SENIOR RYAN WILLIAMS EARNS TRIP TO NCAA TOURNAMENT FINALS
March 20, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Senior Ryan Williams is headed to the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championship Finals tomorrow night after a semi-final victory against Alex Krom from Maryland. Williams becomes just the second Division I finalist in school history with the win and will wrestle for the national championship at 141 lbs tomorrow night on ESPNHD and ESPN360.com. The championship round begins at 6:30 pm (EST) and Williams will face Ohio State's #3 seeded J Jaggers.
"Ryan Williams' win is a cornerstone in the wrestling program at ODU," said head coach Steve Martin. "Everyone is asking 'Where is ODU?' Ryan has been on the whole weekend and has been competing hard and relaxed. We knew coming in that he had a great shot of being an NCAA finalist, but it is so competitive that you have to wrestle a dominating style. He has been doing that and that is what we are most proud about. For our program to be able to compete on national television is unbelievable exposure for us and the university!"
The Monarchs are currently in 19th place with 27.5 points. Williams will add championship points tomorrow evening for the team's final placing.
Williams has won all four of his matches in this year's NCAA Tournament and is currently riding a 27-match winning streak dating back to December 29. With tonight's win, he is 39-3 overall on the season and now has 137 career victories. He becomes just the second NCAA Finalist in school history, after Jody Staylor finished second in 1994.
The ODU senior led the whole way in the semi-final matchup, scoring a takedown with less than a minute in the first period. He escaped Krom's hold in the second to go up 3-0, but Krom would add an escape in the third to cut it back to two. Then Williams just battled on his feet the rest of the way and added the riding time advantage point for the final, 4-1.
Jaggers will come into the finals after wrestling a dominant tournament thus far. The Ohio State senior is coming off a pair of pins against seeded wrestlers, and had a major decision earlier in the tournament. He was also forced into overtime by an unseeded wrestler in the second round.
Williams and Jaggers will face off in tomorrow night's championship round set for 6:30 pm. The entire match will be broadcast via ESPNHD/ESPN360.com and live stats of the match are available here.
In the other action in Session IV, junior Jesse Strawn fell to the #7 seed Brandon Halsey (CSU-Bakersfield) by major decision, 14-3. The Roadrunner wrestler controlled the match from the start and ended Strawn's run through the consolations. Strawn, a junior from Holton, Kansas, had won back-to-back matches against seeded grapplers in the wrestlebacks before facing Halsey.
Results After Session IV:
125: James Nicholson (1-2)
#6 James Nicholson (ODU) def. Brad Pataky (Penn State), 11-6
#11 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota) def. #6 James Nicholson (ODU), 5-4
Obenson Blanc (Oklahoma State) def. #6 James Nicholson (ODU), 3-2
133: Kyle Hutter (2-2)
#5 Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise St) pinned Kyle Hutter (ODU), 2:20 fall
Kyle Hutter (ODU) def. Kelly Kubec (Oregon State), 7-3
Kyle Hutter (ODU) def. Christian Smith (Liberty), 9-5
#3 James Kennedy (Illinois) def. Kyle Hutter (ODU), 10-1 maj dec
141: Ryan Williams (4-0)
#8 Ryan Williams (ODU) def. Frank Molinaro (Penn State), 7-1
#8 Ryan Williams (ODU) def. Joe Caramanica (NC State), 10-5
#8 Ryan Williams (ODU) def. Ryan Prater (Illinois), 8-6
#8 Ryan Williams (ODU) def. Alex Krom (Maryland), 4-1
174: Eric Decker (1-2)
#3 Brandon Browne (Nebraska) def. Eric Decker (ODU), 12-4 maj dec
Eric Decker (ODU) def. Nate Rock (Buffalo), 4-1
#9 Newly McSpadden (Oklahoma State) def. Eric Decker (ODU), 4-1
197: Jesse Strawn (3-2)
Jesse Strawn (ODU) def. Dennis Drury (UNC), 11-4
#1 Craig Brester (Nebraska) def. Jesse Strawn (ODU), 14-5 maj dec
Jesse Strawn (ODU) def. #11 Andrew Anderson (UNI), 6-1
Jesse Strawn (ODU) pinned #8 Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State), 6:01 fall
#7 Brandon Halsey (CSU-Bakersfield) def. Jesse Strawn (ODU), 14-3 maj dec