David Willauer- Cal Poly Wrestling –TULSA, Okla. — Bernie Truax reached the quarterfinal round of the 2023 NC Division National Wrestling Championships on Thursday at the BOK Center.
Truax, a two-time NCAA All-American with fourth-place finishes in both 2021 and 2022 and seeded No. 2 at 197 pounds, scored an 8-0 major decision against Austin Cooley of West Virginia in a first-round bout, notching three takedowns, an escape and riding time.
In the second round, Truax improved his record to 15-1 with an 8-2 decision against Luke Serber of Oklahoma State, earning a takedown and two-point near fall in the opening 30 seconds, a takedown with two seconds left in the second period and an escape plus a technical violation in the final period.
Truax will face the seventh seed, Tanner Sloan (25-2), of South Dakota State in Friday’s quarterfinal round at 9 a.m. Pacific. Truax and Sloan have never met on the mat.
Meanwhile, one of the four other Mustang national qualifiers remains alive in the wrestlebacks.
Cal Poly 149-pounder Dom Demas, the first alternate in the weight class who learned on Monday that he had made the field due to an injury to another wrestler, won two of three matches Thursday to reach the second round of consolation matches.
In a pigtail match to reduce the field from 33 wrestlers to 32 in each of the 10 weight classes, Demas earned a technical fall against Isaiah Delgado of Utah Valley with an 18-3 score with 12 seconds remaining in the bout.
Then Demas ran into top-seeded and three-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell in the first round, falling in a 6-1 decision.
The transfer from Oklahoma bounced back with an 8-2 decision against Quinn Kinner of Rider in the first round of wrestlebacks, scoring a takedown in the first period and snapping a 2-2 tie with a another takedown and four-point near fall with 40 seconds remaining in the final period.
Demas (13-7) faces Colin Realbuto of Northern Iowa (20-7) in the second round of wrestlebacks Friday morning. A fourth-place finisher in the 2019 NCAAs, Demas needs three more wins to repeat as an All-American.
At 125, Antonio Lorenzo was decisioned by third-seeded Liam Cronin of Nebraska 9-4 and was eliminated from the three-day championship with a 4-0 loss to Tanner Jordan of South Dakota State.
Ethan Rotondo (13-14) dropped a 12-6 decision to third-seeded Vito Arujau of Cornell, then in the pigtail match of the wrestlebacks at 133 defeated McGwire Midkiff of North Dakota State 7-2 before he was pinned by Domenic Zaccone of Campbell with 20 seconds left in the bout.
Trevor Tinker, an at-large qualifier at 285 pounds, was pinned by Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in 1 minute, 54 seconds, in the opening round, then suffered a 14-6 major decision loss to Josh Heindselman of Oklahoma in the wrestlebacks.
Tinker, who scored an escape and takedown for a brief 3-2 lead in the second period against Heindselman, finishes his redshirt freshman year with a 15-10 record.
The semifinals take place Friday night with the championship finals on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
Results for Cal Poly wrestlers:
125 — Antonio Lorenzo was dec. by Liam Cronin (Nebraska) 9-4, was dec. by Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) 4-0.
133 — Ethan Rotondo was dec. by Vito Arujau (Cornell) 12-6, dec. McGwire Midkiff (North Dakota State) 7-2, was pinned by by Domenic Zaccone (Campbell) 6:40.
149 — Dom Demas tech. fall Isaiah Delgado (Utah Valley) 18-3 (6:48), was dec. by Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) 6-1, dec. Quinn Kinner (Rider) 8-2, vs. Colin Realbuto (Northern Iowa).
197 — Bernie Truax maj. dec. Austin Cooley (West Virginia) 8-0, dec. Luke Surber (Oklahoma State) 8-2, vs. Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State).
285 — Trevor Tinker was pinned by Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force) 1:54, was maj. dec. by Josh Heindselman (Oklahoma) 14-6.