ST. LOUIS, Mo. – North Dakota State wrestlers Steven Monk and Trent Sprenkle both went 2-0 in the morning session to stay alive at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 16. Both wrestlers are one win away from finishing in the top eight and reaching All-American status.
At 125 pounds, Sprenkle opened with a 2-1 victory over Virginia Tech’s Erik Spjut. Sprenkle earned an escape in the second period and Spjut tied it on an escape in the third, but Sprenkle’s riding time advantage proved to be the different.
Sprenkle then battled Oregon State’s Pat Rollins in the next round and emerged with a 9-1 major decision victory. Sprenkle jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and continued to dominate, scoring two more takedowns before allowing Rollins his only point of the match. Sprenkle also added a bonus point for riding time.
Sprenkle will wrestle No. 2 seed Zach Sanders of Minnesota for a berth in the consolation quarterfinals. Sanders is coming off a 7-4 quarterfinal loss to Penn State’s Nico Megaludis. Sanders defeated Sprenkle twice this season, winning the first meeting 16-7 and the second 4-2.
At 157 pounds, Monk kicked off today’s action with a 6-4 win over North Carolina’s Corey Mock. After a scoreless first period, Monk tallied an early escape and a takedown in the second. Mock responded with a reversal to cut Monk’s lead to 3-2. Monk took a 5-2 lead after a two-point near fall in the third. Mock came back with a reversal to cut Monk’s lead to one, but Monk’s bonus point for riding time put the match out of reach.
In his next match, Monk dominated Columbia’s Jake O’Hara in a 12-0 major decision. Monk took an 8-0 lead in the first period, thanks to a takedown and two three-point near falls. Monk scored an escape in the second and a takedown in the third as well. He also picked up a bonus point for riding time.
Monk will take on No. 11 seed James Green of Nebraska for a spot in the consolation quarterfinals. Green dropped a 2-1 decision to Northwestern’s Jason Welch in the quarterfinals. Monk lost to Green twice this season. At the Las Vegas Invitational, Green won a 7-6 decision and in the dual meet, Green claimed a 9-3 win.
Session IV begins at 6 p.m. tonight. Live coverage will be available on ESPN3.com and ESPNU. Live stats are on GoBison.com.