Cardinal Wrestlers Suffer Tough Third Session at NCAA Championships

March 16, 2007

Auburn Hills, Mich. - Stanford wrestlers faced a tough morning at the NCAA Championships in Auburn Hills, Mich. The trio of Cardinal wrestlers who remained alive this morning dropped three matches. No. 3 Tanner Gardner and Josh Zupancic will get another chance to earn All-America honors in tonight's fourth session.

At 125 pounds, third-seeded Gardner dropped an 8-3 decision to No. 6 Paul Donahoe of Nebraska-Lincoln in his quarterfinal match. The Stanford junior gave up a takedown and back points in the first period to fall to a 5-0 deficit. In the second period, he picked up two points with a pair of escapes, but gave up another takedown to end the second period down 7-2. A stalling point for Gardner and riding time for Donahoe finished the match at 8-3. Gardner drops to the consolation bracket and will face the winner of No. 10 Nicholas Fanthorpe of Iowa State and Mark McKnight of Penn State tonight. A win would make Gardner the second two-time All-American in Stanford history.

Facing the top-seeded 157-pounder in the tournament, Zupancic was edged in a tight 2-1 decision. After a scoreless first period, No. 1 Trent Paulson scored on a quick escape to take a 1-0 lead. The Iowa State wrestler earned another point when Zupancic was called for stalling. Zupancic escaped 17 seconds into the third period, but was unable to score again. The Stanford junior drops to the consolation bracket and will wrestle the winner of No. 12 Matt Hill (Edinboro) and No. 10 Moza Fay (Northern Iowa) for All-America honors tonight.

Freshman Zack Giesen was pinned by David Craig of Lehigh in 2:28. Giesen finishes 2006-07 as one of the most successful freshman wrestlers in Cardinal history. The Grants Pass, Ore. native went 29-16 during his rookie campaign and etched his name at No. 3 on the Cardinal all-time freshman win chart.

Session IV action begins tonight at 7 p.m. (ET).

Stanford Results (Thru Session III)
NCAA Championships * Auburn Hills, Mich.
Mar. 15-17, 2007

125 pounds

No. 3 Tanner Gardner (2-1): dec. Brandon Kinney (Columbia), 1-0; dec. Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 5-2 (OT); lost to No. 6 Paul Donahoe (Nebraska-Lincoln), 8-3.

157 pounds

Josh Zupancic (2-1): dec. No. 8 Seth Martin (Lock Haven), 8-4; dec. No. 9 Chris Oliver, 3-1; lost to No. 1 Trent Paulson (Iowa State), 2-1.

165 pounds

Brian Perry (0-2): lost maj. dec. to Andy Rendos (Bucknell), 12-4; lost to Eric Decker (Virginia Tech), 9-4.

174 pounds

Luke Feist (0-2): lost to Rudy Rueda (American), 11-5; fall to Phillip Moricone (Edinboro), 5:36.

184 pounds

Zack Giesen (0-2): fall to No. 3 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State), 6:22; fall to David Craig (Lehigh), 2:28.

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