March 18, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Three Badgers have already earned All-America honors and a trip to the semifinals as Wisconsin sits in sixth place with 41 points after Session III of the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships Friday.
Cornell currently leads the team race with 61 points followed by Penn State (60.5), Iowa (52), American (49), Oklahoma State (44.5).
Joining the trio of All-Americans, one Badger grappler is still in the running to earn All-America honors and a chance to capture the third place title at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Graff (133 lbs.) and redshirt senior Trevor Brandvold (197 lbs.) are now two-time All-Americans after Session III while junior Andrew Howe (165 lbs.) is now a three-time All-American.
Howe completed the All-American 3-peat after defeating No. 7 Shane Onufer (Wyoming) in the quarterfinals. The junior becomes the 11th Badger to reach the feat at least three times and the first since current associate head coach and former Wisconsin wrestler Donny Pritzlaff became a four-time All-American from 1998-01). Howe is 25-2 on the season after slating a 4-1 victory over Onufer. The defending NCAA Champion faces No. 3 seed Tyler Caldwell in the semifinals.
It took just one takedown to help Graff garner guaranteed All-America honors. The No. 4 seed defeated No. 5 seed Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra), 2-1, to advance to the semifinals. The redshirt sophomore is now 3-0 at the Championships and a two-time All-American. Graff boasts a 30-3 overall record heading into the semifinals against No. 1 seed Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State.
Joining Graff as a two-time All-American, Brandvold’s trip to the semifinals was decided by one escape. The redshirt senior slated one escape in the second period to defeat Penn’s Micah Burak, 1-0. Brandvold remains undefeated on the season, boasting a 17-0 overall record entering the semifinals. In Friday night’s quest to the championship match, the Badger faces No. 2 seed Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State) in the semifinals.
Vying for third place, No. 4 seed Travis Rutt drops to the wrestlebacks after falling in the second tiebreaker to No. 12 seed Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 4-2. Rutt enters the wrestlebacks with just three losses on the season (32-3 overall). En route to earn his first All-America honor, Rutt matches up against No. 6 seed Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa) in his climb to third place.
Redshirt sophomore Cole Schmitt’s season came to an end in the wrestlebacks at 149 lbs. Despite notching a takedown and a reversal, the Badger dropped a 15-5 major decision to Wyoming’s Cole Dallaserra at 149 lbs. Schmitt slated a 1-2 record at this year’s Championships.
Redshirt senior Eric Bugenhagen’s career came to an end when he dropped a tough, 3-2 decision to Maryland’s Spencer Myers in the wrestlebacks. Bugenhagen finished his final season with the Badgers with an impressive 25-13 overall record including a career-best third place finish at the 2011 Big Ten Championships.
Session IV is set to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) and will broadcast live on ESPNU and is available via a live web stream on ESPN3.com. Fans can also receive up to date information by following the live blog on UWBadgers.com.
Session III results
• 133 lbs. - No. 4 seed Tyler Graff dec. No. 5 seed Lou Ruggierello (Hofstra), 2-1
• 149 lbs. - Cole Dallaserra (Wyoming) major decision Cole Schmitt, 15-5
• 165 lbs. - No. 2 seed Andrew Howe dec. No. 7 seed Shane Onufer (Wyoming), 4-1
• 184 lbs. - No. 12 seed Grant Gambrall (Iowa) TB2 No. 4 seed Travis Rutt, 4-2
• 197 lbs. - No. 3 seed Trevor Brandvold dec. No. 6 seed Micah Burak (Penn), 1-0
• 285 lbs. - Spencer Myers (Maryland) dec. No. 12 seed Eric Bugenhagen, 3-2
Session IV matchups
• 133 lbs. - No. 4 seed Tyler Graff vs. No. 1 seed Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
• 165 lbs. - No. 2 seed Andrew Howe vs. No. 3 seed Tyler Caldwell
• 184 lbs. - No. 4 seed Travis Rutt vs. No. 6 seed Ryan Loder
• 197 lbs. - No. 3 seed Trevor Brandvold vs. No. 2 seed Clayton Foster