March 21, 2008
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Sophomore Hudson Taylor has become Maryland's first wrestling All-American since 1997 and has guaranteed himself at least a sixth place finish at the 2008 NCAA Championships at Scottrade Center on March 21. Taylor will face top-seeded Josh Glenn of American on Saturday morning for the right to wrestle in the third place match later in the day. The Terrapins sit in 24th place as a team with 19.5 points.
Taylor is the Terps' first All-American since Jim Guzzio earned the honor in 1997 in the 134-pound weight class. He finished fifth that year at the championships.
If the Terps were to stay in 24th after the conclusion of the championships, it would be their best finish since 1992 when they placed tied for 21st.
In his first wrestleback Friday night at 197 pounds, the seventh-seeded Taylor had to win to ensure at least an eighth place finish and an All-American performance. He went up against Jason Trulson of Arizona State who gave the third seed all he could handle in the opening round and lost by two. He had then won four matches in the wrestleback to reach Taylor.
The two wrestlers tested waters for almost the entire first period but Taylor scored the first points with a takedown with 20 seconds left. He started down in the second and escaped immediately for the only points of that round and he clinched the win with a takedown in the third to win, 5-0.
In the wrestleback quarterfinals, Taylor took on David Bertolino of Iowa State and came out on top, 6-5. Bertolino controlled the match early as he scored a takedown to take a 2-1 lead after the first period. Bertolino elected the down position in the second and Taylor capitalized by scoring a two-point near fall and rode him out the entre way.
In the final period, Taylor started down and escaped with 57 seconds left but Bertolino got a takedown 10 seconds later to tie the contest, 4-4. Seconds later, though, Taylor clinched the win with a reversal. Bertolino escaped but could not score another point as Taylor got the victory.
Taylor dropped his first match of the day in the championship quarterfinals to Penn State's Phil Davis, 7-3. Davis has given Taylor two of his three losses this season and advanced to the national championship of the weight class.
Davis started the scoring with a takedown at the 1:08 mark in the first period but Taylor notched a late escape to cut the deficit in half. Taylor started down in the second and after Davis recorded a two-point near fall, Taylor turned it on him and reversed the hold to keep his deficit at one, 4-3.
In the final period, Davis started down and got a reversal which would clinch the match and then he added the riding time bonus for the 7-3 victory.
Bell opened the day for the Terps with a big win in the 133-pound wrestlebacks against Tyler McCormick of Missouri who was a two-time All-American. Bell started the match quickly for the second-straight time and scored a pair of takedowns in the opening period to take a 4-2 lead. McCormick got two escapes in the second but Bell recorded his third takedown of the match to keep the lead at two, 6-4.
In the final period, Bell pulled away with two more takedowns and added the riding time bonus point for the 11-6 win.
In his second match of the day, Bell faced 10th-seeded Patrick Castillo of Northern Illinois and lost, 7-4. Castillo got the early takedown which Bell reversed to tie the score, but Castillo took a 3-2 lead with an escape at the end of the first period.
In the second, Castillo escaped early and then scored a takedown to take a 6-2 lead which Bell could not come back from.
Sophomore Mike Letts, the 10th seed at 174 pounds, pulled a tough draw in the wrestlebacks as he had to face eighth-seeded Gabriel Dretsch of Minnesota Friday morning. Dretsch defeated the Parkesburg, Pa., product 10-2.
Letters fell to Bloomsburg's Matt Moley, 8-4, while Medina lost to eighth-seeded Jake Patacsil of Purdue by fall.
Taylor will finish up his championship on Saturday morning with action starting at 10:00 a.m. at the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis.
133 - Steven Bell
First Round - Lost to #5 Nicholas Fanthorpe (Iowa State), 8-2
Wrestleback First Round - Beat Cory VomBaur (Wyoming), 12-3
Wrestleback Second Round - Beat #12 Andrae Hernandez (Indiana), 8-5
Wrestleback Third Round - Beat Tyler McCormick (Missouri), 11-6
Wrestleback Fourth Round - Lost to #10 Patrick Castillo (Northern Illinois), 7-4
141 - Jon Kohler
First Round - Lost to Jacob Kriegbaum (Air Force), 11-2
Wrestleback First Round - Lost to Tim Harner (Liberty), 12-5
149 - Eric Medina
First Round - Lost to Daryl Cocozzo (Edinboro), 8-4
Wrestleback Second Round - Beat Joseph Knox (Chattanooga) by fall, 2:34
Wrestleback Third Round - Lost to #8 Jake Patacsil (Purdue) by fall, 3:38
157 - Brian Letters
First Round - Beat #9 Chase Pami (Cal Poly), 5-4 (tb1)
Second Round - Lost to #8 Jordan Leen (Cornell), 4-1
Wrestleback Second Round - Lost to Matt Moley (Bloomsburg), 8-4
174 - #10 Mike Letts
First Round - Beat Dan Clum (Wisconsin), 9-2
Second Round - Lost to #7 Matt Stolpinski (Navy), 5-4 (tb1)
Wrestleback Second Round - Lost to #8 Gabriel Dretsch (Minnesota), 10-2
197 - #7 Hudson Taylor
First Round - Beat Jared Villers West Virginia) by fall, 5:39
Second Round - Beat #10 Joel Flaggert (Oklahoma), 7-0
Quarterfinals - Lost to #2 Phil Davis (Penn State), 7-3
Wrestleback Fifth Round - Beat Jason Trulson (Arizona State), 5-0
Wrestleback Quarterfinals - Beat David Bertolino (Iowa State), 6-5