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NCAA Wrestling Championships Blog - Day 1

March 18, 2010
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NCAA Wrestling Championships Blog - Day 1
Welcome inside the Qwest Center, home of the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Today, we begin three days of exciting collegiate wrestling action, where 10 of the 330 total competitors will eventually walk away as national champions on Saturday afternoon.

As it did at the NCAA East Regional Championships, as well as the Southern Scuffle and Virginia Duals, LibertyFlames.com is stationed on press row at the Qwest Center, where the web site will be providing a live blog throughout the event, keeping Liberty's fans updated on all the exciting NCAA wrestling action.

As we have done with our online blogs in times past, please feel free to email questions or comments to twetmore@liberty.edu and as time allows, we will try to answer/address them.

Another way to follow:
For quicker updates, be sure to follow the LibertyFlames Twitter account, where we will be posting updates following each Liberty bout … to scribe to the LibertyFlames Twitter account, please click below:

LibertyFlames.com Twitter Page

NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship Online Resources:

NCAA.com, the official web site of the NCAA

NCAA Wrestling Championship Online Site

Full NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Brackets

Live Results/Stats at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships (provided by NWCA Online)

Live Video Streaming Link (for Session I – starts at 11 a.m.)

Live Video Streaming Link (for Session I – starts at 6:30 p.m.)

The most recent posts will be located just below this italicized message. You will need to refresh the page periodically to view the latest updates.

Note: All times are local and listed at Central Standard Time.

9:57 p.m. – This entry will bring to a close LibertyFlames.com's first day coverage at this year's national championships. Be sure to check LibertyFlames.com later on this evening for a full recap of today's action, plus Liberty's updated team standings. LibertyFlames.com will return to the Qwest Center tomorrow and will follow Scott Clymer's action as along the 141-pounder remains alive in the consolation rounds. Tomorrow's blog will go live around 9 a.m., roughly 30 minutes prior to the opening whistle for Session III.

9:55 p.m. – Knowles' loss at 184 pounds brings to a close Liberty's first day at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Despite tying a program record with six national qualifiers, Liberty's Scott Clymer will be the lone Flame representing the team on Day 2 in the 141-pound wrestleback bracket.

9:48 p.m. – The pair of losses by Knowles brings to a close the junior's third season as a Flame and his first taste of the elite competition at the national level. Knowles finishes the season with a 17-16 record, marking a new career high for the junior and giving him 35 career wins. Knowles has spent most of his career moving from 174 to 197 pounds, but seems to have settled in at the 184-pound weight class and only time will tell what will happen during his final season with the Flames.

9:45 p.m. – The wrestleback round continues to be unkind to the Flames, as Nick Knowles saw his first national championship experience comes to an end following a 10-0 major decision loss to Pittsburgh's Zac Thomusseit. The 184-pound bout remained scoreless until Thomusseit made a sweeping move on Knowles two minutes in that lead to a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Thomusseit continued to control the pace during the second period, adding an escape and a second takedown to push his lead to 5-0 after five minutes of action. Out of the neutral position to open the third, Thomusseit scored his third takedown with 38 seconds left, adding to his eventual 2:48 riding time edge and the 10-point victory.

9:32 p.m. – A major decision loss has been a rarity during Porter's storied career at Liberty, as the redshirt junior is 26-7 in matches with a major decision outcome. However, Yohn's 11-point win brings to a close Porter's third year with the program. After taking last season off to pursue his academics, Porter returned to the national championships for the third time, posting a 23-11 record along the way. Porter will return next year and attempt to do something no other Liberty grappler has accomplished. Liberty's active career leader with 84 wins will attempt to become Liberty's first-ever four-time national qualifier when he looks to lead the program as a senior.

