Three Missouri wrestlers advanced in the opening rounds of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday at the Savvis Center in St. Louis.
Ben Askren, the second seed at 174 pounds, reached the quarterfinals with a technical fall against Duquesne’s Mark Himes and a 9-0 decision against Indiana’s Brady Richardson.
Oklahoma State’s Chris Pendleton, the top seed at 174, also advanced with a pin and a decision. Pendleton beat Askren 11-4 in last year’s championship. Askren faces 10th seed E.K. Waldhaus of Oklahoma in today’s quarterfinal.
Tyron Woodley has a chance to reach the 165-pound semifinals after winning his first two matches. He pinned Illinois’ Donny Reynolds at 4:44 of their first-round match and beat Hofstra’s Mike Patrovich 6-1 in the second round.
Woodley, the fifth seed, will wrestle Iowa’s Mark Perry, the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals today.
Matt Pell will try to reach the 184-pound semifinals after advancing with an 8-5 win against Oregon’s Shane Webster and a 7-6 upset victory against eighth seed Paul Bradley of Iowa.
Pell will face top seed Greg Jones of West Virginia in the quarterfinals.
Missouri 149-pounder Cody Greene and 157-pounder Brad Cieleski lost their first-round matches and begin competition today in the consolation bracket.
After the first session, Oklahoma State, the defending team champion, was in first place with 23 1/2 points. Minnesota was second with 23 points and Cornell third with 18 1/2 points.
Oklahoma State heavyweight Steve Mocco improved to 33-0 with a 14-3 victory against Adam LoPiccolo of American University.
Mocco is one of four undefeated wrestlers who won first-round matches.
Nate Gallic of Iowa State defeated Jordan Leen of Cornell 2-0 to improve to 26-0 in the 141-pound class. At 165, Lehigh’s Troy Letters went to 23-0 with a 19-4 win against John DeCeault of Purdue. Greg Jones of West Virginia is 21-0 after beating Alex Camargo of Kent State 23-8 in the 184-pound division.
All 330 wrestlers made their weight Thursday morning.