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Graff earns spot in consolation semifinals

No. 8 seed Tyler Graff earned a spot in the consolation semifinals with a 2-1, tiebreaker win over No. 5 Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly.

Graff, who can finish no worse than sixth and as high as third now, escaped in the second period to go up 1-0. Graff then let Novachkov escape at the beginning of the third period to tie things up.

The matched moved to overtime and neither wrestler scored in sudden victory. Novahckov was unable to escape in his 30 seconds, but Graff took just three seconds to escape for the 2-1 win.

He now faces Franklin Gomez of Michigan State in the consolation semifinals.

Brandvold becomes first-time All-American

Junior Trevor Brandvold, the No. 5 seed, became a first-time All-American thanks to a 7-4 victory over conference foe and No. 9 seed, Chad Beatty of Iowa.

Brandvold jumped ahead 2-0 after the first period thanks to a takedown with 13 seconds left in the frame. He then chose down in the second period and escaped six seconds in to move up 3-0. With 1:31 left, he got another takedown to lead 5-0.

With the score 5-1 in favor of Brandvold going into the third period, Beatty escaped to make it 5-2 with 37 seconds left. He got a takedown with 17 seconds left, but Brandvold escaped to lead 6-4. Riding time made it 7-4.

Howe reaches finals for second year in a row

Top seed Andrew Howe has become a two-time finalist at 165 lbs. after winning his semifinal match on Friday night. Howe bested Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma, 4-1, to advance to the title match for the second year in a row.

Howe, who was runner-up a year ago, took a 2-0 lead 1:23 into match with a takedown.

The score stayed that way until Caldwell escaped four seconds into the second period.

Howe took control again though in the third period with a takedown with 1:47 to go. He added riding time for a 4-1 victory.

Howe now moves on to face a familiar foe, Dan Vallimont of Penn State. They have already met twice this year, with Howe winning 7-2 in the dual matchup and 3-1 in the Big Ten Championship semifinals. Howe also beat Vallimont last season, 3-2.

Ruschell wins thriller to become All-American

Senior and No. 4 seed Kyle Ruschell survived a thriller in the wrestlebacks to become a two-time All-American at 149 lbs. He defeated No. 6 Matthew Kyler of Army, 4-3, in the second tiebreaker.

Neither wrestler scored in the first period, while Kyler was able to escape in second period. Ruschell did the same in the third period to force overtime.

The first overtime passed scoreless, while Kyler earned an escape with 21 seconds left in the first tiebreaker. Ruschell matched him though and earned an escape in the waning seconds of the second tiebreaker.

After another sudden victory period went scoreless, Ruschell was awarded a point after Kyler was called for locked hands. Ruschell escaped a second later to take a 4-2 lead.

Kyler escaped in the fourth overtime, but it was too late as Ruschell advanced 4-3. Ruschell will now match up against No. 9 Kevin LeValley of Bucknell.

Win makes Graff an All-American

With a win in the wrestlebacks, redshirt freshman and No. 8 seed Tyler Graff earned All-American status at 133 lbs. Graff defeated Mike Grey of Cornell, 13-5, to guarantee a finish no worse than eighth.

Graff took control early, scoring three takedowns in the first period to lead 6-2 after the first three minutes.

Starting in neutral in the second period, Graff scored a takedown with 1:01 remaining. Grey escaped to make it 8-3 after two periods.

Starting the third period on bottom, Grey escaped eight seconds into the frame, but Graff took him back down with 1:15 to go. Another escape by Grey was followed by another takedown from Graff with 12 seconds to go. With 1:25 of riding time, Graff came away with a 13-5 win.

He will wrestle No. 5 Borislav Novachkov of Cal Poly in the sixth round. They met once earlier this year at the Cliff Keen Invite with Novachkov winning 5-2.

Session IV schedule

We're about 45 minutes away from Session IV here at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships here in Omaha, Neb. Four of the seven Badgers are still alive in competition.

Here's your schedule for tonight:

Championship Semifinals
165 lbs.: (Match # 561) No. 1 Andrew Howe (UW) vs. Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma)

Wrestlebacks
133 lbs.: (Match # 507) No. 8 Tyler Graff (UW) vs. No. 7 Mike Grey (Cornell)
149 lbs.: (Match # 513) No. 4 Kyle Ruschell (UW) vs. No. 6 Matthew Kyler (Army)
197 lbs.: (Match # 536) No. 5 Trevor Brandvold (UW) vs. No. 9 Chad Beatty (Iowa)

Ruschell stays alive with tight win

Senior and No. 4 seed Kyle Ruschell kept his hopes for All-American status alive with a 6-1 win over Eric Albright of Pittsburgh at 149 lbs.

The first period was scoreless, but Ruschell earned an escape after starting the second period on bottom.

Albright tied the match at 1-1 after he escaped to start the third period. The score remained that way until Ruschell got a takedown with 34 seconds remaining. He was then able to ride Albright and pick up nearfall points to make the final margin 6-1.

Bugenhagen knocked out at heavyweight

Junior Eric Bugenhagen was knocked out of competition at heavyweight by No. 4 Nathan Everhart, 6-2.

After the first period went by scoreless, Bugenhagen earned an escape to after starting on bottom in the second period. The 1-0 lead would not last though as Everhart scored a takedown with 1:03 left in the second.

The score remained 2-1 going into the third period. Everhart started down and escaped, then got another takedown with 56 seconds left. Bugenhagen escaped with seven seconds left, but riding time was added to give Everhart the 6-2 win.

Rutt eliminated

Travis Rutt lost in the third round of consolations to be eliminated at 184 lbs. Facing Zack Giesen of Stanford, Rutt dropped a 10-4 decision.

Giesen led throughout, jumping ahead 5-0 before Rutt was able to score an escape. Another takedown was followed by another escape to close the second period with Giesen in front, 7-2.

Rutt started down in the third and escaped to cut the lead to 7-3, but another takedown from Giesen made it 9-3. Rutt managed one last escape with 58 seconds left, but riding time made it 10-4 for Giesen.

Brandvold beaten in quarterfinals

No. 5 seed Trevor Brandvold was unable to hold on to a first period lead, falling to No. 4 seed Cam Simaz of Cornell, 8-5, in the quarterfinals at 197 lbs.

Thanks to a takedown, Brandvold held a 2-0 lead after one period. He then kept the two-point cushion after two periods thanks to a pair of escapes sandwiched around a takedown by Simaz.

The third period proved troublesome though as Simaz escaped six seconds in after starting in the down position. Simaz then scored a takedown with 1:48 left to move ahead 5-4. Brandvold was able to knot the match at 5-5 after an escape with 1:26 to go, but Simaz came back with a takedown 15 seconds later to pull ahead 7-5. Riding time was a factor, giving Simaz an additional point.
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