9:28 p.m. – The first three minutes of action between Minnesota's Cody Yohn and Liberty's Chad Porter at 165 pounds proved to be the decisive time span. Yohn opened with a takedown in the first 15 seconds of the bout and then rode Porter the remainder of the period, picking up three sets of near-fall points to take a commanding 9-0 lead. After Yohn added an escape during the second, Porter finally got on the board with his first of two third-period escapes 30 seconds in the period. However, the damage had already been done, as Yohn added a takedown and an extra point for 3:31 of riding time to score the 13-2 major decision win.

9:15 p.m. – Now that we have a little breathing room before Chad Porter takes to the mats for his 165-pound bout, let's take a look at the updated team standings. Following the completion of the Session II championship matches, here are your Top 10 programs:

1. Iowa – 33.5 points
2. Oklahoma State – 23.0 points
3. Cornell – 21.0 points
4. Wisconsin – 20.0 points
5. Iowa State – 19.0 points
5. Ohio State – 19.0 points
7. Oklahoma – 18.5 points
8. Lehigh – 17.0 points
9. Central Michigan – 16.0 points
9. Penn State – 16.0 points

The Flames still have two points with five grapplers alive when the wrestlerback round opening, tying Liberty with eight other programs for 49th place.

8:52 p.m. – Following a true freshman season that was cut short by an injury in January, Joe Pantaleo closes out his first full season on the mats by earning his first national qualifier. The redshirt freshman won six of his last seven matches heading into today's action and completes his second season with the Flames with a 15-12 record and 26 career collegiate victories.

8:45 p.m. – The east end of the Qwest Center has not been kind to the Flames in the last 10 minutes, as Liberty lost another of its national qualifiers when Joe Pantaleo suffered an 8-2 decision lost to Utah Valley's Flint Ray. Pantaleo looked like he was in control of the match, scoring a quick takedown in the opening 50 seconds of the bout to hold a 2-0 edge after three minutes. However, the middle period completely belonged to Ray, as the West Regional qualifier scored six points to take control. Following a quick escape out of the down position, Ray followed with a takedown at the midway point. Ray continued the push the pace during the last 60 seconds and scored three near-fall points as the whistle sounded. Pantaleo choose neutral to begin the third, but Ray was the grappler to take advantage of the position, as the redshirt junior scored his second takedown and erased Pantaleo's riding time edge to secure the six-point decision win.

8:42 p.m. – The 10-1 major decision loss brings to a close a strong freshman year for Liberty's Jonathan Childress. After battling some injuries during the month of February, the rookie rebounded and captured the title at the NCAA East Regional Championships to earn his first of hopefully many more trips to the national championships. Following the pair of losses on the day, Childress ends his true freshman season with a 12-16 record.

8:40 p.m. – Ross Gitomer jumped out to a 2-0 lead during the middle of the first period with a takedown and never looked back, as the 125-pounded ended Jonathan Childress' first-ever trip to the national championships with a 10-1 major decision loss. Following a quick escape to open the second, Gitomer added to his lead when he scored his second takedown with 25 seconds left in the middle period. Childress started the third on top, but Gitomer reversed control 40 seconds in. Childress managed to score an escape point before Gitomer added this third takedown an extra point for 1:48 of riding time to advance in the wrestleback bracket.

8:22 p.m. – Jonathan Childress has just been called to Mat 1, as he is on deck against Virginia's Ross Gitomer. The two will be trying to stave off elimination and advance to tomorrow's matchup with Rutgers' Joseph Langel. Langel just lost his championship bout with Purdue's Cashe Quiroga. Childress has already faced Langel earlier this year, losing to the Scarlett Knight's 125-pounder in a 9-1 major decision at home on Feb. 12.

8:01 p.m. – We are just about ready to cycle back to the wrestleback bracket, as Mats 1-8 are currently featuring the 184 and 197 weight classes. By the time this portion of the session has been completed, the 10 weight classes will have tomorrow morning's quarterfinal matchups all set.

