Two Stanford Wrestlers Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals
March 15, 2007
Auburn Hills, Mich. - Juniors Tanner Gardner and Josh Zupancic won their second bouts of the day and advanced to the championship quarterfinals at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Auburn Hills, Mich. The pair will wrestle for All-America honors tomorrow at 11 a.m. (ET) live on ESPNU.
Third-seeded Gardner moved on to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 overtime decision over Brandon Precin of Northwestern. Gardner put the first points on the board with a second period escape, but Precin scored a third period reversal to take the lead. Gardner escaped and the match went to overtime. After two scoreless overtime periods, Gardner scored a reversal in the third overtime and picked up the win. Gardner will face No. 6 Paul Donahoe of Nebraska-Lincoln in tomorrow morning's quarterfinals. The win was the 100th of the junior's career. He joins Matt Gentry `05, Steve Buddie '91 and Scott Wiggen '87 in the Cardinal all-time 100-win club.
Zupancic moved on to the quarterfinals with his second upset of the day. The Cardinal junior downed No. 9 Chris Oliver, 3-1, in the second round, scoring a late takedown to seal the victory. Oliver scored the first points with a second period escape, but Zupancic matched the effort with an escape of his own in the third period. Zupancic's ensuing third period takedown earned him the 3-1 decision and a spot in the quarterfinals. Zupancic will square off with No. 1 Trent Paulson of Iowa State tomorrow morning. He is the only unseeded wrestler in the 157-pound quarterfinals.
Freshman Zack Giesen received a bye in the consolation first round and will take on David Craig of Lehigh tomorrow morning in the consolation second round.
Luke Feist was pinned in the third period by Phillip Moricone of Edinboro, falling in 5:36. Feist finished his redshirt sophomore season with a 25-19 overall record. Brian Perry dropped a 9-4 decision to Eric Decker of Virginia Tech. Perry ended his Stanford career with a 66-45 career record and a 27-16 mark for his senior season.
Gardner and Zupancic's quarterfinal matches will be shown live on ESPNU tomorrow beginning at 11 a.m. (ET). Gardner will be looking to become Stanford's second two-time All-American, while Zupancic will be looking for his first All-America honor.
Stanford Results (Thru Session II)
NCAA Championships * Auburn Hills, Mich.
Mar. 15-17, 2007
No. 3 Tanner Gardner (2-0): dec. Brandon Kinney (Columbia), 1-0; dec. Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 5-2 (OT).
Josh Zupancic (2-0): dec. No. 8 Seth Martin (Lock Haven), 8-4; dec. No. 9 Chris Oliver, 3-1.
Brian Perry (0-2): lost maj. dec. to Andy Rendos (Bucknell), 12-4; lost to Eric Decker (Virginia Tech), 9-4.
Luke Feist (0-2): lost to Rudy Rueda (American), 11-5; fall to Phillip Moricone (Edinboro), 5:36.
Zack Giesen (0-1): fall to No. 3 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State), 6:22.