March 13, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -
Four Hoosier wrestlers begin their quest for national titles and All-America status on Thursday (March 15) as the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships get underway in St. Louis. Wrestling action begins at noon (eastern) on Thursday and runs through Saturday night's Finals starting at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to the ESPN Family of Network's coverage of the championships (see below for ESPN's complete coverage list), IU fans can keep up with how the Hoosiers are doing through IUHoosiers.com and most notably, on Twitter. The official IU Wrestling Twitter page can be found at www.twitter.com/IUWrestling1. Up-to-the-minute posts will chronicle all the Hoosier action.
INDIANA'S NCAA QUALIFIERS
149 lbs - No. 11 seed Taylor Walsh, r-Fr. (28-10)
Seeded 11th at the NCAA Championships ... placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships, topping #19 Eric Terrazas (Illinois) and #12 Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) in the processed ... finished the regular season ranked 18th nationally by Intermat, 14th in the RPI and 19th by the Coaches Panel ... won the 149-pound title at the Michigan State Open ... defeated #5 Eric Grajales (Michigan) and Dan Osterman (Michigan State) while up in East Lansing ... also owns win over #11 Mike Kelly (Iowa), #18 Osterman (MSU) and #15 Terrazas during the dual-match season ... swept the IU Quad with three pins, all coming in less than 90 seconds ... went 3-0 in the Hoosier Duals as well ... leads the team with 12 falls, one shy of cracking the school's all-time top-10.
174 lbs - Ryan LeBlanc, r-So. (29-13)
197 lbs - No. 8 seed Matt Powless, r-Sr. (33-4)
Tallied three wins at the Big Ten Championships, including a decision over #17 Tyler Koehn (Nebraska) to qualify for the NCAAs ... finshed the regular season ranked 28th by the Coaches Panel and 32nd in the RPI ... placed in all tournaments he competed in this season, taking third at the Michigan State Open and fifth at both the Eastern Michigan Open and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational ... forced extra time against #4 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) out in Vegas, ultimately suffering a 3-1 loss in sudden victory ... second on the team with 29 total victories (ranks ninth in the Big Ten), including a team-high four via technical fall ... swept both the IU Quad and the Hoosier Duals.
Tabbed as the No. 8 seed for the NCAA Championships ... finished the regular season ranked 3rd nationally by Intermat, 5th in the RPI and 3rd by the Coaches Panel .... ranks sixth all-time in IU history with 122 career wins ... has lost just once since Jan. 2, finishing as runner-up at the Big Ten Championships ... went a perfect 17-0 in duals and 7-0 in Big Ten bouts ... opened the season with 14 straight W's ... owns six wins over other nationally-ranked opponents ... placed in all three tournaments he competed in this season, including an Eastern Michigan Open title ... made another championship bout appearances at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, finishing as runner-up ... leads the team with 34 total victories and 10 major decisions ... has posted 30 or more wins three consecutive seasons.
285 lbs - Adam Chalfant, r-So. (24-11)
Placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships to earn his spot at nationals ... defeated #8 Tucker Lane for the second time this season at the Big Tens ... finished the regular season ranked 21st by the Coaches Panel and 30th in the RPI ... strung together eight straight wins mid-season, including a pair of victories over nationally-ranked opponents (#8 Tucker Lane, Nebraska; and #20 Roger Vukobratovich, Purdue) ... made his Hoosier debut against Iowa ... after giving up a four-point move in the opening minute, outscored 2011 Big Ten Champion Blake Rasing (Iowa), 4-2, the remainder of the bout ... transferred to IU for the spring semester.
Complete Match Notes
ESPN COVERAGE OF NCAAs
*all times listed are eastern
Thursday, March 15:
Session I, Noon (ESPN3.com)
Session II, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Friday, March 16:
Session III, 11 a.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3.com)
Session IV, 7 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3.com)
Saturday, March 17:
Session V, 11 a.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3.com)
Session IV, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3.com)
The Indiana University wrestling program has produced at least one All-American in each of the last eight seasons; totaling 16 All-Americans since 2004.
Overall, 50 different Hoosiers have made their way to the All-America stand a total of 76 times since 1928; including 12 national champions.
PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME?
Matt Powless has lost just one match since Jan. 2, rattling off 13 straight before finishing as runner-up at the Big Ten Championships. It marked his second 13-or-more match winning streak this season as he was victorious in his first 14 bouts of the year.
POWLESS CLIMBING RECORD BOOKS
Matt Powless owns 122 career wins entering the NCAA Championships, the sixth-most in school history. His first win in St. Louis would give him a share of fifth-place in the all-time rankings, pulling him even with Coyte Cooper (2000-04) and his 123 victories as a Hoosier. Powless could realistically climb as high as fourth where Brian Dolph accumulated 127 Ws.
In his review mirror include all three IU assistant coaches: Brandon Becker (119, 7th), Pat DeGain (115, 8th) and Joe Dubuque (114, T-9th).
WALSH RECORD BOOK WATCH
Matt Powless isn't the only one altering the IU all-time record books, redshirt freshman Taylor Walsh is just one pin away from etching his named into the school's top-10 for most falls in a season. Walsh's 12 pin of the year came at the Big Ten Championships and the next slap of the mat would match Paul Young (2010) and Nick Walpole (2009) for the 10th most ever for a Hoosier. His dozen falls are the most for an IU freshman since Kurt Kinser stuck 18 foes back in 2008.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
Adam Chalfant, Ryan LeBlanc and Taylor Walsh all out-wrestled their seed at the Big Ten Championships while Matt Powless matched his when finishing in second place.
BIG TEN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
A year after leading the Big Ten (and all of Division-I wrestling) with 13 major decisions in 2010-11, senior Matt Powless is amongst the conference leaders once again this season. He is joined by Ryan LeBlanc and Taylor Walsh in the top-10 of a conference statistical ranking:
Matt Powless - 33 wins (3rd); 10 MDs (t-7th)
Taylor Walsh - 12 pins (t-6th)
Ryan LeBlanc - 29 wins (9th)