7:30 p.m. – They are just finishing up the 149 pound bracket right now, which means we still have five full weight classes to cycle through before wrestleback action starts at 125 pounds. Jonathan Childress will be Liberty's first wrestler to start the final part of Session II with his bout against Virginia's Ross Gitomer, who won his pigtail bout against Edinboro's Eric Morrill in a 3-1 sudden victory match.

7:15 p.m. – Scott Clymer came within seconds of accomplishing something that no other Liberty grappler had done, as he lost his bout with Lehigh's Seth Ciasulli, 6-5, in the final seconds. Ciasulli opened with a quick takedown, which Clymer was able to reverse to tie the bout at 2-2 after three minutes. A second-period reversal gave Clymer the only points of the second period and the 4-2 lead with two minutes left. The two grapplers started the third in the neutral position, which allowed Ciasulli to score a takedown in the first 30 seconds. After a stoppage in action, Clymer was able to get away and take a 5-4 lead. However, in the waning seconds of the bout, Ciasulli was able to make one last push and score his third takedown to advance the championship bracket Round of 16 with a hard fought 6-5 decision win.

7:03 p.m. – Scott Clymer has just been called to the mats for his championship bracket bout. As previously mentioned, Clymer is one of eight Liberty wrestlers to post a victory in the championship bracket and he will be looking to make program history, as each of the previous seven lost their second-round bouts.

6:52 p.m. – Looks like I misunderstood the P.A. announcer and they are going to run Session II different than I thought. Now that the pigtail matches have been finished, they are going to run through all the championship bracket matches, then go back and complete the wrestleback elimination matchups afterwards. So, next up for the Flames will be Scott Clymer in his 141-pound bout with Lehigh's Seth Cisaulli. They are in Bout 215, which should take place in about 20 minutes.

6:44 p.m. – Frankie Gayeski's loss in his pigtail bout with Michigan State's David Cheza brings to a close the redshirt senior's final season at Liberty. After flip-flopping between weight classes last year that led to a 12-17 season, Gayeski put together a strong senior campaign to lead the Flames in wins this year. The senior, who came into the event ranked No. 20 by W.I.N. Magazine at 149 pounds, finished his season with a 26-8 record and a 38-25 career mark in a Liberty singlet.

6:41 p.m. – In a bit of an unforeseen story, Liberty's leader coming into this year's national championship is the first to exit the event, as Frankie Gayeski lost his pigtail match by fall to open up Session II. Michigan State's David Cheza came out aggressive in the elimination bout, scoring an early takedown within the first 30 seconds. The redshirt sophomore continued to control Liberty's redshirt senior until he pinned him at 2:10 in the first period.

6:23 p.m. – First up on the mats is going to be Frankie Gayeski in his pigtail match at 149 pounds. Following the 10 pigtail matches, Session II will move to the championship bracket for 125 pounds, following that weight class's consolation matches. The following nine brackets will follow the same pattern throughout the rest of the night. Gayeski in on deck on Mat 4.

6:16 p.m. – Unlike the opening session where the Flames had three of their six national qualifiers square off against foes they had already faced this year, Liberty's next six matchups are all fresh faces. Below is a quick snap shot of each match-up:

125 Pounds – LU's Jonathan Childress (12-15) vs. Winner of Edinboro's Eric Morrill (31-8) and Virginia's Ross Gitomer (18-14)
Childress lost to App. State's Tony Gravely, 5-2
Morrill lost to Oregon State's Jason Lara, 9-6, in a pigtail match
Gitomer lost to No. 4 seed Anthony Robles of Arizona State, fall (2:59)

133 pounds – LU's Joe Pantaleo (15-11) vs. Utah Valley's Flint Ray (22-10)
Pantaleo lost to Rutgers' Bill Ashnault, TF 16-1 (7:00)
Ray lost to No. 3 seed Franklin Gomez of Michigan State, 8-4

