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Opening Round in the Books

Mar 18, 2021

ST. LOUIS - Three Cardinal registered wins in the opening round of the NCAA Championships, Thursday, at the Enterprise Center.

Real Woods (141), Requir van der Merwe (157) and Shane Griffith (165) remain on the championship side of the bracket after the first sessions of wrestling.

Making his NCAA Championships debut, Woods avenged his Pac-12 finals loss to Oregon State's Grant Willits with a 6-3 decision at 141 pounds. Woods, the No. 21 seed, knocked off 12th-seeded Willits and will now face No. 5 seed Dom Demas of Oklahoma this afternoon.

The No. 17 seed at 157 pounds, van der Merwe's first-round match against No. 16 seed Justin McCoy of Virginia went down to the wire. The redshirt senior led 3-2 late in the third, but found himself in a scramble which resulted in the referee awarding McCoy with a takedown as time expired. However, after a challenge by Cardinal head coach Jason Borrelli, the takedown occurred after time expired and van der Merwe held on for the victory. He will take on No. 1 seed Ryan Deakin of Northwestern in the next round.

Also making his NCAA Championships debut, redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith posted a 5-2 decision over No. 25 seed Justin Tucker of Michigan State. The No. 8 seed at 165 pounds, Griffith will face No. 9 seed Luke Weber of North Dakota State in this evening's session.

Sophomore Jackson DiSario (125), redshirt freshman Jaden Abas (149), true freshman Nick Stemmet (197) and fifth-year senior Nathan Traxler (285) all dropped their opening round matches and will be in action again this afternoon/evening. DiSario will take on No. 10 seed Malik Heinselman of Ohio State at 125 pounds. Abas will face No. 24 seed Luke Nichter of Drexel at 149 pounds, while Stemmet will wrestle No. 22 Chris Kober of Campbell at 197 pounds. Traxler's next match will be against No. 24 seed Johnathan Birchmeier of Navy at heavyweight.

Championship round and consolation wrestling continues at 3 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

#26 Jackson DiSario, 125 pounds | 0-1

Opponent Result
lost to #7 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley) 19-1 (5:37)


#21 Real Woods, 141 pounds | 1-0

Opponent Result
dec. #12 Grant Willits (Oregon State) 6-3


#8 Jaden Abas, 149 pounds | 0-1

Opponent Result
lost to #25 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) 6-2


#17 Requir van der Merwe, 157 pounds | 1-0

Opponent Result
dec. #16 Justin McCoy (Virginia) 3-2


#8 Shane Griffith, 165 pounds | 1-0

Opponent Result
dec. #25 Justin Tucker (Michigan State) 5-2


#27 Nick Stemmet, 197 pounds | 0-1

Opponent Result
lost to #6 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh) 15-2


#25 Nathan Traxler, 285 pounds | 0-1

Opponent Result
lost to #8 Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 6-1