NEW YORK -
A pair of wins by sophomore Bryce Meredith highlighted the opening day of the NCAA Championship for the University of Wyoming wrestling team on Thursday inside Madison Square Garden in New York. Meredith will wrestle in Friday's quarterfinals for the first UW wrestler in the quarterfinals since 2013. He will also be the first 141 pound competitor to wrestle in the quarterfinals for the Pokes and will face Micah Jordan of Ohio State.
Sophomore Drew Templeman, wrestling in his first NCAA Championship finished the opening day 1-1 and remains in contention in the consolation bracket. Harms is also in contention in the consolation bracket at 285 pounds going 1-1 on the day. When Meredith hit the mat in his first match it marked the 300th Cowboy wrestler to participate in the NCAA Championship
The Pokes are tied for 31st with 5.5 points. Penn State is in the team lead with 27.5 points. Ohio State and Oklahoma State follow with 24 points after the opening day.
"I was pleased and anytime you move past the first day with all your guys it is a great thing," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "Our goal is to wrestle till the end of the day and if you can do that tomorrow you can be an All-American. It was good that we got some bonus points and everyone is still kicking. It is pleasing to be in the fight right now."
Meredith picked up a big win in the second round upsetting third-ranked Kevin Jack of North Carolina State. The two were teammates last season for the Wolfpack, but Meredith edged his former workout partner by decision, 5-4. Meredith had 1:30 of riding time, which was enough for an extra point in the win. Meredith struck first in the opening period, but Jack responded with a reversal. Meredith added a reversal of his own in the second period to give him the lead and help him to the quarterfinals.
"It has been a while since we have had a big win like Meredith's," Branch said. "There was a lot of mental work by Bryce (Meredith) and I have said all along he can beat anyone in this bracket."
Meredith opened his day with an impressive 16-3 major decision win over Robbie Mathers of Arizona State. Meredith led from start to finish in his victory. He built his lead to 10-2 after two periods with a four-point nearfall on the edge of the mat. He finished the match with over two minutes of riding time.
Harms was dominant in his 12-2 opening round victory over Garrett Ryan of Columbia. After an early takedown by Ryan, Harms used a reversal and never looked back. Following his reversal he earned a four-point nearfall and finished his match with over three minutes of riding time.
He fell in the second round to No. 2 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State by technical fall 26-10. Snyder was an All-American last season at 197 pounds and was also a World Champion. Harms will face Ray O'Donnell of Princeton on Friday.
"Tanner (Harms) was a bit overwhelmed in his second round match," Branch said. "You have to go out there and take it and he needs to bounce back."
Templeman opened his day by falling to No. 8 Barlow McGhee of Mizzou by decision 3-2 in the first round. After a scoreless first period, Templeman struck first with an escape. Barlow opened the third with an escape and added a takedown, Templeman answered with an escape before falling.
Templeman earned a comeback sudden victory 9-7 decision over Shakur Laney of Ohio in the consolation bracket. Templeman trailed early by a score of 6-1. He used a headlock with a takedown and a four-point nearfall to tie the match in the third period. He added a takedown in sudden victory to advance tomorrow to face No. 7 Darian Cruz of Lehigh.
"Drew was in a barn burner and that was huge for him to move onto tomorrow," Branch said.
The Pokes return to action tomorrow morning with action slated to open at 9 a.m. MT. Fans can watch every mat live on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN App. Also, selected matches will be carried live on ESPNU.
125: Drew Templeman