141 pounds – LU's Scott Clymer (20-10) vs. Lehigh's Seth Ciasulli (23-12)
Clymer upset No. 12 seed Adin Dueans of Cal State Fullerton, 3-2
Ciasulli upset No. 5 seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma, 4-3

149 pounds – LU's Frankie Gayeski (26-7) vs. Michigan State's David Cheza (23-13)
Gayeski lost to No. 7 seed Mitch Mueller of Iowa State, 11-2
Cheza lost to No. 8 seed Jason Chamberlain of Boise State, 9-5, in a pigtail match
Note: The winner will advance to face No. 10 seed Barrett Abel of UC Davis, who was upset by Central Michigan's Anthony D'Aile, 5-2

165 pounds – LU's Chad Porter (23-10) vs. Minnesota's Cody Yohn (21-16)
Porter lost to No. 1 seed Andrew Howe of Wisconsin, fall (2:03)
Yohn lost to No. 8 seed Shane Onufer of Wyoming, 14-4

184 pounds – LU's Nick Knowles (17-15) vs. Pittsburgh's Zac Thomusseit (20-9)
Knowles lost to UNC Greensboro's Andrew Saunders, 7-2
Thomusseit lost to No. 2 seed John Dergo of Illinois, 6-1

6:08 p.m. – Liberty finished the opening session with a 1-5 record, with Liberty's lone win coming at 141 pounds. Scott Clymer upset No. 12 seed Adin Duenas of Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, to advance to the second round of the championship bracket. With the win, Clymer joined two elite Liberty wrestling groups. His upset of this year's No. 12 seed marks the fourth time a Liberty wrestler has defeated a seeded opponent at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. It also marked the eighth time a Liberty wrestler has posted a win during the championship bracket at the national event.

6:00 p.m. – After a three-hour break, the wrestlers have returned to the mats here inside the Qwest Center to start warming up to Session II, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Following the first session, Liberty finds itself in a share of 44th place with 13 other programs, who each have two teams points. There are a total of 78 programs represented as this year's national championships.

Updated Team Standings

Updated Brackets

Session I – Bout-by-Bout Scores

2:57 p.m. – Session II will begin at 6:30 p.m., with doors reopening inside the Qwest Center at 5 p.m. LibertyFlames.com's blog will return at 6 p.m., where we will further preview Liberty's Session II matchups, which will feature at least six bouts for the Flames with one in the championship rounds and five in the wrestleback bracket.

2:52 p.m. – We are officially on a break now, as Session I of the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships has come to a close, following 170 bouts. Below are the latest team scores following the first session at the 80th annual event:

Team Standings (Following Session I):
1. Iowa – 21.5 points
2. Oklahoma State – 16.0 points
3. Central Michigan – 15.0 points
3. Lehigh – 15.0 points
3. Wisconsin – 15.0 points
6. Cornell – 14.0 points
7. Iowa State – 13.0 points
7. Ohio State – 13.0 points
9. Oregon State – 11.5 points
10. Minnesota – 11.0 points
10. Missouri – 11.0 points
10. Oklahoma – 11.0 points

2:30 p.m. – Liberty now has its final Session II matchup, as Nick Knowles will be taking on Pittsburgh's Zac Thomusseit in Bout 301 at 184 pounds. Thomusseit suffered a 6-1 decision loss to No. 2 seed John Dergo of Illinois just about 30 minutes ago.

2:10 p.m. – Nick Knowles' bout with UNC Greensboro's Andrew Saunders mirrored their Feb. 2 matchup move by move until the final five seconds, when Saunders scored an extra point by escape to pick up a 7-2 win and send Knowles into the wrestleback bracket later on this evening. Thanks to takedowns in the first and second periods and an escape to open the second, Saunders once again found himself with a 5-0 lead after five minutes. The two grapplers started the final period in the neutral position, and Knowles scored a takedown with 35 seconds left. The difference from the previous matchup came with five seconds left, as Saunders got away from Knowles to score his second escape point of the match. After adding an extra point for 1:21 of riding time, Saunders stayed alive in the championship rounds with the five-point decision win.

