OKLAHOMA CITY – A trio of Columbia wrestlers extended their time at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships, winning bouts in the first round of wrestle-back competition Thursday evening at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Markus Scheidel and Josh Houldsworth posted wins via decision, while Shane Hughes recorded a first period fall to advance.
Exceptional conditioning was a key characteristic Scheidel showed in his first ever NCAA Tournament victory Thursday evening. Scheidel and Spartak Chino from Ohio engaged in a back-and-forth 157-pound bout that would go all the way into a second overtime period. The opening three minutes played out to an even 3-3 tie, with Chino scoring the initial takedown, but Scheidel fired back with an escape and takedown of his own before a final escape for Chino ended the period.
Each grappler earned one more escape the rest of the way through regulation, sending the match to overtime tied 4-4. The first extra minute ended scoreless, giving way to each wrestler earning an escape in the tiebreaker periods. The second sudden victory overtime period mimicked the first and the team’s headed to a second tiebreaker session.
Chino notched an escape in the first 30-second period to take a 6-5 lead into the next half-minute period, with Scheidel starting on the bottom. In that session, Scheidel had scored what looked to be a reversal to take the lead, but an official’s review changed it to an escape, tying the score at 6-6. With the final seconds ticking down, Chino took a shot but was stonewalled by Scheidel and slammed to his back for a takedown and a two-point nearfall, earning Scheidel the 10-6 victory.
Scheidel will meet Virginia’s Blaise Butler in the next round. Blaise, the 10-seed, lost his round of 16 match to the seventh-seed, Brian Realbuto from Cornell, in sudden victory, 3-1.
Scheidel’s match took so long to finish, it ended almost concurrently with Houldsworth’s against South Dakota State’s Joseph Brewster. The 165-pound bout leaned in Houldsworth’s favor early on, as the senior from White Lake, Mich. recorded two takedowns in the opening period to garner a 4-1 lead after three minutes. He added an escape point in the second period and then held off Brewster’s late charge to come away with the 5-2 decision.
Daniel Zilverberg, the 15-seed for Minnesota, is up next for Houldsworth. Zilverberg dropped his round of 16 match to the second-seed, Tyler Caldwell, 9-2, to drop into the wrestle-backs.
Not to be outdone by the excitement of Scheidel’s match, 174-pounder Hughes earned his first NCAA victory with a fall as time expired in the opening period of his bout against Missouri’s Mike England. England grabbed an early lead with a takedown 44 seconds in. As the first period neared its end, Hughes made a nice move for a reversal and then used that to pin England just before buzzer. The fall was Hughes’ eighth this season.
He advances to take on Tony Dallago from Illinois Friday morning. Dallago dropped his round of 16 bout to top-seed Chris Perry from Oklahoma State in a major decision, 11-3.
Zack Hernandez was also on the mats for Columbia at 184 pounds, but went up against the fifth-seeded Ethen Lofthouse from Iowa, falling in a 10-2 major decision.
Wrestling continues Friday morning at 10 a.m. with the quarterfinals and the second and third rounds of wrestle-backs.