NEW YORK, N.Y. - Kyle Snyder and Myles Martin will compete on the ultimate NCAA stage tomorrow night thanks to their performance Friday in the semifinal round of the NCAA Championships. Snyder and Martin both punched their respective tickets to the finals, which will be held tomorrow evening starting at 8 p.m. inside Madison Square Garden and televised live on ESPN.
Martin, the No. 11 seed who came into the NCAA Championships following a third-place showing at Big Tens, controlled unseeded Lelund Weatherspoon throughout, working a first-period takedown, escaping to start the second and then getting another takedown to go up 5-0. In the third, the lead grew to 7-1 with just 1:30 to go and he rolled from there, setting up another showdown with Penn State's Bo Nickal, the top seed. Martin and Nickal have faced each other three times already this season. Martin's win also makes the second true freshman NCAA finalist in as many year for Ohio State.
Snyder, who was dominant in each of his three prior matches of the championships, took out the third seed, Virginia Tech's Ty Walz, 10-6. Snyder never trailed and scored a key three points in the third period after the score was knotted at three (the two traded takedowns and escapes in the first period). With Snyder on bottom and ahead 7-4 to start the third, he escaped, got a takedown and racked up well over a minute of riding time. That sets up the match-up everyone anticipated - Snyder vs. No. 1 seed and two-time defending national champion Nick Gwiazdowski (33-0). The match will be the 10th and final bout of the championship finals tomorrow evening.
Tomasello and Gilman traded escapes through the first three periods of their semifinal match, but Gilman was able to take Tomasello down in the sudden victory period and then complete a fall to advance to tomorrow's final against Penn State's Nico Megaludis. Tomasello, meanwhile, has a third place match tomorrow morning against American's David Terao, the No. 15 seed.
Redshirt freshman Micah Jordan saw his stellar rookie campaign come to an end in the Round of 12 with a 6-2 loss to 16th-seeded Randy Cruz of Lehigh. Jordan led 2-1 after the first period but gave up four back points in the second and was not able to recover. He finishes his season with a 27-4 record, CKLV title and third place showing at the Big Ten Championships.
The fourth edition of Bo Jordan/Isaac Jordan once against went to Isaac, as he was able to score a third-period reversal to gain a 5-3 lead and then hang on to top Bo for the fourth time in the last 12 months. Isaac scored a takedown in the first period, Bo escaped to start the second and that's how the score stayed until the third. Isaac's was out quickly on an escape to make it 3-1, but Bo worked a takedown to tie it before the final scoring sequence. Jordan moves into the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning.
Myles Martin opening statement: "Made it to the semis. I was nervous, I'm a freshman. I'm young, but my coaches told me to keep my head and stay focused, wrestled well against him. He took out Realbuto with a good upset and made it to the semi. So I had to wrestle my match, and I did and I got the victory."
On his first NCAA Championships: "As a kid I grew up watching these tournaments and I knew how cool it would be if I got to wrestle in them, and I always told my dad I can't wait to get in college and wrestle in them and it all came so fast. When I got to the tournament I said at one point at a time, one take down at a time, and having that mind-set it helped me stay focused and wrestle in every position, have fun, wrestle free, don't focus on one thing or what the guy is good at because that will affect the way you wrestle. So Terrell told me to wrestle free and leave it all on the mat, so I did."
On making the finals as a freshman: "For me, I wanted to redshirt in the beginning of the year because I didn't think I was experienced enough at college and I argued with the coaches a bunch of times and they knew I was ready. But I failed to believe that. It's all a mind-set for people, and I didn't think I was good enough to keep wrestling. But you look at the Ohio State wrestling room you have Kyle Snyder, Logan Stieber, Bo in there, me, Terrell, Reece, and wrestling all those guys. They helped my confidence so well, even the coaches, Jaggers, Thatcher and Lou, just made my confidence grow more and more. And when Tom Ryan talked to me about, we need you to wrestle, and I said I don't think I'm ready. I was nervous and scared. I don't think I can do it, and I wrestled in more open tournaments just to see how it goes. And I started doing pretty well and he pulled me, and I said, I can do this, Coach, I got it. In the beginning it was a struggle, but once I got the matches under my belt and got rolling it felt good."
Kyle Snyder opening statement: "It was a tough match. Ty Walz is a good opponent. Haven't wrestled him in a while. We used to practice together, but first time I wrestled him in competition. So it was fun. Probably sat around on the hand side a little too much, but got a couple take downs. So that was good."
On finals match-up with Nick Gwiazdowski tomorrow: "We're actually pretty good friends. We trained together a lot this summer. He comes up to Ohio State and trains, a decent amount last year and we made the decision we were texting back and forth to see how each other was doing and he's a good guy and we didn't think we were going to wrestle each other.
"So we threw the kitchen sink at each other and let it all go, so I feel like we have a good feel for each other and I know he is a good game planner. So I know he's going to have a game plan for me, and I just want to make it a wrestling match. I want to get in wrestling positions and I feel like if I can get into lots of wrestling positions I'll come out on top. I'll win the majority of them."
OHIO STATE WRESTLING
2016 NCAA Championships | Session IV
Madison Square Garden | New York, N.Y. | Attendance: 18,309
TEAM SCORES (Top 10)
1. Penn State - 114.0
2. Oklahoma St. - 79.5
3. Iowa - 77.5
4. Virginia Tech - 69.5
5. Ohio State - 68.0
6. Missouri - 58.5
7. Nebraska - 56.0
8. Cornell - 53.5
9. NC State - 43.0
10. Illinois - 42.0
125: No. 1 Nathan Tomasello (25-1)
Semifinals: No. 4 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) won by SV-1 fall over Tomasello (7:37)
141: No. 6 Micah Jordan (27-4)
Consolation Rd. Four: No. 16 Randy Cruz (Lehigh) decision over Jordan 6-2
165: No. 3 Bo Jordan (19-3)
Semifinals: No. 2 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) decision over Jordan 5-4
174: No. 11 Myles Martin (32-6)
Semifinals: Martin decision over Lelund Weatherspoon 8-2
285: No. 2 Kyle Snyder (10-0)
Semifinals: Snyder decision over No. 3 Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) 10-6