lost to #7 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), D 4-1
Conso. Second Round – Brandon Richardson (Wyoming)
157 Pounds – Tommy Churchard
First Round – lost to #5 James Fleming (Clarion), TF 16-0 (4:44)
Conso. First Round – def. Cody Pack (South Dakota State), D 3-0
Conso. Second Round – Spartak Chino (Ohio)
174 Pounds – Chad Welch
First Round – lost to Cody Walters (Ohio), D 5-3
Conso. First Round – lost to Ian Korb (Penn), MD 12-4
197 Pounds – Braden Atwood
First Round – lost to #11 Blake Rosholt (Oklahoma State), D 3-2
Conso. First Round – lost to Mario Gonzalez (Illinois), D 7-1