The Huskers went a combined 12-2 during the first day of the NCAA Championships, setting themselves up well for a run to a team trophy.
Out of seven qualifiers, the 4th-ranked Nebraska wrestling team advanced five to Friday’s quarterfinal round. All seven Huskers are still alive in the tournament.
As for the team race, Nebraska currently sits in a tie for sixth place with Cornell with 15.5 points. Penn State leads the pack with 26 points, while Iowa has 21.5 for second place. Missouri is currently third with 17.5 points.
3-seed Liam Cronin
In the first round, Cronin got things started for the Huskers with a 9-4 decision win over 30-seed Antonio Lorenzo of Cal Poly. After giving up the opening takedown, Cronin outscored Lorenzo 9-2.
In Thursday night’s Session II, Cronin took on 19-seed Braxton Brown of Maryland in the second round. In a rematch of the Big Ten quarterfinals that Cronin won 11-7, Cronin again got the win — this time an 8-4 decision victory.
Moving on to Friday’s quarters, Cronin will face off against a bracket-buster in Virginia Tech’s 27-seed Eddie Ventresca who has already taken out the 6-seed and 11-seed.
4-seed Brock Hardy
Hardy started his day with a 12-4 major decision win over 29-seed Jordan Titus of West Virginia in the first round.
Hardy then moved on to face 20-seed Jakob Bergeland in Round 2. After downing Bergeland 9-0 during the dual season, Hardy beat the Golden Gopher 5-1 to advance to the quarters where he’ll take on 12-seed Parker Filius of Purdue.
3-seed Peyton Robb
Robb started things off strong with a 15-0 tech-fall win over 30-seed Jared Hill of Oklahoma.
Robb then moved on to face 19-seed Garrett Model of Wisconsin in the second round. He again dominated, beating Model 16-1 for his second tech fall of the day.
Robb will move on to face 6-seed Daniel Cardenas of Stanford in the quarters.
25-seed Bubba Wilson
Wilson really started off his tournament with a bang as he knocked off 8-seed Matthew Olguin of Oregon State, the Pac-12 champion. With the match tied at 1-1, Wilson and Olguin went to sudden victory where they took part in an extended scramble with Wilson coming out on top for the 3-1 decision win.
Wilson moved onto the second round where he took on 9-seed Shane Griffith of Stanford, a former NCAA champion. Things didn’t go as well against Griffith, as Wilson dropped the match via 10-0 major decision.
Wilson will now face 23-seed Connor Brady of Virginia Tech in the consolation bracket to begin Friday’s Session III.
2-seed Mikey Labriola
Labriola started his tournament with a 9-6 decision over 31-seed Tyler Stoltzfus of Lock Haven before moving onto the second round where he faced 15-seed Demetrius Romero of Utah Valley.
Labriola and Romero wrestled a tight match that Labriola ended up winning 3-1 with a late takedown.
With the win, Labriola moves on to face 7-seed Peyton Mocco of Missouri in the quarters.
13-seed Lenny Pinto
Pinto was Nebraska’s lone wrestler who fell in the first round, dropping his opening match to 20-seed Neil Antrassian of Virginia. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead with a takedown and four near-fall points, Pinto gave up 11 unanswered points in an 11-6 decision loss.
Dropping down to the consolations, Pinto faced off against 29-seed Deanthony Parker of North Dakota State, dropping him via 7-1 decision.
With the win, Pinto will face 14-seed Will Feldkamp of Clarion in the second round of consolations.
8-seed Silas Allred
In the first round, Allred took out Virginia’s 25-seed Michael Battista in a controlling 13-7 decision.
Allred then moved on to face Penn State’s 9-seed Max Dean in a rematch of the Big Ten final that Allred won 6-3. Allred showed again that he has Dean’s number as he took him down three times again and displayed some very impressive defense in a 7-2 decision win.
With the win, Allred moves on to face 1-seed Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt in the quarterfinal round.