ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Redshirt sophomores Ryan Diehl (141) and Alfred Bannister (149) in addition to sophomore Youssif Hemida (285) all advanced to day two of the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships after completing competition Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
The trio will wrestle in Friday morning’s wrestle back session after they each went 1-1 in their opening day of action. Diehl is slated to face Stanford’s Joey McKenna, Bannister will take on George Mason’s Sahid Kargbo with Hemida facing NC State’s Mike Kosoy.
Bannister came on strong in the third period to post a convincing 14-5 major decision win over Harvard’s Hunter Ladnier to open up his day. Bannister built a lead up early in the first period with a takedown, then escaped to start the second and connected on another to get ahead 5-2.
An escape in the third period had Ladnier within two, but the La Plata, Md. native didn’t let off the gas, getting another takedown and eventually a six-point move to seal the deal.
Bannister advanced to face fourth-seeded Micah Jordan of Ohio State, and an early counter shot from the Buckeye grappler proved costly for Bannister. Jordan managed to get Bannister down and on his back for four swipes in the first period, then built up ride time in the ensuing periods. Bannister would get on the board with a couple of escapes, but was bounced to wrestle backs on a 10-2 decision.
Diehl faced No. 4 seed Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton, and had a tall task ahead of him trying to hand the Tiger just his third defeat of the 2016-17 season. Kolodzik used a takedown to get up 2-1 in the first, before building up an eventual 8-3 decision. Diehl received a medical forfeit from Michigan State’s Javier Gasca in his first wrestle back match to move on to Friday’s action.
Hemida wrestled a pair of season rematches in his Thursday slate, first taking on No. 14 seed Thomas Haines (Lock Haven) in the opening round. Hemida went behind in the first period, but managed a takedown in the second and almost had back points before running off the mat. Haines would eventually sure up a 9-3 decision.
In his second rematch of the day, Hemida avenged a defeat to NDSU’s Benjamin Tynan from earlier this season, winning 10-4 in his evening wrestle back match. Hemida scored first on a takedown halfway through the first period, then rode Tynan out before going up 4-0 on a reversal in the second. Hemida would add two more takedowns before it was all said and done, knocking off the Bison grappler 10-4 for his first career NCAA tournament win.
Redshirt senior Billy Rappo’s five-year Maryland career came to a close Thursday, as he wrestled a pair of tough matches in his first career NCAA appearance. The Holland, Pa. native hung tough with South Dakota State’s Seth Gross in his opening match, but eventually succumbed to the No. 2 overall seed 5-0.
Rappo took the mat for his 133-pound wrestle back match against NC State’s Jamal Morris, and went behind 2-1 on a quick Morris takedown in the first. Rappo got a hold of the Wolfpack wrestler’s towards the end of the opening period, but couldn’t quite finish for two points.
Down 4-1 in the third with ride time against him Rappo continued to fight to the finish, securing a takedown to tie the match. Rappo cut Morris to try and win with a takedown at the whistle, but ran out of time as Morris clinched the 5-4 decision on ride time. He wraps up his Terrapin career with a 61-45 record.
Penn State leads the team chase after day one with 30.5 points. Tomorrow’s third session is set to begin at 11:00 am (ET). All mats will be broadcast via ESPN3 and ESPNU.