Javier Gasca Punches Ticket to NCAA Championships
Redshirt sophomore falls in 141-pound semifinals, but secures trip to New York City.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Michigan State redshirt sophomore Javier Gasca lost a hard-fought 6-5 decision to Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon in the 141-pound semifinals at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships on Saturday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Although Gasca narrowly missed advancing to the finals, his two victories earlier in the day secured his trip to the NCAA Championships (March 17-19) in New York City.
Gasca will wrestle in the consolation semifinals against second-seeded Tommy Thorn of Minnesota in session three on Sunday, which starts at 1 p.m. ET. Gasca still has a chance to finish in third place with two more wins. He is assured of at least a sixth-place finish, and the top-seven wrestlers at 141 pounds in the Big Ten receive an automatic bid to the national tournament.
In session one, Gasca, a No. 5 seed, defeated Indiana’s Tommy Cash by major decision, 15-4, in the first round, and beat fourth-seeded Jameson Oster of Northwestern in the quarterfinals, 7-2.
Gasca led for most of his match against Gulibon, an eighth seed, before faltering late in the third period. Gasca recorded two takedowns in the first period to take a 4-2 lead, but Gulibon held down Gasca for most of the second period to accumulate more than a minute of riding time. Gasca managed to escape before the end of the period, however, to take a 5-2 lead into the third. An early escape in the third by Gulibon trimmed Gasca’s advantage to 5-3. With time winding down in the match, Gulibon tallied a takedown with just 20 seconds remaining to tie it at 5, and his 1:33 of riding time proved to be the difference in the 6-5 decision.
In the consolation second round at 197 pounds, eighth-seeded Jacob Cooper held a 4-1 lead over Purdue’s Drake Stein in the second period, but was pinned with 21 seconds left in the period. In the first session, Cooper held off Andre Lee of Illinois in the first round with a 3-1 sudden victory, but was pinned by No. 1 Morgan McIntosh of Penn State in the quarterfinals in 1:41.
Redshirt sophomore Mitch Rogaliner dropped a 9-7 heartbreaker in sudden victory to fifth-seeded Elijah Oliver of Indiana in the second consolation round at 125 pounds. Rogaliner lost in a 15-5 major decision to third-seeded Nico Megaludis of Penn State in the first round and defeated Francis Edelen of Illinois, 10-6, in the first consolation round.
At heavyweight, Dimitrus Renfroe was pinned by third-seeded Sam Stoll of Iowa in the consolation second round.
In the team standings, the Spartans are in 12th place with 10.5 points.
Session three of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships begin on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET; live brackets are available at TrackWrestling.com and live streaming is available at BTN2Go.com.
BIG TEN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS – SECOND SESSION SPARTAN RESULTS
125 Consolation Second Round: No. 5 Elijah Oliver (IU) dec. Mitch Rogaliner (MSU), 9-7 (SV1).
141 Semifinals: No. 8 Jimmy Gulibon (Penn State) dec. No. 5 Javier Gasca (MSU), 6-5.
197 Consolation Second Round: Drake Stein (Purdue) pinned No. 8 Jacob Cooper (MSU), 3:24.
HWT Consolation Second Round: No. 3 Sam Stoll (Iowa) pinned Dimitrus Renfroe (MSU), 1:57.