Gardner, Zupancic Advance at NCAA Championships

March 15, 2007

Auburn Hills, Mich. - Stanford's five NCAA qualifiers began competition this morning at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Auburn Hills, Mich. Juniors Tanner Gardner and Josh Zupancic won their matches in the first round, with Zupancic scoring an upset victory over Lock Haven's eighth-seeded Seth Martin. Zupancic and Gardner will head to tonight's second round, while the remaining three Cardinal wrestlers will battle their way back through the consolation bracket.

At 125 pounds, third-seeded Gardner won a tight first round match with Columbia's Brandon Kinney. After a scoreless first period, Gardner scored an escape ten seconds into the second period. Neither wrestler was able to score again and Gardner picked up the 1-0 decision. Gardner will face Brandon Precin of Northwestern in tonight's second round.

At 157 pounds, Zupancic upset No. 8 Seth Martin of Lock Haven, 8-4. Zupancic scored four takedowns in the match, and jumped out to an early 6-1 lead. A stalling point and an escape narrowed the gap to 6-3, but Zupancic scored another takedown in the third period to seal the win. The Akron, Ohio native will face No. 9 Chris Oliver of Nebraska-Lincoln in tonight's second round.

Brian Perry, Luke Feist and Zack Giesen dropped first round matches and will head to the consolation bracket tonight. Perry scored two early takedowns and finished the first period with 4-3 lead, but Andy Rendos of Bucknell fought back in the final two periods and finished with a 12-4 major decision. Facing Rudy Rueda of American, Feist dropped an 11-5 decision and Giesen was pinned in 6:22 by No. 3 Mike Pucillo of Ohio State.

Perry will face Eric Decker of Virginia Tech in tonight's wrestle-backs, while Feist will get a re-match with Phillip Moricone of Edinboro. Feist dropped a 5-4 decision to Moricone at the Avalon Duals on Nov. 4.

Session II action begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. (ET).

125 pounds

No. 3 Tanner Gardner (1-0): dec. Brandon Kinney (Columbia), 1-0.

157 pound

Josh Zupancic (1-0): dec. No. 8 Seth Martin (Lock Haven), 8-4.

165 pounds

Brian Perry (0-1): lost maj. dec. to Andy Rendos (Bucknell), 12-4.

174 pounds

Luke Feist (0-1): lost to Rudy Rueda (American), 11-5.

184 pounds

Zack Giesen (0-1): fall to No. 3 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State), 6:22.

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