Des Moines, IA (Sports Network) - In front of a sold out Wells Fargo Arena, 330 wrestlers began their search for a NCAA wrestling title on Thursday.
After an exciting day of wrestling, the Penn State Nittany Lions hold the overall team lead with 32.5 points. They are trailed by Oklahoma State (29 points), Minnesota (24 points), Iowa (22 points) and Oregon State (16 points), to round out the top five.
125 LBS: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) advanced to the quarterfinals with a major decision and a technical fall. He continues to look like a strong candidate to claim the 125-pound title. Dominic Parisi (Appalachian State) upset darkhorse pick Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech). Garnett remains alive in the consolation bracket after winning by a fall in his third match of the day. Parisi went on to win his second match to advance, as did No. 1 seed Alan Waters (Missouri).
133 LBS: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) and Tony Ramos (Iowa) appear headed toward a Big Ten finals rematch, with each pinning both opponents they faced. Darkhorse pick Scott Sentes (Central Michigan), won his first-round match by major decision, but fell in the second round by a 3-1 verdict to No. 7 seed Jonathan Morrison (Oklahoma State).
141 LBS: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) looked strong in pinning a tough Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals. Darkhorse candidate Mike Nevinger (Cornell) will have to battle his way on to the podium via the consolation bracket. He lost his opening-round bout to Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech), but won his next match to keep the dream alive.
149 LBS: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) continued his march toward the finals with two major decisions on the first day of action. Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), our darkhorse pick, prevailed twice on the first day of wrestling with a 13-5 win in the opener, followed by a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue).
157 LBS: The 157-pound weight class provided the day's most chaotic bracket with both the third and fourth seeds losing their opening bouts. The Sports Network's pick, Derek St. John (Iowa), finished the day with two wins, but had to battle a game Joshua Kreimer (Air Force) in the second round. Darkhorse Dylan Alton (Penn State) had a three-win day on his way to the quarterfinals, including two major decisions. Unranked Josh Demas (Ohio State) had a strong day as well, beating two ranked opponents to advance to the quarters.
165 LBS: Kyle Dake (Cornell) and David Taylor (Penn State) remain on course to provide college wrestling fans with the tournament's marquee matchup, as both advanced to the quarterfinals with two wins apiece. Taylor provided the fireworks with two wins by fall, while Dake was workmanlike in dispatching his opponents by scores of 3-0 and 10-0, respectively.
174 LBS: No. 6 seed and The Sport Network's pick to win it all at 174 pounds, Logan Storley (Minnesota), remained in the championship bracket by winning two matches. Second-seeded Matthew Brown (Penn State) however, looked like the wrestler to beat on the first day, dominating his opponents on his way to the quarterfinals. Darkhorse Nick Heflin (Ohio State) also went 2-0 on the day and continues his quest for an NCAA title.
184 LBS: Prohibitive favorite Ed Ruth (Penn State) needed only 28 seconds to dispose of his first opponent, and a period and a half to pin his second. Ruth continues to look unbeatable. Our darkhorse, Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), garnered two wins, the second coming in a tough 2-0 decision over 11th-seeded Mike Larson (Missouri).
197 LBS: Top-seeded Dustin Kilgore (Kent State) easily advanced to the quarterfinal round with two convincing wins. He and the No. 2 seed, the undefeated Quentin Wright (Penn State), seem to be on a collision course for the finals. Darkhorse Nathan Schiedel (Binghamton), looked sharp in his opening bout, winning by major decision, but ran into a determined Scott Schiller (Minnesota) and lost his second match 10-7.
HWT: Our pick at heavyweight, Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) gutted out a tough first-round win over Steven Graziano (Penn) before dispatching his next opponent with a third-period pin. Darkhorse Jarod Trice (Central Michigan) won both of his bouts on his way to the quarterfinals, as did No. l seed Dom Bradley (Missouri). Keep your eye on Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State), as the third-seeded redshirt senior spent a total of 52 seconds on the mat in collecting two falls on the first day of action.