UVU Wrestler Advances in NCAAs
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Utah Valley University junior Jade Rauser advanced to round number two at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with a 5-3 decision over No. 10 Mason Beckman of Lehigh during Thursday morning's opening session at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
With the victory, UVU's first-ever three-time qualifier will advance to take to No. 7 Jimmy Gulibon (23-7) of the four-time defending NCAA Champion Penn State Nittany Lions during Thursday evening's second session.
Following a scoreless opening period, the 133-pound Rauser (22-6) got things going with an escape and a takedown to jump out to a 3-0 advantage. After an escape by the 2014 All-American Beckman (25-6), Rauser then responded by muscling Beckman to the mat for his second takedown of the frame. Beckman countered with a pair of escapes but the Townsend, Montana, native for Utah Valley managed to hold on to his lead down the stretch to knock off the seeded foe.
"Jade had a game plan and went out and executed it," said head coach Greg Williams. "He wrestled aggressively and stayed focused throughout the match against a very tough opponent."
Two other Wolverine grapplers were also in action at the 2015 NCAA Championships on Thursday morning but both dropped their opening bouts to fall to the wrestlebacks. Junior 125-pounder Chasen Tolbet fell to West Virginia's Zeke Moisey by major decision while senior 174-pounder Ethan Smith lost to Nathan Jackson of Indiana by decision.
The 15th-seeded Tolbert (18-7) fell to WVU's Moisey (28-13) for the second time on the season in the first NCAA Tournament match of his career by a score of 14-6. Moisey took command early in the bout as he scored a pair of takedowns and nearfalls to jump out to an 8-2 advantage after the opening period. Tolbert then recorded an escape and a takedown in the second period but Moisey picked up three more nearfall points, an escape and a takedown to take a 14-5 advantage. Tolbert then chose the top position in the final stanza and did everything he could to turn Moisey on his back in the frame and ended up picking up a riding time point in the process to drop the contest by eight points.
In Smith's (14-13) first NCAA Championship match of his career, the UVU senior fell behind early after getting taken down twice by Indiana's Jackson (28-11) in the first period. Following an escape and another takedown by Jackson in the second stanza, Smith then scored a nice takedown to trail by just five, at 8-3, early in the final frame. Jackson then countered with a quick escape point and takedown but Smith managed to quickly escape and held the Big Ten foe scoreless the rest of the way to fall by a score of 11-4.
Thursday's second session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will begin at 5 p.m. MT/6 p.m. CT and will be televised live on ESPNU as well as streamed on WatchESPN.com. Live results can also be followed by visiting TrackWrestling.com.
UVU's 2015 NCAA Championship First Round Results
- 125: Zeke Moisey (WVU) over No. 15 Chasen Tolbert (UVU), MD 14-6
- 133: Jade Rauser (UVU) over No. 10 Mason Beckman (LeHigh), Dec. 5-3
- 174: Nathan Jackson (Indiana) over Ethan Smith (UVU), Dec. 11-4