1:57 p.m. – Nick Knowles is now on deck on Mat 5 for his match with UNC Greensboro's Andrew Saunders.

1:52 p.m. – Here are some additional Session II matchups for Liberty. In the 141-pound championship bracket, Scott Clymer will be taking on Lehigh's Seth Ciasuli, who upset No. 5 seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma (4-3) earlier this morning. In the 149-pound wrestleback bracket, Frankie Gayeski will face Michigan State's David Cheza and the winner will advance to face No. 10 seed Barrett Abel of UC Davis. Cheza dropped his pigtail match, 9-5, to No. 8 seed Jason Chamberlain earlier this morning, while Abel was upset by Central Michigan's Anthony Dale (5-2). At 165 pounds, Chad Porter will be facing Minnesota's Cody Yohn in Bout 276, as Yohn dropped the consolation rounds after a 5-1 decision loss to Cornell's Justin Karber.

1:40 p.m. – The NCAA is starting to hand out updated brackets and we now know two of Liberty's wrestleback matchups for later on this evening. At 125 pounds, Jonathan Childress will be taking on the winner of Edinboro's Eric Morrill and Virginia's Ross Gitomer in Bout 193. Morrill dropped his pigtail match this morning to Oregon State's Jason Lara (9-6), while Gitomer lost by fall in the first round (2:59) against No. 4 seed Anthony Robles of Arizona State. At 133 pounds, Joe Pantaleo will be taking on Utah Valley State's Flint Ray in Bout 208. Ray is coming off an 8-4 decision loss to No. 3 seed Franklin Gomez of Michigan State during the opening session.

1:28 p.m. – We were just asked to do some research by Asst. AD for Development (and former LU wrestler) Bob Good, who is traveling with the team this weekend, so I figured I would pass along the information. Scott Clymer's win over No. 12 seed Adin Duenas of Cal State Fullerton marks the fourth time in program history a Liberty wrestler has upset a seeded wrestler at the national championships. However, Clymer is the first Jesse Castro coached wrestler to accomplish the feat. Below are the three other Liberty wins over seeded opponents at nationals:

1987 – Mike Hatch (275 pounds) won by 6-5 decision over No. 11 seed Mike Monroe of Cal State-Bakersfield
1988 – Kevin Frame (176 pounds) won by a 5-3 decision over No. 10 seed Craig Rome of Wilks
1992 – Steve Dernlan (142 pounds) won by a 15-3 major decision over No. 9 seed Sepp Dobler of Brown

1:14 p.m. – Liberty will have some time until its next grappler takes to the mats inside the Qwest Center, as Nick Knowles' matchup with UNC Greensboro's Andrew Saunders is Bout 137 and the action on Mats 1-8 are on Bouts 88-96. Knowles and Saunders are no strangers, as the two have met already this year inside the Vines Center on Feb. 2. In that matchup, Saunders jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after five minutes of action. Knowles tried to scrap his way back into the bout, but could only muster a takedown during the third and eventually lost in a 6-2 decision.

1:06 p.m. – Due the previous match ending in a quick fall on Mat 6, Wisconsin's Andrew Howe was not immediately ready for his bout with Chad Porter, as the 2008 national runner-up had to be called to the mat over the P.A. However, when the Badger got to the mat, he quickly took control of the matchup. About 50 seconds in, Howe moved in on Porter and took Liberty's redshirt junior down at the middle of the mat. Howe continued to control the pace and just when he was able to be granted three near-fall points, Howe was able to pin Porter to the mats for the win at 2:03. For Howe, it was his fourth win by fall this and 33-straight victory on the season.

