OKLAHOMA CITY – Duke University redshirt sophomore Conner Hartmann was a part of the many upsets on Day One of the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships as he posted a pair of upset victories to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals. Hartmann posted wins over the No. 10 and No. 7 seeds to advance to day two of wrestling.
Immanuel Kerr-Brown, in his first NCAA Championships appearance, also advanced to the second day of wrestling with a 1-1 record.
Hartmann, making his second NCAA appearance, edged No. 10 seed Jace Bennett 2-1 in his first match at 197 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Cornell’s Bennett built up over a minute of riding time before Hartmann scored a big reversal for the first points of the afternoon. Bennett escaped moments later to make it 2-1, but Hartmann was able to ride out the two minutes to capture his first career NCAA postseason victory.
Up against the No. 7 seed Travis Rutt of Oklahoma, Hartmann led 1-0 after the first period and quickly built that to 4-0 with three nearfall points early in the second. The Port Orchard, Wash., native rode out the second period to build 1:48 of riding time with just two minutes left to wrestle. Starting the third period on bottom, Hartmann needed just seconds to escape for the 5-0 lead en route to the 6-0 triumph.
Hartmann will wrestle No. 2 seed and true freshman J’Den Cox of Missouri. Cox posted a major decision in his second round bout and is 35-2 on the year and captured the MAC Championship at 197 pounds.
At 157 pounds, Kerr-Brown dropped a hard-fought 10-3 decision to No. 14 seed Joseph LaVallee of Missouri to start the day. The bout with LaVallee was scoreless in the first period, but it was the freshman Tiger pulling away for the victory.
Coming back in the evening, Kerr-Brown looked to avenge a regular season loss to Drexel’s Austin Sommer. The redshirt junior lost to Sommer by a narrow 9-8 margin during the year, but it was all Kerr-Brown as he dominated the action in the final two periods for his 26th win of the year.
Action gets underway at 11 a.m. (ET) with the quarterfinals and wrestleback second and third rounds happening concurrently. All action will be broadcast live on ESPNU with ESPN3 broadcasting from each mat.