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Huskers Compete At National Championships

Huskers Compete At National Championships
Tyler Berger, Photo Courtesy NU Sports Information

Cleveland, Ohio – Tyler Berger (157) and Isaiah White (165) advanced to the quarterfinal round after Session II action on Thursday night at the NCAA Championships at Quicken Loans Arena.

Nebraska sits tied for 20th place overall with eight team points. Ohio State leads the tournament with 36 points, while Penn State is second with 28.5

All six Huskers who wrestled Sunday won a match and are alive in the tournament. In addition to Berger and White making the quarterfinal round, Chad Red Jr. (141), Colton McCrystal (149), Taylor Venz (184) and Eric Schultz (197) are alive in the consolation bracket.

At 157 pounds, the returning All-American Berger advanced to the quarterfinal round for the second consecutive season, as he defeated Archie Colgan by a 2-1 decision in the first tiebreaker session. Berger escaped from Colgan’s grasp in the first 30 seconds, but rode out the Cowboy grappler in over the next 30 seconds to secure his third victory over Colgan this season. Berger will look to avenge a loss earlier this season to top-seeded Hayden Hidlay of NC State in Friday’s quarterfinals.

White, seeded 11th at 165 pounds, joined Berger in the quarterfinal round, as he won a 3-1 decision in the first sudden victory period over sixth-seeded Richie Lewis of Rutgers. Just as it was in their previous meeting, a 2-1 decision in tiebreaker-1 in favor of Lewis in a dual on Jan. 21, seven minutes were not enough to separate the two wrestlers on Thursday. Tied 1-1 in sudden-victory, White emerged from a scramble with control to take the victory, and move on to the quarterfinals. White, the 2017 NCAA Division II national champion at 165 pounds, will face 2017 NCAA Division I champion Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State on Friday.

The seventh-seeded Venz dropped an 11-6 decision to Chip Ness in the second round, as Ness withstood a late rally by Venz to hang on for the victory. Venz moves to the wrestlebacks, and will face Dylan Gabel of Northern Colorado in the consolation second round.

McCrystal, seeded 13th, earned his first win of this year’s tournament with a 5-2 decision over Tyshawn Williams of SIU Edwardsville in the consolation first round. McCrystal will face 14th-seeded Beau Donahue in the consolation second round Friday.

Red also advanced in the wrestlebacks, as he won an 8-3 decision over Tommy Thorn of Minnesota in the consolation first round. The win was Red’s second of the year against Thorn. He will face Ryan Diehl of Maryland, who Red already owns three wins against this season, in the consolation second round Friday.

Schultz won a 3-2 decision over Jacob Seely of Northern Colorado in NU’s final match of the night to advance to the consolation second round. He will face American’s Jeric Kasunic on Friday.

Freshman Jason Renteria, an NCAA qualifier at 133 pounds after finishing fifth at the Big Ten Championships, did not compete at the NCAA Championships (failed to make weight).

The NCAA Championships continue with Session III, which begins Friday at 11 a.m. (CT) with the championship quarterfinals, as well as the consolation second and third rounds. Session IV, also set for Friday, begins at 7 p.m. (CT). Session III is set to be broadcast on ESPNU and Session IV will be on ESPN, with live coverage of every single match on every single match available on Watch ESPN at WatchESPN.com or the Watch ESPN app.

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