Cam Tessari Grapples to Fourth-Place Finish at NCAA Championships
March 17, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo.– Cam Tessari, a freshman from Monroeville, Ohio, finished fourth in the 149-pound wrestleback final of the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Saturday morning at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. In other medal-round action, Nick Heflin (174 pounds) and Hunter Stieber (141 pounds) were fifth and sixth-place finishers in their respective brackets.
Redshirt freshman Logan Stieber will wrestle for the national championship in the 133-pound division vs. No. 1 seed Jordon Oliver of Oklahoma State at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Ohio State finished the fifth session of the championships in sixth place with 64.5 points in the team race. Penn State mathematically clinched the 2012 edition of the championships and currently has compiled 128.5 points. Minnesota is second (113.5), while Iowa is third (103.5).
The No. 10 seed, Tessari won his sixth-consecutive match of the championships, 9-5, over Justin Accordino from Hofstra. Tessari jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and Accordino could never catch up. Tessari’s 2:05 of riding time sealed the win for the final score. Tessari subsequently dropped the third-place bout, a 12-10 thriller against No. 4 seed Donald Vinson of Binghamton. Vinson held a 4-1 advantage and it appeared a left leg injury was going to keep Tessari from continuing the match. However, he fought through and after a series of takedowns and reversals, Tessari was able to cut Vinson’s lead to one (10-9) at the end of the second period. Vinson owned a 1:32 of riding time to start the third period and Tessari needed a takedown for the win. After giving up an escape to Vinson, Tessari managed to cut Vinson’s lead to one again courtesy of a stalling call, but that was as close as the Buckeye could get before the 12-10 final.
In his first match of the day, redshirt sophomore and No. 9 seed Heflin suffered his second defeat of the tournament, losing to No. 2 seed Chris Perry of Oklahoma State, 8-7. Heflin battled back from a 6-3 deficit to tie the score, 7-7, with 30 seconds left, but Perry’s 1:58 of riding time was enough for the Cowboy win. Heflin’s second match of the day would fare better than his first. The Massillon, Ohio, native finished fifth after defeating No. 4 seed Logan Storley of Minnesota by a 3-2 score. The redshirt sophomore scored a takedown 45 seconds into the first period and that was the only two-point score he needed to earn a Top 5 finish. Heflin’s only losses in the tournament came at the hands of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded wrestlers.
Freshman H. Stieber, the No. 5 seed, suffered a tough loss to No. 6 Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly, 7-4. Stieber wrapped up the tournament in sixth place after losing to No. 4 Michael Mangrum of Oregon State via fall in 4:14. Stieber defeated Mangrum Friday, but the fifth-year senior was too much to handle in the medal round. Stieber is the third All-American representing Ohio State from Monroeville High School in this tournament.
Ohio State at 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship
Team Standings (Top 10)
Individual Ohio State Results
149 – Cam Tessari: Fourth
174 – Nick Heflin: Fifth
On Nick Heflin’s performance Saturday morning
On Cam Tessari’s performance
On the freshmen in this tournament