Farmah in Semifinals While Mavericks Advance Three to Day Two of NCAA Championships
Cedar Rapids, Iowa — The Minnesota State wrestling team advanced three wrestlers in the tournament to the second day of competition at the Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Friday.
George Farmah was the first Maverick wrestler to take the mat in Cedar Rapids at 133-pounds. Farmah made quick work of his first match, earning an early takedown in the first period and a gaining a fall in 2:02 over No. 11 Paul Garcia of Colorado State-Pueblo. Farmah took the mat against No. 3 Dustin Warner of Wheeling Jesuit in his quarterfinal match. Farmah led 4-1 after the first period, securing two takedowns and gaining nearly two minutes of riding time. The St. Paul native would go on to take the 4-1 decision while Warner eliminated his ride time point. The victory secured Farmah All-American status and a spot in the semifinal match Saturday morning against No. 1 Airk Furseth of Wisconsin Parkside.
At 165-pounds, Seth Elwood began his tournament with a 7-4 decision victory over Keegan Driscoll of Wheeling Jesuit. Driscoll tied the match up at 4-4 in the third period but a late takedown by Elwood broke the deadlock. Elwood rode out the remaining time to claim the decision and move onto the quarterfinal match. After dropping a major decision in the quarterfinal match to No. 2 Christian Smith (California Baptist), Elwood jumped out to 10-0 lead in the first period over Greg Hilliard (Belmont Abbey) in the consolation bracket. Elwood eventually gained an 11-6 decision over Hilliard and will wrestle No. 10 Shane Ruhnke of Millersville Saturday.
Zach Johnston earned an early takedown in his 174-pound matchup against Nathan Vandermeer (Findlay). Johnson was in control during his debut match at the Wrestling Championships, coming away with a 9-3 decision while accumulating over three minutes of riding time. The Waukee, Iowa native fell in 1:30 in the quarterfinal match to No. 2 Nolan Kistler of California Baptist before defeating N0. 10 Steven Edwards (Pitt – Johnston) by fall. Johnston caught Edwards after escaping an early takedown to secure the quick pin in 2:08 and advance to the second day of the tournament.
Corey Abernathy fell into the consolation bracket after dropping an 8-5 decision to No. 3 Nick Fiegener of California Baptist in the 184-pound bracket. Abernathy led Fiegener throughout the match, but a late surge saw the wrestler from California Baptist take a late lead as time expired in the bout. Abernathy rebounded against Aidan Pasiuk (Wheeling Jesuit) winning a 7-4 decision to keep his tournament berth active.
In the second round of consolation matches, the senior from Waverly, Iowa had a late comeback attempt thwarted by No. 5 Aero Amo of Augustana, concluding his season with a 5-2 decision loss to the NSIC competitor. Abernathy finished his senior campaign with a 20-7 record, was a two-time national tournament qualifier, and an All-American in his junior year.
Matthew Blome was the final Minnesota State wrestler to take the mat in the morning session of the tournament wrestling at 197-pounds. Blome trailed for much of match against No. 6 Levi Niebauer (Pitt – Johnston) but a late takedown and near fall saw the Minnesota State sophomore reach the quarterfinals with a 9-5 decision.
Blome fell in the quarterfinals to No. 4 Konnor Schmidt of Western State to a 10-6 decision and was behind early in his third match of the day to No. 7 Matthew Rudy (Limestone). Blome could not make up the difference, concluding his season with an 8-2 loss to Rudy. The Sophomore held an 18-8 record over the course of the season and gained 12 bonus-point victories including a team-high 8 falls.
As a team the Mavericks currently are placed ninth with 22.5 total team points.
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