March 20, 2009
ST. LOUIS - Redshirt junior Alex Krom advanced to the 141-pound semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships Friday evening at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, dominating his quarterfinal matchup with 12th-seeded Drew Lashaway of Kent State, 10-1, Friday afternoon.
With the victory against Lashaway, Krom has secured all-American status, guaranteeing Maryland at least one all-American for the second straight season, as Hudson Taylor did so last year, finishing third at 197 pounds.
Krom thoroughly dominated Lashaway. Krom took a 5-0 lead into the third and final period and got a takedown and two-point near fall, narrowly missing a pin.
No. 8 seed Ryan Williams of Old Dominion awaits Krom in tonight's semifinal round for the chance to wrestle for a national championship Saturday.
Although Krom is done wrestling until tonight's semifinal session, consolation competition is ongoing. Taylor and No. 11 Steven Bell won their first wrestleback matches earlier this afternoon at 197 and 133 pounds, respectively. However, Brendan Byrne was eliminated at 125 pounds.
Bell knocked off Pittsburgh's Jimmy Conroy, 14-8, to stay alive while Taylor pinned Edinboro's Patrick Bradshaw in 1 minute, 21 seconds. Bell and Taylor are still scheduled to compete in this afternoon's wrestleback round and both are two victories shy of becoming all-Americans themselves.
Byrne nearly pulled an upset against Iowa's Charlie Falck, the No. 5 seed, this afternoon. Byrne led Falck, 6-4, in the third period, with riding time in his favor. However, Falck registered a takedown and eventually earned the fall in 6:30.
Tonight's semifinal action will be televised live on ESPNU and ESPN 2. ESPN360.com will also stream the semifinals live on the Internet.