|Defending National Duals Champions Oklahoma State set for semi-final round|
By Tim Tushla USA Wrestling
It was something old, something new in Division I as the 2006 NWCA National Duals kicked off today in front of 7,000 wrestling fans in Cedar Falls, IA. Perennial powers Oklahoma State and Minnesota will be joined in the semi-finals tomorrow by upstarts Nebraska and Central Michigan.
The defending national champion Cowboys disposed of Kent State and Arizona State on their way to a meeting with Big XII rival Nebraska. The Huskers got big wins from some of the younger guys in the wrestling room as they upended two Big 10 foes, Iowa (24-13) and Michigan (24-16). Nebraska got two pins from freshman 125-pounder Paul Donahoe and a key falls from youngsters Chris Oliver and Vince Jones in the win over the Wolverines.
Minnesota will face CMU after the Chippewa's downed host Northern Iowa, 24-8, and #3-seed Oklahoma, 19-15. The second-seeded Gophers cruised to wins over Hofstra and Iowa State.
OSU got pins from Johnny Hendricks, Jake Rosholt and Steve Mocco and a tech fall from Zack Esposito in their 37-6 win over Kent State. The Cowboys only loss was at 184 pounds in their 38-3 win over Arizona State.
Division II top-seeds Nebraska-Omaha and Minnesota State-Mankato advanced to the semi-finals where they will be joined by fifth-seed Central Oklahoma and #6 Ashland (OH).
UNO was got major decisions from Dan Hilario, JD Naig and three-time heavyweight champ Les Sigman in a 24-9 win over Ft. Hays State. Naig and Sigman came back with pins in the quarter final win over Augustana (SD), 28-11.
Jeff Pfaffiner, Andy Pickar and Tim Kraemer got falls in Minnesota State's 44-4 first-round win over UNC-Pembroke. The Mavericks got past Shippensburg 27-12 to reach the semis.
UCO downed Mercyhurst, 32-6, in first round action with Shea Timothy and Jared Hess picking up falls. Justin Wood got the lone pin in a 22-4 second-round win over Nebraska-Kearney.
Brian Black's pin at heavyweight sealed Ashland's win over Upper Iowa, 22-15. The Ohioans won six matches as they beat #3 seed Pitt-Johnstown, 19-12.
The top four seeds advanced in Division III as Wartburg, Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Augsburg and Luther all came through unscathed. Wartburg's only action was a 51-0 rout of Simpson College. The Knights closed the dual with three pins and a forfeit.
UW-LC pounded Wilmington 46-3, including four falls, then got by Buena Vista, 30-16. Augsburg, the third-seed, lost only one match in each dual in downing Augustana (IL) and Cornell College. Luther beat Ohio Northern (43-6) and Wisconsin-Stevens Point (28-12).
Perennial powers Lindenwood, Missouri Valley and Dana are joined by the University of Cumberlands in the NAIA semi-finals. The defending national champion Lions of Lindenwood got by Campbellsville (KY) and William Penn while MVC got three falls in a win over Cumberland (TN) and two more in a 24-18 win over second-seed Dickinson State to advance.
Dana (NE) got a fall from Terrence Almond in a win over Montana State-Northern and won nine matches in a 29-6 victory over Southern Oregon. University of Cumberlands got wins over McKendree and #4 Embry-Riddle.