NDSU 125 Rodriguez & 184 Zillmer Advance to Second Round at NCAA Wrestling Championships

NEW YORK CITY — North Dakota State University 125-pounder Josh Rodriguez and 184-pounder Hayden Zillmer advanced to the second round, while 149 Clay Ream will wrestle in the consolation bracket following the first session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Thursday, March 17, at Madison Square Garden.

Defending champion Ohio State leads after Session I with 16.5 points, while Penn State is a close second with 16. Nebraska is third with 13 and Iowa is fourth with 11. NDSU is tied for 40th with 2 points.

NDSU BisonThe NCAA tournament continues at 6 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, March 17 with Session II and the wrestle-back prelims (pigtail matches) as needed and wrestle-back first round. Those will be followed by the championship second round and consolation round.

Rodriguez, a redshirt junior from Guadalupe, Calif. (Righetti H.S.) will face No. 3-seed Nico Megadulis (29-3) of Penn State in the second round

Rodriguez (34-8) opened with a 7-3 decision over North Carolina State’s Sean Fausz (16-10) in the first round. He gained control early with a takedown and 2-point nearfall 40-seconds into the first period. Rodriguez picked up another takedown in the second to build a 6-2 lead.

Zillmer, a redshirt senior from Crosby, Minn. (Crosby-Ironton H.S.), squares off with No. 5-seed Zach Zavatsky (25-5) of Virginia Tech. Zillmer defeated Zavatsky 7-5 in a dual at North Dakota State in November.

Zillmer squared off with Iowa State’s Dane Pestano (24-14), winning for the third time this season. Zillmer missed a takedown attempt a minute into the first period that Pestano turned into a 2-0 lead. He gained the escape, but a takedown in the last seconds of the first that was waved off.

Trailing 2-1 and taking the bottom position, Zillmer gained the upperhand early in the second. An escape at 1:51 was followed by a takedown and 4-point near fall at 1:26 producing an 8-2 lead. The advantage widened to 10-4 with 1:24 left in the third.

Ream, a redshirt sophomore from Wentzville, Mo. (Holt H.S.) faces No. 8–seed Evan Henderson (22-7) of North Carolina in the wrestle-backs.

Ream (21-16) dropped an 11-7 decision to No. 9-seed Justin Oliver (29-5) of Central Michigan in the opening round. The first period was fast and furious with Oliver recording a takedown with 15-seconds left to take a 7-4 lead. Ream gained an early escape and takedown with 12-seconds left in the second to tie the match at 7-all. Oliver received an early escape, takedown midway in the third and built 1:45 of riding time.

North Dakota State at the 2016 Championships
March 17-19, 2016 / Madison Square Garden / New York City

#14 125 Josh Rodriguez, RJr., Guadalupe, Calif. (Righetti H.S.)
Overall: 34-8 / 2016 NCAA Championships: 1-0 / NCAA Overall: 3-2
W dec Sean Mausz (North Carolina State), 7-3
vs. #3 Nico Megaludis (Penn State)

149 Clay Ream, RSo.,Wentzville, Mo. (Holt H.S.)
Overall 21-16 / Big 12 Championships: 0-1 / NCAA Overall: 2-3
L dec #8 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan), 11-7
vs. #7 Evan Henderson (North Carolina),

#9 184 Hayden Zillmer, Sr., Crosby, Minn. (Crosby-Ironton H.S.)
Overall: 31-4 / 2016 Championships: 1-0 / NCAA Overall: 6-5
W dec Dane Pestano (Iowa State), 10-5
vs. #3 Zach Zavatsky (Virginia Tech)

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