Jackrabbits Split Matches To Open NCAA Meet

DETROIT, Mich. — All four of South Dakota State’s qualifiers turned in 1-1 records on the opening day of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Thursday at Little Caesars Arena.

Sophomore 174-pounder Cade DeVos was the lone Jackrabbit wrestler to win his opening-round match as he recorded a 9-2 decision over Minnesota’s Bailee O’Reilly during the afternoon session. It was DeVos’ 30th win of the season and his second over O’Reilly this season.

During the night session, the 12th-seeded DeVos was upended by No. 5 Michael Kemerer of Iowa, 9-4.

DeVos is scheduled to face No. 11 Peyton Mocco of Missouri in consolation action on Friday in what will be their third meeting of the season. DeVos won the initial matchup in the finals of the Southern Scuffle in January, 3-2, before Mocco notched a 2-0 victory in the semifinals of the Big 12 Wrestling Championship two weeks ago.

Also during Thursday’s evening session, three other Jackrabbits wrestlers staved off elimination with victories in the wrestlebacks.

At 141 pounds, seventh-seeded Clay Carlson won a 10-5 decision over Gabe Willochell of Edinboro. Carlson will face a nemesis in ninth-seeded Allan Hart of Missouri in Friday morning consolation action. Hart has defeated Carlson by decision in both of their previous matchups this season.

Tanner Sloan, seeded 12th at 197 pounds, bounced back from a first-round loss to eliminate Northwestern’s Andrew Davison with a 5-0 decision. Likewise, A.J. Nevills remained in contention with a 4-3 decision over West Virginia’s Michael Wolfgram. It was Nevills’ third victory of the season in as many tries against his Mountaineer opponent.

All three Jackrabbit wrestlers who lost their first-round matches held leads in the third period.

Carlson led 3-2 in his opener against Northwestern’s Frankie Tal-Shahar, but gave up a takedown with about 20 seconds remaining that proved to be the difference in the match.

Sloan and Nevills both fell in overtime after holding 3-1 leads through two periods. Sloan’s match against Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State ended regulation tied at 4-all before Hoffman came up with a takedown midway through the overtime session to pull out a 6-4 decision for his second win over Sloan this season.

In the wrestlebacks on Friday, Sloan will face 11th-seeded Thomas Penola of Purdue.

Nevills had a two-point lead and was working from the top to start the third period against No. 11 Gary Traub of Oregon State. However, Traub forced overtime with a reversal and then outlasted Nevills in the tiebreaker round of overtime with an escape and takedown for a 7-4 victory.

Nevills will square off against fifth-seeded Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in the consolation round on Friday.

Action at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships resumes at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Central) on Friday.

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