ST. LOUIS -- Oklahoma State started Thursday's opening day of the 2008 NCAA Championships with eight wrestlers, and all eight are still alive going into Friday's day two action, with seniors Coleman Scott and Nathan Morgan and sophomore Jared Rosholt all still a factor in the championship brackets of their respective weight classes. The Cowboys wrapped up day one action tied for sixth on the team leader board with 23 points, a mark that puts them only 6 ½ points behind tournament leader Iowa.
A two-time All-American, Morgan was a force in both of his matches Thursday, logging a 15-0 technical fall victory over Northern Illinois' Patrick McLemore in the first round before pinning Cornell's Adam Frey at the 2:39 mark of his second-round contest.
"That first match is one that you always have to be ready for when you get into this setting and things worked out well and really put me in a good position for the second match," Morgan said. "Getting a pin like that in the second match is something that will help our team and I know that the matches will only get more difficult from here but I'm focused on what I need to do to win a championship."
Three-time All-American Coleman Scott, ranked No. 1 almost all season, suffocated both of his opponents in picking up a 4-0 win over Pittsburgh's Jimmy Conroy in the first round and a 6-1 triumph over Oregon's Ryan Dunn in the second. Making Scott's win over Dunn even sweeter is the fact that Dunn upset Scott during the regular season.
"The next matches are going to get tougher so I need to get tougher if I want to win that title this year and I'm going to do it," Scott said.
Rosholt, the Big 12 Heavyweight champion, pinned Pennsylvania's Trey McLean in 2:59 in the opening round before coming back to claim a 4-2 win over 12th-seeded Mark Ellis of Missouri in the second round.
Also still alive for the Cowboys are 125-pounder Tyler Shinn, who bounced back from an opening round loss to Penn State's Mark McKnight by pinning Fernando Martinez of Army in 6:45. 157-pounder Newly McSpadden claimed a 2-0 win over Millersville's Jarrett Hostetter in the first round before suffering a narrow 3-2 loss to No. 1 Mike Poeta of Illinois in the second round.
Senior Jake Dieffenbach lost a 5-4 decision to Pennsylvania's Zack Shanaman in the first round but bounced back to end North Carolina's Keegan Mueller's season with a 6-3 win in the wrestleback. After claiming a 6-0 win over Pennsylvania's Scott Giffin in the first round, 174-pounder Brandon Mason was upset in the second round by Boise State's Nathan Lee, who claimed a 3-1 win in overtime. Jack Jensen pinned Phil Bomberger of Penn State in 3:36 before losing a 3-2 decision to Dough Umbehauer of Rider in the second round.
Second-round action resumes tomorrow at 10 a.m.