NEW YORK — South Dakota State University wrestlers Seth Gross and Cody Pack advanced to the Round of 16 by winning first-round matches Thursday at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Gross, a redshirt freshman from Apple Valley, Minnesota, knocked off 13th-seeded Steve Bleise of Northern Illinois, 6-3, in the 141-pound weight class. Gross will face fourth-seeded Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers (N.J.) during the evening session Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
At 157 pounds, the seventh-seeded Pack turned in a dominant performance over Neal Richards of Virginia Military Institute, recording a 9-1 major decision in which he racked up a riding-time advantage of more than four minutes. Pack, a senior from Quincy, California, and a four-time national qualifier, will meet 10th-seeded John Boyle of American University Thursday night. Pack defeated Boyle, 6-2, at the Midlands Championships earlier this season.
Three other Jackrabbit wrestlers, including brothers Alex and David Kocer, dropped first-round matches Thursday afternoon and will attempt to continue in the wrestlebacks during the evening session. Alex Kocer dropped a 7-1 decision to sixth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern (Ill.) at 149 pounds, while David Kocer fell 7-3 to seventh-seeded Cody Walters of Ohio in the 174-pound weight class.
Nate Rotert, seeded 15th at 197 pounds, lost to Chattanooga’s Scottie Boykin for the second year in a row at nationals, dropping a 7-4 decision.
Competition resumes at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central).