116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Northern Iowa's Triston Lara wasn't impressed with the seed that accompanied Rutgers' Mike Van Brill.
The junior 149-pounder didn't give it a bit of credence before his first match.
'I knew he was a higher seed, blah, blah, blah,” 23rd-seeded Lara said, 'but none of that really mattered to me.”
Lara overcame a slow start and closed strong for a 12-7 decision over 10th-seeded Van Brill in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Thursday at Enterprise Center. He was one of four Panthers to reach the round of 16.
Lara still had cotton packs stuffed in each nostril during the post-match interview and apologized for the nose bleed. He also noted the boost from his supporters.
'Just being here I'm so thankful and grateful where, win or lose, I know I've got my friends, family (and) my hometown backing me,” Lara said. 'That's just a good feeling to carry out there.
'(Seeds) didn't matter. I knew if I had fun and wrestled good things would happen. That's what I did.”
UNI Coach Doug Schwab said Lara gained confidence in a regular-season victory over Iowa State's Jarrett Degen. He proved his ability to himself. Panther coaches and teammates knew he was capable of the win over Van Brill.
'When you look at seeds, it's a big win,” Schwab said. 'It's an upset, but nobody in our camp was surprised one bit how that match went down.”
The match began in Van Brill's favor, scoring a takedown for a 2-1 lead at the end of the first. Then, Lara took control. He placed Van Brill on his back with a takedown for a six-point move in the second. He added a reversal and takedown in the third.
'I just wrestled through things,” Lara said. 'I kind of got warmed up a little bit as the first went on. I started sweating and working. Things started happening when I started moving.”
Lara and Panthers 125-pounder Brody Teske were high school teammates at Fort Dodge. Both had success in their national tournament debuts. Fifth-seeded Teske pinned Oregon State's Brandon Kaylor in 2:40.
Teske entered the tournament fourth among 125 qualifiers in a bonus-point victory percentage, coming in at a little more than 46 percent. The fall was his seventh-bonus point win of the season.
Fourth-seeded Parker Keckeisen edged Iowa State's Sam Colbray, 2-1, at 184. Heavyweight Carter Isley capped the 5-2 opening session. He used a takedown in the final seconds to beat Virginia Tech's Hunter Catka, 3-1.
'I thought we wrestled well,” Schwab said. 'We attacked. We scored bonus points in a few situations. I think it's always great when you can start the tournament off with a pin and get things rolling for guys.”
Unfortunately, one of the losses was a medical forfeit from 174-pounder Lance Runyon, who withdrew from the tournament due to a shoulder injury at the Big 12 tournament. UNI had to make the decision eight days ago and Schwab thought Runyon would be better by now. Schwab said Runyon tested it out but was not able to protect himself.
'To me, you're always optimistic that a guy can get to the point where he could compete,” Schwab said. 'I'm not going to take that away from a guy.
'He tried to see if he could go. His body wasn't ready.”
Teske went on to beat Northwestern's Michael DeAugustino 2-0 in the second round. Lara lost 9-8 to No. 7 Jonathan Millner of Appalachian State.
Jacob Warner roars back
Iowa's Jacob Warner provided one of the top comebacks in the first session Thursday, topping North Carolina State's Nick Reenan, 9-7, in sudden victory. Fifth-seeded Warner fell into an early 6-0 hole, getting headlocked and having to fight off his back for about 1:15 of the first period.
Warner notched a reversal to pull within 6-2 before the second. He stormed back with five points in the third, forcing a second and third stall call. The last one came with four seconds left that preceded a tying takedown with three seconds remaining in regulation.
A quick shot and finish with 11 seconds left in the overtime period completed the comeback.
Former Iowa preps advance
Former Iowa preps were successful in the first round, including three wrestling for South Dakota State.
Alburnett state champion Tanner Sloan won his opening match for the Jackrabbits, beating North Carolina's Max Shaw, 4-2. His teammates, Zach Price (133) and Cade DeVos (157), followed him into the second round. Price, a former Johnston prep, beat Cal State-Bakersfield's Chance Rich, 4-2, in sudden victory. DeVos, who wrestled at Southeast Polk, topped Michigan State's Chase Saldate, 3-1.
Minnesota's Michael Blockhus, who won state titles at Crestwood and New Hampton and started his college career at UNI, moved into the round of 16 at 149. He beat Navy's Casey Cobb, 10-0.
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