March 23, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - Maryland junior Jimmy Sheptock rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to win two matches Friday night at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena to become the 19th Terrapin wrestler all-time to earn All-American honors.
After falling to second-seeded Ben Bennett of Central Michigan by the narrowest of margins, 1-0, Sheptock responded with two dramatic overtime victories in the wrestleback to secure All-American honors for the first time.
In his opening match of the Friday evening session, Sheptock squared off against fifth-seeded Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota. Sheptock scored the first takedown of the match 1:41 into the first period. Steinhaus quickly escaped and scored a takedown 24 seconds later. Sheptock escaped before the end of the period to tie the match at 2-2.
After beginning down in the second period, Sheptock escaped for the only score of the period. In the third, Steinhaus got the point back with an escape of his own to force sudden victory. In the extra session, Sheptock connected on a takedown with 11 seconds left to earn a 6-4 decision to become a first-time All-American.
Sheptock faced sixth-seeded Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa in his last match of the night, who defeated Sheptock at Midlands. With each wrestler only scoring an escape during regulation, Sheptock headed to sudden victory once again.
With no points awarded during sudden victory, Loder rode the junior out in the first half of the tiebreaker. In the second half, Loder escaped and seemed poised to defeat Sheptock once again. But with two seconds remaining, Sheptock took Loder to the mat for a 3-2 victory.
With the win, Sheptock is guaranteed to finish no lower than fifth at 184. The Northampton, Pa., native faces fourth-seeded Steve Bosak of Cornell for a spot in the third-place match Saturday morning.
At 174, Josh Asper fell one match short of earning All-American status for a third time. Asper lost an 11-3 major decision to fourth-ranked Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the quarterfinals before losing a tightly-contested 6-5 decision to seventh-seeded Jordan Blanton of Illinois in the wrestleback.
Christian Boley also fell one match short of becoming an All-American for the first time. Boley opened Friday with ninth-seeded Jake Meredith of Arizona State. Boley set the tone with a takedown 1:04 into the match and added another takedown with 13 seconds remaining in the second period to go up 4-2.
The junior tacked on another takedown in the third period to secure a 6-3 decision.
In one of the last matches of the session, Boley dispatched of Ohio's Phillip Wellington. After a scoreless first period, Boley escaped to begin the second and quickly took Wellington to the mat for two points.
Wellington would escape, but with two seconds remaining in the period Boley scored a decisive takedown. He added another takedown in the third period to win 8-2.
Needing one more win, Boley lost a 10-2 major decision to 11th-seeded Blake Rosholt of Oklahoma State.
At 133, Geoffrey Alexander saw his run at the NCAA Tournament come to an end. Alexander won his first match of the day against Binghamton's Derek Steeley by a 13-5 major decision. In the next match, Alexander fell to 11th-seeded George DiCamillo of Virginia by a 7-2 margin.
Maryland is in 26th place with 16.5 points. Penn State is in first with 114.5 points and have five finalists. Oklahoma State is second 94 points and has two finalists.
Saturday's medal round gets underway at 11 a.m. ET and will be covered live on ESPNU and ESPN3.