DRAMATIC AND HISTORIC: Ryan Williams Wins With Reversal As Time Expires
March 20, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Old Dominion senior Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) locked up a spot on the podium at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships in dramatic, and historic, fashion this morning. Williams won his 136th career match, the all-time high at Old Dominion, assured himself All-American status, and did it all with a buzzer-beating reversal in the quarterfinals. The Monarch grappler moves on to tonight's semifinals, broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks.
Williams tied the all-time career wins mark yesterday with two wins, tying Jeff Rusak with 135 wins. Today, he took over sole possession of the record, with 136, right out of the gates. He faced Illinois' Ryan Prater in the quarterfinals for the historic win and it went all the way down to the wire.
Prater was coming off an upset victory, a pin over number one seed Kellen Russell (Michigan), while Williams had posted a pair of decisions in his opening day matches. Prater led the match early with a takedown, but the ODU senior escaped and quickly caught Prater offguard with a standing cradle for the takedown and back points.
Ahead 6-2, Williams took down to start the second period, but Prater managed to ride out the entire frame, all but locking up the riding time advantage. Then, in the third, he escaped Williams to cut the lead to 6-3. With the riding time, all Prater needed was a takedown to tie the match and send it to overtime, which he would get with just 20 seconds remaining.
Prater's come-from-behind match looked like he had all the momentum, but Williams refused to quit in regulation and with just seconds remaining he slipped away from Prater, and took the advantage for a reversal as time expired. Williams won the bout, 8-6, in a buzzer-beating drama-filled victory that locked up All-American status.
The ODU senior is a three-time NCAA Qualifier and will be an All-American for the first time in his career. It is the second straight year ODU has an All-American, as redshirt sophomore James Nicholson finished 8th in last years tournament.
Wrestling continues in St. Louis this morning and resumes this evening at 7:00 pm (EST) for the semifinals, where Williams will wrestle Maryland's unseeded Alex Krom. Krom the number 4 and number 12 seeded wrestlers in his trek to the semi's and added a win over Oklahoma State's unseeded Jamal Parks.