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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Three Alive Following First Day at NCAA Champs
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/21/2013
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March 21, 2013

CHAMPIONSHIP HOME

DES MOINES, Iowa – With one day of competition in the books at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, three Sun Devils remain alive but all will finish out the tournament in the consolation bracket following losses on the first day in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kevin Radford (184), Jake Meredith (197) and Levi Cooper all survived to see another day on Thursday, though redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer was eliminated from the competition after two losses. 

Radford earned his first career NCAA victory following a first round win over Penn’s Canaan Bethea. Radford lost to Bethea earlier this season but rebounded with a 4-3 victory in Des Moines to advance to the round of 16. 

Unfortunately, things didn’t get easier for the redshirt sophomore as he would go head-to-head with the nation’s top-ranked and undefeated Ed Ruth of Penn State.  Ruth earned his second pin in as many matches against Radford, knocking him to the consolation bracket at the 3:42 mark.

The tournament being double-elimination, Radford now has no wiggle room as he gets set to take on Illinois’ Tony Delgado for a chance to stay alive.

Ninth-seeded Meredith handled Chattanooga’s Nikolas Brown, 3-1, in his opener to advance to a rematch against Penn’s No. 8 Micah Burak in the round of 16.  Burak had defeated Meredith earlier this season and got the upper-hand over the senior again on Wednesday, taking the victory in the second tiebreaker by a score of 3-2 to knock Meredith out of the championship bracket. 

Meredith will take on Maryland’s Christia Boley tomorrow for an opportunity to remain in the competition. 

Levi Cooper staved off elimination after losing his first-round matchup to Pitt’s ninth-seeded Zac Thomusseit by a score of 6-0.  Faced with a win-or-go-home contest against Cleveland State’s Riley Shaw, Cooper handled his business in an 8-0 major decision to advance to tomorrow’s battle against Wisconsin’s seventh-seeded Connor Medbery. 

Things didn’t go as well for Stauffer, who was upset in his first-round matchup against Northern Illinois’ Matt Mougin.  Mougin defeated the 11th-seeded Stauffer, 4-2, to place the freshman in a rematch of the Pac-12 Championship final, where he had to take on CSU Bakersfield’s Bryce Hammond.  Like the Pac-12 final, Hammond shut down Stauffer in a 4-0 decision to end the Missouri native’s tournament hopes before the first day was through.

The tournament will resume tomorrow with ASU’s three remaining competitors.  All rounds of the competition will be broadcast in some form via the ESPN Family of Networks with the majority of the events taking place on ESPN3 throughout the day.

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