PHILADELPHIA, PA. - Eren Civan and Kevin Lester both won their opening matches of the 2011 NCAA Championships on Thursday, March 17. Both wrestlers dropped their second matches of the day, but remain alive in the consolation brackets set to resume on Friday morning at the Wells Fargo Center.
Wrestling at 165 pounds, Civan started the tournament off on a high-note when he upset the No. 12 Cody Yohn of Minnesota. Civan didn't need much time before he caught Yohn in a cradle and pinned him in 2:28. His next bout was against No. 5 Colt Sponseller of Ohio State. Civan struck first and held a slim 2-1 lead after the first, but Sponseller escaped and got a questionable takedown as time ran out in the second period. Sponseller went on to win 7-3 as Civan finished day one 1-1 and dropped down to the consolation bracket.
Lester also had a big win to open the tournament by defeating John Danilkowicz of Virginia. The two wrestlers met earlier in the season, with Danilkowicz coming out on top with a 14-6 major decision on November 27 at the Northeast Duals. This time around it was Lester who came out victorious, defeating the Cavalier 5-4 in a hard fought battle. The heavyweight dropped his second match to No. 3 Ryan Flores of American, dropping him down to the consolation bracket.
Competition for Civan and Lester will resume on Friday morning beginning at 10:30 a.m.