NEW YORK – American University senior captains David Terao and John Boyle each won their opening round matches on the first day of competition at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships being held at Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, redshirt senior Mitchell Wightman dropped his pigtail match and will compete in the consolation bracket this evening.
Terao, seeded 15th at 125 pounds, faced off against Virginia's Nick Herrmann in his first bout. There was a quick flurry of action early in Terao's match, as he scored a quick takedown, followed by a reversal from Herrmann. Terao scored a reversal of his own to take the lead, while Herrmann came up with the escape. Herrmann added a takedown with five seconds remaining in the first period to take a 5-4 lead.
Terao, who opened the second period with a quick escape, scored his second takedown of the match to pull ahead for a 7-5 lead. While Herrmann recorded an escape, Terao went into the final period with a 7-6 advantage. He then rode out the entire third period to finish the match with an 8-6 victory.
Terao will return to action this evening against second-seeded Joey Dance of Virginia Tech.
Boyle, the 10th seed at 157 pounds, met West Virginia's Dylan Cottrell in his opening-round match. After a scoreless first period, Cottrell picked up the first point of the bout with an escape in the second period.
Boyle tied the match with an early third-period escape, while scoring a takedown and a two-point near fall to take a 5-1 lead. While Cottrell was able to score another escape and earn a penalty point with a pair of stall warnings against Boyle, Boyle was able to secure the 5-3 decision.
Boyle, who became just the seventh AU wrestler in program history reach 100 career wins, will face seventh-seed Cody Pack of South Dakota State in his second-round match this evening.
Wightman began the action for the Eagles on Thursday, wrestling in the pigtail match at 165 pounds against Northern Iowa's Cooper Moore. Wightman got out to a slow start, giving up a 6-0 lead after one period with a takedown and four-point near fall by Moore.
Wightman scored a four-point near fall of his own to narrow the gap early in the second period, but Moore came up with an escape to take a 7-4 lead. Moore scored another escape in the third period and added a point for riding time to pick up the 9-4 decision.
Wightman is back in action this evening, when he faces Columbia's Tyrel White in an elimination match.
"Overall I think it's a good start," said Moore. "We need to go back, get some food, get some rest and get ready for round two. We're only worried about our next match, the next seven minutes, how we wrestle every period, how we wrestle every position."
"The most important thing for these guys is experience. All three of these guys have been here—they're not frazzled. We've talked about how when you step out there and the whistle blows, do the things you're trained to do, do the things that you do well."
The second session of the NCAA Championships begins this evening at 7:00.
Session I Results
125: (15) David Terao dec. Nick Herrmann (UVA), 8-6
157: (10) John Boyle dec. Dylan Cottrell (WVU), 5-3
165: Cooper Moore (UNI) dec. Mitchell Wightman, 9-4