DES MOINES, Iowa -- UVU 125-pounder Jade Rauser and 149-pounder Josh Wilson both had their 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship runs cut short on Friday at the Wells Fargo Arena after both were eliminated in the wrestlebacks.
The redshirt freshman Rauser concluded his first trip to Nationals with a 1-2 record while the senior Wilson went 2-2 for his second straight year.
"Josh wrestled a solid match against (Derek) Valenti and gave himself an opportunity. He was also in a good position against No. 8 Brascetta but just couldn't get it done." said UVU head coach Greg Williams. "Josh is good enough to place here, you just have to win the matches at the right time and it's disappointing for him."
Wilson won his second straight match in the wrestlebacks with a 10-5 victory over Virginia's Valenti (18-10) Friday morning in his opener. The Wolverine senior jumped out to a 4-1 lead by the end of the first after two takedowns in the period. After riding out Valenti for virtually the entire second frame, Wilson closed out the bout with an escape point, riding time and two more takedowns to take the contest and eliminate the former All-American (placed eighth in 2011).
Wilson's 2013 run then came to a close with a tough 5-3 loss to the eight-seed from Virginia Tech Nick Brascetta (29-5) on Friday afternoon. After a scoreless first period, Wilson got on the board first with a escape early in the second period. Brascetta then took the lead with a takedown but Wilson tied it back up at 2-all with another escape. Brascetta later pulled ahead in the third with an escape and a takedown to take a 5-2 advantage. Wilson countered back with an escape but couldn't get the late takedown to tie the bout as he fell by two.
With the defeat Wilson, who might be granted another year of eligibility due to missing his redshirt freshman season with an injury, finished his senior campaign with a 24-10 record and just two wins shy of an All-American finish.
Rauser (21-10) took on Michigan's Sean Boyle (24-11), ranked 11th by InterMat, in his first match in the wrestlebacks on Friday and jumped out to a 2-0 lead with an early takedown. Boyle countered with a reversal and a takedown to take a 4-2 advantage but Rauser picked up an escape to make it 4-3 at the end of the first period. After a Boyle escape, the UVU redshirt freshman tied the score midway through the bout with another takedown to make it 5-all. Boyle then jumped ahead with a takedown of his own late in the second and put the bout away with another takedown in the third as well as securing riding time to take the contest, 10-6.
Rauser, who became UVU's first-ever freshman to compete at the NCAA Championships, ended his redshirt season with a 21-10 record.
"Jade has a couple of areas that he needs to improve on but he showed a lot of fight this morning. This is a tough tournament and you can't make mistakes if you want to do well here," Williams added. "I'm proud of all three of our guys as well as the entire team this year. There are a lot of positives that we'll take back from here."
UVU sophomore heavyweight Adam Fager (20-12) also competed for the Wolverines at the NCAA Championships this weekend but ended his inaugural run on Thursday after going 0-2.
• Baseball: At Northridge, Calif., UVU dropped the opener of a four-game series at Cal-State Northridge by an 8-2 score.
The Wolverines (9-13) got a solo home run from Colby Croft and good relief effort from Jeff Barto but the Matadors (7-12) came up with a handful to two-out hits on a day they would score seven times after there were two down.
Barto pitched 5.2 innings in relief and allowed just one earned run while striking out three.
"Jeff Barto pitched exceptional for us today," said UVU coach Eric Madsen. "We need the rest of the guys to follow his example of how to battle and fight."
Croft's home run, his second of the season, put UVU on the board first in the second inning. Kade Andrus singled in the frame and later came around to score on a wild pitch to put the Wolverines up 2-0.
That was all Utah Valley could do offensively though as Matador starter Jerry Keel settled down and eventually picked up the win after lasting 6.0 innings and striking out six.
Cal State Northridge got three big runs in the bottom of the second when Kyle Ferramola lifted a ball to the wall in right, plating two on a triple that tied the game. Michael Livingston then brought him home with a base hit to put the Matadors ahead for good.
CSUN would add a run in the sixth before breaking it open in the eighth with Miles Williams' three-run home run providing the final blow.
Keel moved to 2-1 with the win while Andrew Freter (1-2) took the loss for UVU. Croft had two hits to lead Utah Valley with Nate Ring's three-hit day pacing Cal State Northridge.
The series continues today.