March 21, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. - NC State redshirt sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski has advanced to the finals at 285 pounds at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City. Gwiazdowski will try to become NC State's sixth individual national champion in wrestling tomorrow night on ESPN.
In today's quarterfinals, Gwiazdowski downed seventh seed Mike McClure of Michigan State 4-1, and then scored a 5-4 decision in the semifinals over third seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana.
With the two wins today, Gwiazdowski pushes his season record to 41-2 and ties former heavyweight and 1993 national champion Sylvester Terkay for most single-season wins in school history.
Gwiazdowski will take on two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota, the tournament's top seed, in the championship bout tomorrow night. The two have quite a rivalry the last two seasons. Earlier this season, Nelson defeated Gwiazdowski 1-0 at the Southern Scuffle, one of only two defeats for Gwiazdowski on the season. This past summer, Gwiazdowski scored a 9-0 tech fall win and also a 6-4 decision over Nelson in the third place bout, both at the U.S. World Team Trials.
Junior Tommy Gantt missed All-American honors by a spot, finishing ninth at 157 pounds. Gantt started the day with an 18-0 technical fall win over Aaron Walker of The Citadel. In a rematch of the ACC Championship, Gantt then defeated 10th seed Blaise Butler of Virginia 3-2. Gantt's tournament came to an end in the eighth place bout, falling to fifth seed Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin.
Sophomore Sam Speno was also in action today. Competing in his second straight trip to the NCAA Championships, Speno was in the wrestle backs at 141 pounds. He pulled off a 5-3 upset of fifth seed Chris Mecate of Old Dominion in sudden death 5-3, but his tournament run ended with a loss to 13th seed Stephen Dutton of Michigan.
141: Sam Speno (NCSU) dec. (5) Chris Mecate (Old Dominion); 5-3 (SV1)
(13) Stephen Dutton (Michigan) major dec. Sam Speno (NCSU); 13-0
157: Tommy Gantt (NCSU) tech. fall Aaron Walker (The Citadel); 18-0
Tommy Gantt (NCSU) dec. (10) Blaise Butler (Virginia); 3-2
(5) Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) major dec. Tommy Gantt; 8-0
285: (2) Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) dec. (7) Mike McClure (Michigan State); 4-1
(2) Nick Gwiazdowski (NCSU) dec. (3) Adam Chalfant (Indiana); 5-4