ST. LOUIS – Although only one session has been completed at the NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships, there have been plenty of upsets. Edinboro has seen one of its own fall victim to the barrage.
Redshirt-senior A.J. Schopp, who is seeded ninth at 133 lbs., was upset by unseeded Caleb Richardson of Penn in his first match of the championships. The Tyrone, Pennsylvania native lost by a 4-2 decision to Richardson, who improved to 27-9 on the season.
“I just don’t think he wrestled well,” head coach Tim Flynn said. “He’s got to go a little bit harder to go get his scores. I think he is waiting for them to come to him. He just didn’t wrestle well.”
Schopp will now try to make his way through wrestlebacks. He faces Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland tonight.
Four of the five other Fighting Scots competing at the championships did wrestle well, well enough to earn a win.
Kory Mines, seeded 12th, started things off at 125 lbs. and earned a 10-5 decision over unseeded Ares Carpio of Arizona State. A win was not always certain in the match though as Mines was nearly pinned twice in the third period, but survived.
“He wrestled really well,” Flynn said about the redshirt-senior. “Just in one position the guy caught him on his back and scared us a little bit, but other than that he had a real solid match.” Mines faces Sean Boyle of Chattanooga tonight.
Second-seeded Mitchell Port was busy at 141 lbs. as he racked up the points on his way to a 17-4 major decision against unseeded Mitchell Bengston. Port will do battle with #15 Jamel Hudson of Hofstra tonight.
Dave Habat, despite being the third seed, had his hands full right out of the gate. The redshirtsenior faced Josh Kindig, last year’s runner up, in his first match. Habat responded well by earning a 7-0 decision. Habat will wrestle #14 Cody Ruggirello in session II this evening.
Vic Avery will also be wrestling this evening as the redshirt-junior earned a 4-0 decision against Lazarus Reyes in his first match. The 13th seed will face #4 Jack Dechow in session II. Rounding out the six qualifying Scots is Vince Pickett at 197 lbs. Pickett fell to #6 Nathan Burak of Iowa by an 18-4 major decision.
Flynn talked about Pickett moving forward in wrestlebacks. “Well we need him to get some wins in wrestlebacks, if we are going to get more team points. He was probably out matched a little bit. The guy was solid. I think he was a six seed, but we need Vince to come back strong tonight.”
Session II begins with remaining pigtail matches, followed by championship bracket matches and consolation bracket matches, in that order beginning at 6 p.m. central time.
KORY MINES -- 125 lbs. (#12 seed) (32-7) First Round – won by dec. over Ares Carpio, Arizona State 10-5
A.J. SCHOPP – 133 lbs. (#9 seed) (19-3) First Round – lost by dec. to Caleb Richardson, Penn 4-2
MITCHELL PORT – 141 lbs. (#2 seed) (33-1) First Round – won by maj. dec. over Mitchell Bengston, North Dakota State 17-4
DAVE HABAT – 149 lbs. (#3 seed) (33-2) First Round – won by dec. over Josh Kindig, Oklahoma State 7-0
VIC AVERY – 184 lbs. (#13 seed) (30-6) First Round – won by dec. over Nikko Reyes, Illinois 3-0
VINCE PICKETT – 197 lbs. (17-17) First Round – lost by maj. dec. to Nathan Burak, Iowa (#6 seed) 18-4
Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He will be at the wrestling national championships all week. You can find him on Twitter @tylertrumbauer.