12:55 p.m. – Liberty's most seasoned wrestler at this event, Chad Porter, returns to the national scene after a redshirt season on Mat 6. The junior, who earned national qualifiers at 165 pounds in 2007 and 2008, will have his hands full in his return to the national championships, as he will face No. 1 seed Andrew Howe of Wisconsin, who comes into the matchup with a 32-0 record. No. 1 seeds are nothing new for the Porter, as the redshirt junior faced No. 1 seed Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan in 2008, in the second rounds of the championship bracket (Porter opened that year with a 7-4 win over No. 16 Kurt Swart of Boise State).

12:40 p.m. – A scoreless bout for the first five minutes, turned into a scoring spree during the last, as No. 7 seed Mitch Mueller of Iowa State handed Liberty's Frankie Gayeski a 14-2 major decision loss at 149 pounds. Neither wrestlers gained any control during the first three minutes, sending the matchup into the second at 0-0. Once again, neither grappler managed to put points on the board during the middle period, but Mueller did rack up two minutes of riding time, as Gayeski choose down and never got away. Mueller followed Gayeski's lead and started down to begin the final period and quickly got away within the first three seconds to score the bout's first point. Just seconds later, Mueller scored his first of two final period takedowns, while adding three different moves that racked up eight total near-fall points during the next 90 seconds. Gayeski managed to escape twice for two points, but could do no more, as Mueller added 3:13 of riding time to advance in the championship round with the 12-point win.

12:14 p.m. – Liberty's wins leader, Frankie Gayeski, will be taking the mats next for the Flame at 149 pounds against No. 7 seed Mitch Mueller of Iowa State. Both grapplers come into the matchups as seniors and with a combined 51 wins this season. Mueller was the runner-up at the Big 12 Championships and is currently ranked No. 8 in the latest W.I.N. Magazine rankings with a 25-8 record. Gayeski, who is making his national championship debut and is ranked No. 20 by W.I.N., has won his last four bouts to raise his record to 26-6 on the season. The two grapplers are on deck on Mat 4.

12:08 p.m. – Liberty has its first win in the championship rounds of the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, as Scott Clymer upset No. 12 seed Adin Duenas in a 3-2 decision at 141 pounds. The bout remained scoreless until the final seconds of the first period, when Dueans scored a takedown with 20 seconds left. However, Clymer quickly got away and scored his first of two escape points to trail 2-1 after three minutes. Neither grappler would add points to the scoreboard during the middle period, but Clymer did use the period to his advantage. Duenas choose to start the period down and Clymer kept him to the mat the entire two minutes to pick up key riding time. Out of the down position, Clymer got away from Duenas just after the third period opened. Clymer controlled the match the rest of the period, but never scored and had to use his 1:46 or riding time to secure the decisive point in the matchup.

11:52 a.m. – Next up for Liberty is Scott Clymer at 141 pounds in his matchup with Cal State Fullerton's Adam Duenas. This will be Duenas' second time at nationals, while it is Clymer's first trip to the nation's premium collegiate wrestling event. Clymer comes into the matchup with a 19-10 record, while Duenas 20-6 and is seeded No. 12 in this year's championship event.

11:45 a.m. – Bill Ashnault used the experience he gained from his previous match-up with Joe Pantaleo to his advantage to score a 16-1 technical fall win (7:00). Ashnault controlled the bout from the onset, scoring a takedown within the first 30 seconds. By the end of the period, the junior added seven points by three different near-fall moves to open up a 9-0 edge. Ashnault chose top to open the second and added three near-fall points with a move 90 seconds into the period. Pantaleo finally got on the board with an escape just before the final whistle in period two. Pantaleo started on top for the third, but Ashnault got away 80 seconds in and added his second takedown of the bout just before the matchup ended. With a 3:16 riding time advantage, Ashnault scored the extra point to give him the tech fall win.

11:31 a.m. – Liberty's next grapple, Joe Pantaleo, is on deck for Mat 1 in his bout with Rutgers Bill Ashnault. The two have also previously faced each other, when the Flames hosted then No. 23 Rutgers at home on Feb. 12. After a scoreless first period, Ashnault shot in on Pantaleo to score a takedown early in the second, which he eventually used to pin Pantaleo at 4:20.

