NCAA Wrestling notebook: Edinboro sophomore improbably reaches final
DES MOINES, Iowa — One unbeaten wrestler down for Edinboro's Mitchell Port. One to go if the sophomore is to cap his season with a national championship.
Port edged top-seeded Hunter Stieber, 8-7, Friday night in a 141-pound semifinal at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Port, the No. 4 seed, will wrestle second-season Kendric Maple in the finals Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. Maple, a redshirt junior at Oklahoma, is 29-0. He defeated Port earlier this season.
“I've got to protect my legs, move my feet, get some takedowns,” said Port, who edged Stieber after getting a point for riding time. “One of the biggest things I've got to do is hold him down, get some riding time. You see it won (the Stieber) match.”
Port's teammate didn't fare as well. A.J. Shopp lost by technical fall in a 133-pound semifinal to Logan Stieber, brother of Jordan Steiber.
• The title bout at 125 pounds Saturday night will be a rematch of the Big Ten semifinals. Illinois' Jesse Delgado beat Nico Megaludis, 6-3, two weeks ago. That avenged a February loss by fall to Megaludis in a dual meet. “He was better than me that match, but that was one match,” said Megaludis, a Franklin Regional graduate, after beating Missouri's Alan Waters, 3-2, in the semifinals. “I've got to be offensive but be aware of his quickness. I need to get after it without being sloppy.”
• Evan Henderson, a Kiski Prep graduate, is an All-American at 141. The North Carolina sophomore came back from a 13-5 loss to Port early Friday to pin Northern Iowa's Joey Lazor in the evening. Henderson will wrestle Saturday morning and has a chance to finish as high as third.
• Clarion senior James Fleming won three matches Friday to clinch All-American honors for the second year in a row. The West Mifflin graduate lost in the second-round but rebounded Friday. A 10-0 major decision over Ohio State's Josh Demas assured Fleming no worse than sixth place.
• Pitt heavyweight Zac Thomusseit almost pulled off a major upset. Thomusseit, a No. 9 seed, took top-seeded Dominique Bradley of Missouri to overtime before losing, 2-1. Bradley escaped in the first OT period and rode out Thomusseit. Thomusseit pinned Ohio's Jeremy Johnson on Friday night to earn All-American honors.
— Scott Brown