Franek Advances to Quarterfinals at NCAA Championships; Three Bison Alive in Consolation Brackets

TULSA, Okla. – North Dakota State’s No. 4-seeded Jared Franek won both of his matches on the opening day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 157-pound bracket for the third straight year.

Franek, a West Fargo HS product, opened Thursday with a 10-1 major decision over Corbyn Munson of Central Michigan. In the second round, he posted a 5-3 decision over No. 13 seed Trevor Chumbley of Northwestern.

Franek improved to 24-1 this season and will meet No. 5 seed Josh Humphreys of Lehigh in the quarterfinal round on Friday.

The Bison have three wrestlers alive in the consolation brackets after a pair of matches on Thursday – Kellyn March (149), Michael Caliendo (165), and Owen Pentz (197).

At 149 pounds, NDSU’s Kellyn March dropped his opener in a 4-3 decision to Graham Rooks of Indiana, but March rebounded with a pin of Bucknell’s Dylan Chappell in 4:14 to advance in the wrestlebacks.

NDSU redshirt freshman Michael Caliendo – seeded seventh at 165 – won his first round match by 6-1 decision over Brevin Cassella of Binghamton. No. 10 seed Carson Kharchla of Ohio State posted an 8-3 decision over Caliendo in the second round to send the Bison to the consolation side.

Bison junior Owen Pentz won his 197-pound opener by injury default over Braxton Amos (Wisconsin), but lost to No. 1 seed Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) by 8-2 decision in the second round.

NDSU’s two other national meet qualifiers – 133-pounder McGwire Midkiff and 184-pounder DJ Parker – both went 0-2 on Thursday and were eliminated. Parker wrestled No. 4 seed Trey Munoz of Oregon State to a tough 2-1 decision in the first round.

The NCAA Wrestling Championships will resume at 11 a.m. on Friday with Session 3, featuring the quarterfinals and the consolation second and third rounds.

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