DES MOINES, Iowa - Utah Valley University 125-pounder Jade Rauser and 149-pounder Josh Wilson had their 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship runs cut short on Friday at the Wells Fargo Arena after both were eliminated in the wrestlebacks.
The redshirt freshman Rauser concluded his first trip to Nationals with a 1-2 record, while the senior Wilson went 2-2 for his second straight year.
"Josh wrestled a solid match against Valenti and gave himself an opportunity. He was also in a good position against No. 8 Brascetta but just couldn't get it done," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "Josh is good enough to place here, you just have to win the matches at the right time and it's disappointing for him."
Wilson won his second straight match in the wrestlebacks with a 10-5 victory over Virginia's Derek Valenti (18-10) Friday morning in his opener. The Wolverine senior jumped out to a 4-1 lead by the end of the first after two takedowns in the period. After riding out Valenti for virtually the entire second frame, Wilson closed out the bout with an escape point, riding time and two more takedowns to take the contest and eliminate the former All-American (placed 8th in 2011).
Wilson's 2013 run then came to a close with a tough 5-3 loss to the eight seed from Virginia Tech Nick Brascetta (29-5) on Friday afternoon. After a scoreless first period, Wilson got on the board first with a escape early in the second period. Brascetta then took the lead with a takedown, but Wilson tied it back up at 2-all with another escape. Brascetta later pulled ahead in the third with an escape and a takedown to take a 5-2 advantage. Wilson countered back with an escape but couldn't get the late takedown to tie the bout as he fell by two.
With the defeat, Wilson, who might be granted another year of eligibility due to missing his redshirt freshman season with an injury, finished his senior campaign with a 24-10 record and just two wins shy of an All-American finish.
Rauser (21-10) took on Michigan's Sean Boyle (24-11), currently ranked 11th by InterMat, in his first match in the wrestlebacks on Friday and jumped out to a 2-0 lead with an early takedown. Boyle countered with a reversal and a takedown to take a 4-2 advantage, but Rauser picked up an escape to make it 4-3 at the end of the first period. After a Boyle escape, the UVU redshirt freshman tied the score midway through the bout with another takedown to make it 5-all. Boyle then jumped ahead with a takedown of his own late in the second and put the bout away with another takedown in the third, as well as securing riding time to take the contest, 10-6.
Rauser, who became UVU's first-ever freshman to compete at the NCAA Championships, ended his redshirt season with a 21-10 record.
"Jade has a couple of areas that he needs to improve on but he showed a lot of fight this morning. This is a tough tournament and you can't make mistakes if you want to do well here," added Williams. "I'm proud of all three of our guys as well as the entire team this year. There are a lot of positives that we'll take back from here."
UVU sophomore heavyweight Adam Fager (20-12) also competed for the Wolverines at the NCAA Championships this weekend but ended his inaugural run on Thursday after going 0-2.
Session IV will begin this evening at 5 p.m. MT, while Saturday's medal rounds will start at 9 a.m. MT. Both sessions will be televised on ESPNU. The 2013 NCAA Championships will then conclude Saturday at 6 p.m. MT with finals that will be aired live on ESPN.
Cons. Round 2 - Sean Boyle (Michigan) won by decision over Jade Rauser (Utah Valley) (Dec 10-6)
Cons. Round 2 - Josh Wilson (Utah Valley) won by decision over Derek Valenti (Virginia) (Dec 10-5)
Cons. Round 3 - No. 8 Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech) won by decision over Josh Wilson (Utah Valley) (Dec 5-3)
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.