Ream Earns Third Straight NCAA Elite 90 Award at Division I Wrestling Championships

CLEVELAND, Ohio — North Dakota State University 157-pounder Clay Ream won the Elite 90 Award presented prior to the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship matches Saturday, March 17, at the Quickens Loan Arena. Ream earned the Elite 90 Award for the third straight year.

The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at each of the NCAA’s 90 national championships. Ream, a redshirt senior from Wentzville, Mo., has a 3.977 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling first team selection.

“I’ve always seen myself as a nerd. I just focus on my grades because it’s important to me. I put in a lot of hours. I try to be efficient as I can with my time. When I wrestle, I train as hard as I can,” said Ream. Continue reading

Kocer seventh, Zilverberg eighth at NCAAs

CLEVELAND – David Kocer earned seventh place and Luke Zilverberg added an eighth-place finish Saturday as South Dakota State University wrestlers competed in the first session of the medal rounds at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena.

A senior from Wagner, Kocer downed Oklahoma State’s Jacobe Smith, 7-2, in the 174-pound seventh-place matchup. After a scoreless first period, Kocer recorded a takedown with 30 seconds remaining in the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

The 11th-seeded Kocer then put together a strong third period in his final collegiate match, scoring on a reversal, takedown and riding-time advantage for his 108th career victory, tying him with Mike Pankratz (108 victories from 1990-94) for ninth place in program history. Continue reading

Lizak Takes Fourth as Gophers End Season at NCAAs

The last Gopher standing at the end of three grueling days of competition in Cleveland closed out Minnesota’s 2017-18 campaign

CLEVELAND, Ohio – After piling up four wins and bonus points for his team on Friday, Ethan Lizak closed out Minnesota’s season on Saturday at the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish at 125 pounds.

Lizak secured his second consecutive All-American finish on Friday night but improved his final position with a win in his first match on Saturday morning, one in which he avenged a loss in last year’s NCAA finals.

Lizak’s 5-2 victory over defending national champion and top-seeded Darian Cruz (Lehigh) put him through to the third-place match. After riding out the second period to build a considerable riding time advantage on his opponent, Lizak sealed the victory by taking down Cruz with 10 seconds left in their bout. Continue reading

Jackrabbits make history in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – On a historic night for the South Dakota State University wrestling team, Seth Gross earned his second consecutive trip to the 133-pound finals and Luke Zilverberg and David Kocer each secured All-America honors at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

A junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, the top-seeded Gross needed overtime to defeat unseeded Tariq Wilson of North Carolina State by fall. Gross trailed 4-1 early in the semifinal match before rallying to take a 7-4 lead thanks to a reversal at the end of the opening period and four-point near-fall midway through the second stanza.

Wilson, however, tallied three takedowns in a little over a minute to force overtime at 10-all after Gross built up a minute-plus of riding time. Gross fought off a shot from Wilson and put his opponent on his back for a pin 18 seconds into the sudden-victory period for his 28th win of the season. Continue reading

Lizak Becomes Two-Time All-American

Ethan Lizak’s march through wrestlebacks highlighted Minnesota’s second day at the NCAA Championships

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ethan Lizak will once again stand on the podium at the NCAA Championships, the second straight year Minnesota’s 125-pounder has finished his season as an All-American. That’s where the similarities end between his last two NCAA tournament appearances.

After going undefeated for the first two days last year and reaching the national title bout, Lizak suffered a heart-breaking, 4-2 overtime defeat in the second round of this year’s tournament. That defeat put him on a path that would demand he win three matches in the span of about nine hours on Friday if he wanted to once again be an All-American. He did exactly that, capping his long journey back to the podium with a convincing 16-0 tech fall over No. 6 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) that ended in the second period. Continue reading