Kaleb Watch: Young finishes fifth at NCAAs

Staff Writer

Saturday, March 23 (1:15 p.m.) -- Kaleb Young has placed fifth at 157 pounds in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships -- on college wrestling's largest stage. Young's day began with a loss in the consolation semis, where he met a familiar foe in Michigan's Alec Pantaleo. Pantaleo had handed Young his only two defeats at the Big Ten Championships, and he once again scored a decision, 6-2, to earn his spot in the third-place bout. In the fifth-place match, Young found himself with another re-match, taking on Northwestern's Ryan Deakin, who he had bested in the NCAA quarter-finals on Friday by a 7-5, sudden-victory decision. Saturday was like deja vu all over again, as Young avoided a late attack by Deakin to keep the score tied 5-5 and send it to OT, and halfway through the sudden victory, Young shot strong for a single-leg, gathered the second leg and was awarded the takedown to earn another 7-5 win and a spot on the fifth-place podium.

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Friday, March 22 (12:30 p.m.) -- Kaleb Young just defeated Northwestern's Ryan Deakin in overtime (7-5, sudden victory) by taking him down 13 seconds into the OT. Young jumped out to an early lead in the first period, scoring two takedowns (one 47 seconds in), but Deakin escaped twice to send it to the second 4-2. An escape and a takedown for Deakin gave him a 5-4 advantage through two periods, but Young showcased plenty of resilience and scored an escape halfway through the third period to tie it at five per man. There it stayed until the sudden victory round, when Young took Deakin down with 47 seconds showing on the clock to punch a ticket to the semi-finals. There, Young will meet Tyler Berger, the second-seeded wrestler out of Nebraska and the Big Ten runner-up. That match will be during tonight's evening session.

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Thursday, March 21 (8 p.m. ) — Kaleb Young is on to the quarter-finals after a 14-1 major decision over Ke-Shawn Hayes in the Round of 16. In the first period, Young scored a takedown fairly early in the period, then added four back points and more than two minutes of ride time to take a 6-0 lead into the second period. There, he started on bottom and scored a reverse to make it 8-0, and he picked up a point for a second stall warning on Hayes in the second to make it 9-0. Young started the third with a takedown, and after cutting Hayes loose, he took him down again — almost immediately — to set the score at 13-1. The final point came via the riding time advantage to make it 14-1.

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Thursday, March 21 (2 p.m.) -- Young opened his quest to become an All-American NCAA wrestler in convincing fashion, with a 16-1 technical fall victory (3:54) over Columbia's Dan Reed. Young scored first with a takedown 38 seconds into the bout and added eight back points before the period ended to make it 10-0 through one period. After extending that lead to 14-0 early in the second period, Young cut Reed loose with 1:27 remaining in the period, but a takedown put him up by 15, ending the match and sending him to the Round of 16. There, Young will meet Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State, who he defeated 11-1 at this year's Big Ten Championships.

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Thursday, March 21 — The time has arrived, as the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are slated to begin at noon today at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. Punxsy’s own Kaleb Young, now donning the black-and-gold for Iowa, will be among the 33 participants in the 157-pound bracket, and Young — the sixth seed — is slated to open against 27th-ranked Danny Reed of Columbia University in the Round of 32. The first round begins at noon today and will air on ESPNU, with Session 2 this evening to include consolation bouts set for 7 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN3 (the online service) will also air mat-by-mat coverage of the championships. Young also made news on Wednesday, as it was announced that he and 12 other Hawkeyes wrestlers had received Academic All-Big Ten honors. (Editor's Note: This story will be updated and re-posted as the tournament progresses.)