11:26 a.m. – The rubber match between Childress and Gravely goes to Gravely in a 6-2 decision in Bout 17 of the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Gravely opened with a strong first period, scoring five points to take a 5-0 lead after three minutes. Neither grappler could gain much of an advantage early, until Gravely got a hold of Childress for a takedown at 1:23. Gravely held the move for nearly a full minute to eventually pick up three near-fall points. The two started neutral to open the second and Childress took advantage by scoring a takedown midway through the period. Childress opened the third period in the down position, but could never get away from Gravely, as the Appalachian State grappler picked up the bout's final point at a 2:14 riding time edge.

11:19 a.m. – Liberty's first grappler has been called to the mats, as Jonathan Childress is on deck on Mat 2 (which happens to be right in front of the SID working area). Childress will be taking on Appalachian State's Tony Gravely, which will be the third time the two true freshmen has squared off this year. Childress scored an 8-2 decision over Gravely at the Keystone Classic, while Gravely won a 5-2 decision in both squad's regular-season finale on Feb. 23.

11:12 a.m. – If you don't have your tickets already for this weekend's event, then you are out of luck. The NCAA just issued an official press release saying that this year's national championships are sold out.

11:01 a.m. – We are underway here inside the Qwest Center, as action on all eight mats has started. Just before the national anthem was played, the P.A. announcers gave the arena a slight breakdown of the field, which includes 330 total wrestlers, 24 true freshmen, 58 returning All-Americans and nine unbeaten grapplers. Liberty's Jonathan Childress (125 pounds) is one of those 24 true freshmen, while Chad Porter's first-round opponent, Andrew Howe of Wisconsin, is one of the nine unbeaten wrestlers in the field.

10:53 a.m. – The P.A. announcer has just called for all the coaches and participants to clear the mats and the national anthem is about to be played.

10:47 a.m. - Liberty earned its first team point at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in 1989, eventually finishing in a tie for 61st place in Oklahoma City. As a team, Liberty has placed at the event during seven of its last nine showings (outside its 12-year hiatus from 1995-2006), including a program-best 41st place in 1991 (with five points). Since returning to the mats for the 2006-07 season, Liberty has placed inside the Top 60 each year at the national championship, including a three-year best tie for 49th place in 2007 (with three points).

Liberty's History at the NCAA Championships
Year- Qualifiers (Points/Finish)
1986 – 1 (--/--)
1987- 1 (--/--)
1988 – 1 (--/--)
1989 – 2 (1/T61st)
1990 – 3 (--/--)
1991 – 3 (5/41st)
1992 – 3 (1.5/T60th)
1993 – 2 (--/--)
1994 – 2 (1/T66th)
2007 – 4 (3/T49th)
2008 – 6 (3/T53rd)
2009 – 4 (2/T58th)

10:41 a.m. – Earlier this week, LibertyFlames.com ran lead-in preview stories on each of its six national qualifiers (which included video interviews). While you are waiting for the action to get underway, take some time to read the previews and watch the videos, giving you further background on each grappler.

125 & 133 pounds – Jonathan Childress and Joe Pantaleo
141 & 149 pounds – Scott Clymer and Frankie Gayeski
165 & 184 pounds – Chad Porter and Nick Knowles

10:35 a.m. - Outside of its 12-year hiatus (1995-2006), Liberty has sent at least one wrestler to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships every year since 1986. Perry Ainscough was Liberty's first grappler to compete at the nation's elite collegiate wrestling championship, where he posted a 1-2 record in 1986, opening with a 10-0 major decision over Kent State's Mark Adkins.

10:30 a.m. – We are about 30 minutes from action officially getting underway here inside the Qwest Center. Action on Mats 1 through 8 will open with the first-round and pigtails matches, starting at 11 a.m.