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Zacherl, Morelli, Sleigh all drop into Friday’s consolation brackets at NCAA D1 Championships

NEW YORK  – The second round of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships was not nearly so kind to the three District 9 wrestlers as the first round was.

All three – Clarion’s Brock Zacherl of Brookville, Penn State’s Geno Morelli of DuBois and Bucknell’s Tom Sleigh of DuBois – fell in their second-round bouts Thursday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Zacherl, the 15th seed at 141 pounds dropped a tough 4-2 decision to Joey McKenna of Stanford, who also beat Zacherl in a wrestle off for a spot on last summer’s Junior World Championship team/

Morelli’s loss at 165 pounds was even tougher, as the Penn Stater, who was unseeded, lost a 3-1 sudden victory two decision to sixth-seeded Steven Rodrigues of Illinois.

Sleigh, also unseeded, was overmatched at 184 pounds being pinned by top-seeded Gabriel Dean of Cornell in just 1:57.

All three wrestlers move into the second round of the consolation bracket.

Zacherl will face Jordan Laster of Princeton, while Morelli will battle Jake Faust of Duke. Sleigh will take on Rutgers’ Nicholas Gravina.

All three of those bouts will take place Friday morning.

One additional wrestler with local ties is also in the consolation round and won a bout Thursday to keep his season alive at least until Friday morning, as Clarion University’s Michael Pavasko notched a 7-4 decision over Stanford’s Keaton Subjeck at 174 pounds. He will face sixth-seeded Bryce Hammond of Cal State Bakersfield in the second round of the consolation bracket.

Zacherl reached the second round by knocking off Bucknell’s Tyler Smith, 7-3, while Morelli upset 11th-seeded John Staudenmayer of North Carolina, 5-3. Sleigh also pulled a first-round upset beating 16th-seeded Matt McCutcheon of Penn State, 4-3.

Pavasko lost his first-round bout, 15-4, to Indiana’s Nathan Jackson.