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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

IU trio punches NCAA tickets

After having half of its team eliminated Saturday, IU wrestling rebounded Sunday with a pair of third place finishers.

“It was similar to our regular season,” IU coach Duane Goldman said. “The guys who qualified for the nationals were the ones who carried the team.”

The tournament did not begin on a good note for the Hoosiers. After the first two rounds Saturday, only one wrestler, senior Paul Young at 157 pounds, remained in the
championship bracket.

By the end of the day, five wrestlers had been eliminated.

However, the team managed to salvage the situation Sunday, winning seven of eight matches on the day and sending three wrestlers to the national tournament as automatic qualifiers.

Senior Kurt Kinser lost in a quarterfinals upset to Michigan’s Eric Grajales at 149 pounds but battled back through the consolation bracket with a headlock for a pin and three straight decisions to take third. In the third-place match, Kinser pulled an upset himself, defeating second-seeded Andrew Nadhir of host Northwestern 6-4 with an overtime takedown.

Junior Matt Powless pulled a similar feat at 197 pounds. After having beaten Michigan State’s Tyler Dickenson three times during the regular season, including twice by major decision, Powless dropped a 7-4 decision in the opening round. After three decisions against seeded opponents, however, Powless found himself in yet another rematch with the upstart Dickenson, this time for third place.

Powless prevailed 6-2.

“It’s good to see they’re able to keep their head and keep their focus,” Goldman said. “At the NCAA tournament you need to show up and do their best. It was a good learning experience and good preparation.”

Young fought back from his loss to Taylor to finish fourth, and graduate student Ricky Alcala salvaged a seventh place finish at heavyweight after two Saturday upsets.
Kinser, Young and Powless each qualified for the NCAA championships. Alcala appears likely to join them as a wildcard selection.

“We just need to focus on going back to the room and looking at the matches and making sure the things they do are being done as best they can,” Goldman said. “We need to go back and look at areas where they fell short. We need to continue to train.”

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