Semifinals Up Next for Nick Heflin, Logan Stieber
March 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio– After the completion of three sessions, Ohio State remains in sixth place in the team race of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with 38 points behind winning performances from a quartet of Buckeyes. Senior Nick Heflin and redshirt-junior Logan Stieber advanced to the semifinals following wins at 197 pounds and 141 pounds, respectively, Friday morning at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Redshirt-sophomore Kenny Courts and redshirt-freshman Nick Tavanello answered day-one losses with consecutive victories Friday to continue their bids for All-America honors and a Top 3 finish.
Semifinal action will begin at 8 p.m. ET Friday. ESPN will carry live coverage and ESPN3 will provide mat-by-mat coverage of the wrestlebacks.
Penn State is holding on to a slim lead for the team title with 61 points. Minnesota is second with 59 points, while Oklahoma State rounds out the Top 3 with 56 points.
In Friday’s action, Stieber, the No. 2 seed, recorded his second fall of the NCAA championships with his 1:29 pin against No. 10 Todd Preston of Harvard. Stieber owned a 5-0 lead prior to notching his ninth fall of the season. Up next, Stieber will face Penn State’s and No. 3 seed Zain Retherford in both wrestlers’ third meeting of the season. -During a regular-season match-up, Retherford handed Stieber his first loss, a 4-2 setback in sudden victory, in 45 matches Dec. 15 in State College. Stieber answered the loss with a 7-3 win in the Big Ten Championships final March 9. Since the loss, Stieber has won 19 consecutive matches.
Like Stieber, Heflin, the No. 1 seed, will face a familiar opponent in the semifinals in No. 4 seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota. Heflin is 2-0 against Schiller this season, first beating the Gopher, 8-4, in the NWCA National Duals Feb. 16-17 in front of the home crowd in St. John Arena in Columbus and then again in the semifinals, 3-2, at the Big Ten championships March 8. Heflin downed Binghamton’s Cody Reed, 8-1, in the NCAA quarterfinals to earn his place among the last four.
After a second-round loss Thursday, Courts, the 10-seed, has won back-to-back matches to remain in contention for All-America honors. Friday morning, Courts edged Michigan’s and No. 9 seed Domenic Abounader, 4-3, before surviving to beat Lazarus Reyes of Illinois, 6-4. Up next for Courts is Ophir Bernstein of Brown. Courts and Bernstein met earlier this season at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December where Courts pinned Bernstein in 4:48.
Tavanello continued his impressive run Friday morning, downing a 12 and 13 seed. First, Tavanello beat Maryland’s Spencer Myers, 4-2, before handing Ernest James of Edinboro a 3-1 loss. Tavanello will face No. 7 seed Mike McClure of Michigan State. Earlier this season, McClure pinned Tavanello in 2:50 in a Big Ten dual match-up.
2014 Division I Wrestling NCAA Championships