Terao falls one win short of All-American status at NCAA Wrestling Championships
Three members of the AU wrestling team made their way to Oklahoma City on March 20-21 looking to continue AU’s historical success at the NCAA Championships.
None of the three AU wrestlers was unable to secure the All-American status, awarded to a wrestler who finishes in the top eight in their respective weight class.
“This tournament is a test of your mental will and obviously your physical will and unfortunately we came up short, but I’m proud of the steps that they’ve made,” head coach Teague Moore told AUEagles.com.
Redshirt sophomore and No. 10 seed David Terao, who competed in the 125 lb. class, came the closest to becoming an All-American. He advanced to the second round of the tournament upon beating Old Dominion University freshman Brandon Jeske in a 5-3 decision in the first session. Terao also triumphed in the second session, beating Eastern Michigan University redshirt senior Jared Germaine with a 13-11 decision.
Terao’s consecutive victories secured him a spot in the tournament quarterfinals. The matchup was a familiar one as Terao previously faced and lost to Cornell University sophomore and No. 2 seed Nahshon Garrett during the EIWA Championship quarterfinals March 8-9. Terao struggled to complete the upset, losing to Garrett in an 11-0 major decision.
Terao still had the opportunity to compete for third place in the wrestlebacks, but he lost to Lehigh University freshman Darian Cruz in a 3-2 decision.
Terao’s two victories at the NCAA tournament mark his first wins at the NCAA championship level.
“Last year, when we came here, [Terao] went 0-2, and this year, he puts himself in that match to be an All-American,” Moore told AUEagles.com. “We fell short, but I think that this is something that David’s going to be able to build from and I know that the athlete he is, it’s going to burn inside of him and spur him to do many great things in the future.”
Redshirt senior and No. 13 seed Daniel Mitchell competed in the 197 lb. class of the NCAA tournament. He lost in the first round after Wisconsin University redshirt junior Timothy McCall successfully upset Mitchell in a 4-2 decision.
Mitchell competed in the wrestlebacks and won his first match in a 7-6 decision, but he lost in a close 7-6 decision when he faced Pennsylvania State University redshirt sophomore and No. 3 seed Morgan McIntosh in the second round of wrestlebacks.
Redshirt senior Blake Herrin, who competed in the heavyweight class, was unable to get past the first session in the championship bracket. Herrin faced Ohio State University redshirt senior and No. 10 seed Jeremy Johnson and lost a 3-1 decision. Herrin moved to the wrestlebacks and faced University of Pittsburgh redshirt senior P.J. Tasser. Herrin was able to tie the match at 3-3, but lost to Tasser in a 4-3 decision when Tasser was able to break the tie with an escape.