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PITTSBURGH — University of Iowa sophomores Spencer Lee and Kaleb Young advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Championships following quarterfinal wins Friday afternoon at PPG Paints Arena.
Lee, the No. 3 seed at 125, and Young, the No. 6 seed at 157, secured All-America honors and moved one step closer to Saturday night’s finals. The semifinals begin Friday at 8 p.m. (CT).
Lee led No. 6 Sean Russell, 11-2, before locking up a fall in five minutes, 59 seconds. Lee has outscored opponents 39-3 on his way to the semifinals, where he will meet Oklahoma State’s second-seeded Nick Piccininni. Lee is 2-1 all-time against Piccininni. The wrestlers have traded pins in their last two meetings.
“I just focus on scoring points, that’s a big thing. Continuing to score points in every position in every match,” Lee said. “I want to tech or pin everybody. That’s just how I’ve always been. It’s not the most realistic thing in the world because everyone else wants to win too. I feel like if you have that mindset to continue to score points then the techs and pins will come and points will continue to pile on.”
Young entered the quarterfinals with a pair of bonus points wins, but used overtime to avenge a loss from earlier this season against No. 3 Ryan Deakin. Young built a 4-1 lead with two takedowns in the first period, and finished the match with a takedown 14 seconds into sudden victory.
“I was kind of feeling it, but if I’m feeling it I know he’s feeling it just as much, if not more,” Young said. “When you get to attacks and finish fast, it makes it hard on a guy. I have got to keep it going.”
Young will face No. 2 Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the semis. Berger beat Young, 3-1, in sudden victory at Nebraska on Feb. 3.
Eight of Iowa’s nine tournament qualifiers are still alive. Austin DeSanto (133), Max Murin (141), Pat Lugo (149), Alex Marinelli (165), and Sam Stoll (285) fell in the quarterfinals, but all are within one win of reaching the medal stand.
Jacob Warner won a pair of matches in the wrestle-backs at 197. He won by 9-1 major decision and advanced to the consolation quarterfinals with a 10-6 decision.
“It’s for honors, All-America honors,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “Sports is a metaphor for life and wrestling more than any other sport. You get your heart ripped out, it’s an individual thing and there’s a lot of pride. You have a chance to come back for individual honors. You’re not going to be where you want on the stand, but you still come back. That’s where we are.”
Cash Wilcke was eliminated from the tournament, splitting a pair of matches Friday on the backside of the 184-pound bracket.
The Hawkeyes are in fourth place with 43.5 points heading into the semifinals. Penn State leads the team race with 80 points. Ohio State is in second with 66.6. Oklahoma State is in third with 56.
The NCAA Championships continue Friday at 7 p.m. (CT). The semifinals and consolation rounds will begin simultaneously on six mats. ESPN and WatchESPN are providing television and online coverage of Session IV.
125 – #3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) pinned #6 Sean Russell (MINN), 5:59
133 – #2 Stephan Micic (MICH) dec. #7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa), 3-2
141 – #3 Nick Lee (PSU) dec. #22 Max Murin (Iowa), 4-1
149 – #2 Micah Jordan (OSU) dec. #10 Pat Lugo (Iowa), 10-3
157 – #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. #3 Ryan Deakin (NU), 7-5 SV1
165 – #8 Mekhi Lewis (VT) dec. #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa), 3-1
285 – #4 Jordan Wood (LEHIGH) dec. #28 Sam Stoll (Iowa), 2-0
184 – #12 Cash Wilcke (Iowa) major dec. #22 Mason Reinhardt (WISC), 8-0
184 – #4 Emery Parker (ILL) pinned #12 Cash Wilcke (Iowa), 5:22
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) major dec. #27 Joshua Roetman (NAVY), 9-1
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. #19 Tanner Orndorff (UVU), 10-6
125 – #3 Spencer Lee vs. #2 Nick Piccininni (OKST)
157 – #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) vs. #2 Tyler Berger (NEB)
ROUND OF 12 MATCHUPS
133 – #7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. #13 Austin Gomez (IAST)
141 – #22 Max Murin (Iowa) vs. #16 Chad Red (NEB)
149 – #10 Pat Lugo (Iowa) vs. #20 Tommy Thorn (MINN)
165 – #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. #6 Logan Massa (MICH)
197 – #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) vs. #10 Tom Sleight (VT)
285 – #28 Sam Stoll (Iowa) vs. #10 Youssif Hemida (MARY)
- Penn State 80
- Ohio State 66.5
- Oklahoma St. 56
- IOWA 43.5
- Michigan 40
- Missouri 36.5
- Minnesota 32
- Rutgers 29.5
- NC State 29
- Cornell 26.5