PITTSBURGH, PA – University at Buffalo wrestlers Troy Keller and Brett Perry each advanced to Friday at the NCAA Championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Both Keller and Perry dropped their opening match, but won their first consolation bout.
In total, the Bulls had five wrestlers competing in the first day of the NCAA Championships. After some tough draws, Keller and Perry were the only UB wrestlers to advance to Friday action.
"It was a tough day, but I'm proud to coach this team," head coach John Stutzman said. "Through all the injuries and adversity, these guys never backed down from the challenge. With Keller and Perry heading into day two, anything can happen."
At 165, Keller dropped his first match to sixth-seeded Logan Massa of Michigan, 15-3. However, the junior from Tonawanda bounced back by earning a 7-2 decision over Bryce Martin of Indiana. Keller will take on Te'Shan Campbell of Ohio State tomorrow.
Perry opened with a 12-3 loss to second-seeded Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the 197-lb. bracket. The Bulls' redshirt-senior next wrestled Randall Diabe, a 15th-seed from Appalachian State. A third-period takedown by Perry was the difference in the match, as he was able to earn the 3-2 decision to upset Diabe. Perry will next wrestle 16-seeded Josh Hokit of Fresno State tomorrow.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, their three other wrestlers competing lost both of their matches to bring an end to their seasons.
In his first match, Derek Spann dropped an 8-0 major decision to Missouri's John Erneste in a rematch of the MAC title bout. Spann then lost a hard-fought 5-3 decision to Cornell's Charles Tucker in the consolation round.
Bryan Lantry opened with a 12-3 loss to Oklahoma State's Kaid Brock in the first round. In his consolation match, after leading in the third period, Lantry got pinned by Grant Willits of Oregon State with only 42 seconds left in the final period. Lantry finished his career at UB with 47 career duals wins, tied for fifth in school history.
Finally, Smythe dropped his opener in the 157-lb. bracket to Michigan's Alex Pantaleo, 15-3. In the consolation bracket, Smythe fell to Jarrett Jacques of Missouri, 7-3, to bring an end to his UB career.
Action will resume at 11 am on Friday.