NEW YORK – All three area wrestlers competing at the NCAA Division I championships at Madison Square Garden in New York won their first round bouts Thursday.
Clarion University’s Brock Zacherl of Brookville, seeded 15th at 141 pounds, knocked off Bucknell’s Tyler Smith, 7-3. Zacherl will take on second-seeded Joey McKenna of Stanford in the second round, which starts at 7 p.m..
Penn State’s Geno Morelli of DuBois, unseeded at 165 pounds, upset 11th-seeded John Staudenmayer of North Carolina, 5-3. He will now wrestle sixth-seeded Steven Rodrigues of Illinois in the second round tonight.
Bucknell’s Tom Sleigh of DuBois, unseeded at 184 pounds, also pulled the upset knocking off 16th-seeded Matt McCutcheon of Penn State, 43. Sleigh will face top-seeded Gabriel Dean of Cornell in tonight’s second round.
One additional wrestler with local ties, Clarion University’s Michael Pavasko, wasn’t as fortunate at 174 pounds losing a 15-4 major decision to Indiana’s Nathan Jackson. Pavasko now falls into the wrestlebacks.