Heffernan, Atienza, Stencel eliminated after day one of NCAAs
Three Central Michigan wrestlers are eliminated from the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships after the first day in Cleveland.
Ohio State currently sits in first place with 36 points. The Chippewas sit tied for 33 with five points.
Senior Colin Heffernan (157 pounds), junior Jordan Atienza (197) and redshirt freshman Matt Stencel (285) lost both of their matches Thursday.
Heffernan, wrestling his final college tournament in his hometown, lost his opening bout to reigning National Champion Jason Nolf via technical fall. He faced Old Dominion’s Larry Early in what would be his final match in a CMU singlet.
Heffernan and Early were tied 1-1 in the third period. Heffernan controlled Early’s right leg and looked for a takedown. The ODU standout countered Heffernan’s takedown attempt, scoring two pivotal point with less than five seconds remaining in the bout, ending Heffernan’s collegiate wrestling career.
Atienza suffered two pinfall losses to end his tournament in the first day. He was pinned by California State-Bakersfield’s Matt Williams at the 2:15 mark in his opening bout and by Jacob Smith from West Virginia in his second match.
Stencel, seeded No. 16 at 285 pounds, dropped his opening bout 8-3 to Campbell’s Jere Heino. He was pinned in the second period by Pittsburgh’s Ryan Solomon in his second match, eliminating him from the tournament.
Four fighting for All-American honors
Sophomore Mason Smith (10 seed at 141) defeated Minnesota’s Tommy Thorn, 3-0.
Smith’s second victory over the Golden Gophers 141-pound wrestler this season. He would drop his second match in the championship bracket to seventh-seeded Brock Zacherl, 4-3. Smith will face Penn State’s Nick Lee, the tournament’s eight seed, in the consolation bracket Friday.
Junior Justin Oliver (No. 6 seed at 149) started Thursday with a 3-1 victory over Virginia’s Sam Krivus. Oliver would drop his second match 3-2 to Princeton’s Matt Kolodik, the tournament’s No. 11 seed and a 2017 All-American at 141 pounds. Oliver will clash with Michigan’s Malik Amine in the consolation bracket Friday.
Senior CJ Brucki (No. 16 seed at 174) defeated Old Dominion’s Seldon Wright via 10-2 major decision in his opening match. Brucki suffered an 18-5 major decision loss to Arizona State’s Zahid Valencia, the tournament’s top seed and 2017 National Champion at 174 pounds. Brucki faces Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian next.
Senior Jordan Ellingwood (16 seed at184) opened his final college tournament with a 12-5 victory over Eastern Michigan’s Kayne MacCallum — the duo’s third matchup of the season. Ellingwood would fall to top seeded Bo Nickel from Penn State, 10-4. He will face Missouri’s Canten Marriott, seeded 15, in the consolation bracket Friday.
Day Two of the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships resume 11 a.m. Friday from Quicken Loans Arena.