ST. LOUIS — Nebraska senior Taylor Venz and junior Mikey Labriola reached the quarterfinals during the first day of the NCAA wrestling championships.
Labriola, at 174 pounds, got second- and third-period takedowns of Arizona State's Trent Munoz for a 5-3 decision in his second-round win. Venz (184) was in a 2-2 tie with Missouri's Jeremiah Kent with 40 seconds left before recording a takedown, four near-fall points and a reversal in a 10-4 win.
It was good finish for Nebraska, though it went 2-4 in the second round and will look to pick up points in the consolation brackets the next two days.
Thursday started well for the Huskers as they won six of their first seven opening-round matches.
But fortunes turned at the 197-pound class in the first round. NU senior Eric Schultz led North Dakota State's Owen Pentz 3-0 before Pentz got a second-period pin. Heavyweight Christian Lance then lost his opener, and NU dropped its first four second-round matches.
Iowa went 10-0 in the first round and 8-2 in the second as the Hawkeyes lead the team race with Penn State second. Nebraska is in ninth place.