DES MOINES — Nebraska sophomores Jake Sueflohn and Robert Kokesh each earned two wins to advance to the quarterfinals Thursday during the first day of the NCAA wrestling championships.
Nebraska is in eighth place in the team standings with 13.5 points. Defending champion Penn State won all six of its matches in the second round and leads with 32.5 points, followed by Oklahoma State (29), Minnesota (24) and Iowa (22).
Sueflohn, who reached the 149-pound final at the Big Ten championships earlier this month, knocked off eighth-seeded Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech 4-2 in the second round. The ninth-seeded Sueflohn trailed 2-0 after the first period before grabbing the lead in the second period. He has won 15 of his last 18 matches.
Sueflohn, who went 1-2 at nationals last season, will face top-seeded and undefeated Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Kokesh pinned his first-round opponent at 174 pounds before earning an 8-3 decision over Cody Walters of Ohio in the second round.
Seeded fourth, Kokesh will face Josh Asper of Maryland in the quarterfinals. Asper is ranked second nationally by InterMat and is on a 16-match winning streak, while Kokesh is ranked sixth and has won six straight.
Kokesh hasn’t lost since the opening match of the Big Ten meet as he improved his record to 35-3.
The other Husker to win his first-round match was senior 184-pounder Josh Ihnen, who then lost a 3-1 decision to Pittsburgh’s Max Thomusseit. Thomusseit upset two top-10 seeds Thursday as he also decisioned ninth-seeded Christopher Chionuma of Oklahoma State in the first round.
Ihnen finished eighth at nationals last season and is seeded eighth this year.
The other Huskers — Ridge Kiley (141), James Green (157), Austin Wilson (165) and Caleb Kolb (197) — lost first-round matches.
The biggest surprise came at 157 when Green was upset in overtime by Missouri’s Kyle Bradley. Green finished seventh at nationals as a freshman and came into this year’s meet seeded fourth.
Green, Kolb and Wilson all won consolation matches to stay alive in the tournament.
Iowa had a solid opening day at the three-day event as six of its qualifiers reached the quarterfinals.
Those advancing to the quarterfinals for the Hawkeyes were defending champion Matt McDonough at 125 pounds, Tony Ramos (133), Mark Ballweg (141), Derek St. John (157), Mike Evans (174) and Ethen Lofthouse (184).
Sophomore heavyweight Bobby Telford, the sixth seed, suffered an injury in the first round and was forced to medical forfeit in the second round. His status for the remainder of the tournament is to be determined.
Iowa State has one wrestler alive in the quarterfinals at 174 as Tanner Weatherman upset seventh-seeded Jordan Blanton of Illinois 16-14.
First round: 141 pounds: Charles Cobb, Penn, dec. Ridge Kiley, Neb, 2-0; 149: Jake Sueflohn, Neb, major dec. Ronnie Garbinsky, Pitt, 16-3; 157: Kyle Bradley, Missouri, dec. James Green, Neb, 6-5 TB-2; 165: Zach Toal, Missouri, dec. Austin Wilson, Neb, 6-2; 174: Robert Kokesh, Neb, pinned Ian Korb, Penn, 4:08; 184: Josh Ihnen, Neb, dec. MacKain Stoll, North Dakota St, 6-0; 197: Alfonso Hernandez, Wyoming, major dec. Caleb Kolb, Neb, 15-5.
Second round: 149: Sueflohn dec. Nick Brascetta, Virginia Tech, 4-2; 174: Kokesh dec. Cody Walters, Ohio, 8-3; 184: Max Thomusseit, Pitt, dec. Ihnen, 3-1.
Consolation rounds: 165: Austin Wilson, Neb, dec. Mike Ottinger, Central Michigan, 6-2; Wilson pinned Mark Lewandowski, Buffalo, 2:01; 141: Daniel Neff, Lockhead, dec. Kiley, 8-5; 157: Green tech. fall over Bobby Barnhisel, Navy, 21-6; 197: Kolb dec. Alex Polizzi, Northwestern, 3-1 SV.
Second round: 125: Matt McDonough, Iowa, dec. Steve Mitcheff, Kent State, 5-1. 133: Tony Ramos, Iowa, pinned Joseph Ward, UNC, 1:07. 141: Mark Ballweg, Iowa, dec. Charles Cobb, Penn, 3-2. 157: Derek St. John, Iowa, Joshua Kreimier, Air Force, 9-5. 174: Mike Evans, Iowa, maj. Phillip Joseph, EMU, 11-3. 184: Ethen Lofthouse, Iowa, dec. Kevin Steinhaus, Minnesota, 3-2. 285: J.T. Felix, Boise State, medical forfeit over Bobby Telford, Iowa.
First round: 125: McDonough major dec. Ben Willeford, Cleveland State, 10-2; 133: Ramos pinned Nick Wilcox, Bloomsburg, 1:56; 141: Ballweg dec. Daniel Neff, Lockhead, 3-0; 157: St. John dec. Matthew Frisch, Citadel, 9-3; 165: Michael Moreno, Iowa State, dec. #10 Nick Moore, Iowa, 5-3; 174: Evans dec. Craig Kelliher, Central Michigan, 2-0; 184: Lofthouse dec. Boaz Beard, Iowa State, 8-2; 197 - Dustin Kilgore, Kent State, major dec. Nathan Burak, Iowa, 10-2; 285: Telford dec. Joe Stolfi, Bucknell, 8-1.
IOWA STATE RESULTS
First round: 141: Nick Dardanes, Minnesota, major dec. Luke Goettl, ISU, 12-3; 149: Nick Grajales, Michigan, maj. dec. Max Mayfield, ISU, 12-0; 165: Michael Moreno, ISU, dec. Nick Moore, Iowa, 5-2; 174: Tanner Weatherman, ISU, dec. Dan Yates, Michigan, 6-4; 184: Ethan Lofthouse, Iowa, dec. Boaz Beard, ISU, 8-2; 197: Kyven Gadson, ISU, pinned Mario Gonzales, Illinois, 1:41
Second round: 165: Conrad Polz, Illinois, dec. Moreno, 5-2. 174: Weatherman dec. Jordan Blanton, Illinois, 16-14. 197: Blake Rosholt, OKlhaoma State, dec. Kyven Gadson, ISU, 8-7.