ST. LOUIS, MO – Bryan Lantry won both of his matches on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Kyle Akins also advanced to Friday action.
Lantry (133) won his opening match with a 3-1 decision over Lock Haven's D.J. Fehlman. Lantry scored first with an escape in the second period. After Fehlman earned an escape to open the third, Lantry got a takedown with less than a minute remaining to earn the win.
In Lantry's second match, the redshirt-sophomore upset sixth-seed Dom Forys of Pittsburgh in thrilling fashion. Trailing 4-3 late in the match, Lantry was awarded a takedown with just seven seconds left to pull out the 5-3 decision.
Lantry will next face #3 Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals on Friday.
At 125, Akins was scheduled to wrestle Penn State's Nick Suriano. However, Suriano was forced to take a medical forfeit, giving Akins the win.
In his second match, Akins went up against 14th-ranked Freddie Rodriguez of SIU Edwardsville. Akins made a furious comeback, including a 4-point nearfall in the third period, but eventually dropped a 7-5 decision.
Akins will next take on Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa on Friday. In their only other meeting, Peters beat Akins in the Mid-American Conference Championships.
Jake Gunning, the 2017 MAC champion at 285, had a tough task, going up against defending national champion Kyle Snyder of Ohio State in his opening match. Snyder won by tech fall, 25-10.
Gunning went up against a familiar foe in the consolation match, facing off against Central Michigan's Newton Smerchek whom he beat in the MAC Championships just two weeks earlier. However, Smerchek won this matchup with a first-period pin ending Gunning's time at the NCAAs.
"It was a good day of wresting with Lantry moving on to the quarters and Akins still alive," head coach John Stutzman said. "We are competing hard. It's a tough tourney and we are learning daily."
Action continues tomorrow at 11 am.