NEW YORK – With another win over a top-10 seeded opponent, senior captain David Terao led the American University wrestling team in the third session at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships being held at Madison Square Garden.
Terao, who entered the tournament seeded 15th at 125 pounds, earned a victory over 10th-seed Connor Schram of Stanford in the quarterfinals. With the victory, Terao advances to tonight's semifinals and clinches All-America honors.
Terao, already the winningest wrestler in program history, becomes AU's ninth All-American and the first since 2012.
Terao was the first to get on the scoreboard, earning a takedown a minute into the first period. Schram responded with a quick escape, but Terao took a 2-1 lead into the second period.
Schram scored the only point of the second period, getting an escape to tie the match at 2-2. Meanwhile, Terao regained the lead with an escape early in the third period and scored another takedown with 1:25 on the clock, quickly turning it into a fall.
"I was definitely ecstatic (about the win)," said Terao. "When I had that headlock, I knew it was my time. I knew there was no way I wasn't going to the semis to be an All-American.
"It's just a culmination of so much hard work and perseverance. The last three years, this tournament has been such a roadblock for me, but I think this is my year to punch through, and I think I've been proving that so far."
"It was a tremendous day for David," said American head coach Teague Moore. "There was a huge monkey on his back going out there. He's lost twice in that round and then lost in the blood round the last two years.
"For him to be able to win it and win it like he did, I'm just so happy for him."
Also in Friday's first session, senior captain John Boyle, seeded 10th at 157 pounds, wrestled a pair of matches in the consolation bracket. He first faced off against Ohio's Spartak Chino, coming up with a 4-2 victory.
Boyle scored the first points of the match, getting a takedown with 28 seconds remaining in the first period. Chino tied the bout at 2-2 after scoring a reversal early in the second period, but Boyle earned an escape to regain the lead. Starting the third period on bottom, Boyle scored another escape to hold on for the win.
Boyle faced a tough challenge in his second bout of Friday's first session, taking on second-seed Thomas Gantt of NC State, whose only loss of the season came on Thursday evening.
The match was scoreless throughout the first period, while Gantt took a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second period. Boyle knotted the score at 1-1 with an escape of his own in the third period, but Gantt recorded a takedown with a minute remaining to regain the lead.
While Boyle registered an escape to cut the margin to 3-2, he was unable to score a takedown late in the period, dropping the narrow one-point decision to end his season.
"The last time John wrestled that guy, [Gantt] really controlled everything," said Moore. "He controlled the hand fight, he controlled the shots, he rode us—today, John stuck to the game plan, forced the action. As far as I was concerned, I felt we put ourselves in the right place to win the match, but it just didn't go our way.
"I'm so grateful (to have coached John). I can't put into words how much you love an athlete like John Boyle. He gives you everything every practice. He's a leader in the room, he's a leader in the classroom. He's a leader of the program, he's a leader on campus—this is a kid who does it through and through with everything in life."
Terao continues his run through the NCAA Championships this evening, with the semifinals, which will be broadcast on ESPN, slated to begin at 8:00.
Session III Results
125: (15) David Terao fall (10) Connor Schram (Stanford), 5:41
157: (10) John Boyle dec. Spartak Chino (Ohio), 4-2
157: (2) Thomas Gantt (NCSU) dec. (10) John Boyle, 3-2