Terps' Asper advances to quarterfinals at NCAA wrestling championships

Baltimore Sun reporter

Seventh-seeded Josh Asper (Hereford) picked up three victories at 165 pounds to advance to Friday's quarterfinals at the 2012 NCAA championships at the Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Asper is one win away from securing All-America status for the second consecutive season. The Terps are in 31st place after the first day with Penn State in first with 38.5 points.

Asper earned a 5-0 decision over Buffalo's Mark Lewandowski in the 165-pound pigtail match to open the tournament. Approximately 90 minutes later, Asper picked up a 6-4 decision over Virginia's Nicholas Sulzer. In the evening session, Asper beat Cal Poly's Dominic Kastl.

Against Lewandowski, Asper took control of the match in the second period and stifled Lewandowski's attempts to generate any offense. Asper escaped at the beginning of the final frame and picked up a point for riding time to secure the victory.

Asper's second match was against a familiar foe, Sulzer of Virginia, in which Asper earned a 4-3 decision when the two teams met in January. This time Asper attacked early and enjoyed a 6-2 lead late in the third period. Sulzer scored a late takedown to shrink the margin, but Asper fought off a final scoring attempt to win 6-4.

The Parkton native scored a quick takedown with a leg sweep to start his second round match against Kastl and racked up 1:19 of riding time to close the first period. Asper picked up a point with an escape in the second period to increase his lead to three. Kastl shot to begin the third period, but Asper scrambled out of the leg sweep and went on to win 5-2.

At 174, 12th-seeded Jimmy Sheptock was the other Terp to tally a win in the championship bracket Thursday. Sheptock turned in a dominating performance in his opening match against Oklahoma's Kyle Detmer. Sheptock attacked early in the match and frequently to earn his fourth technical fall of the year in an 18-2 victory.

Sheptock meet fifth-seeded Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa, who placed third at the Big Ten championships, in the second round. Sheptock scored the first blow with a leg sweep to grab a 2-0 lead. Lofthouse immediately picked up a point for an escape and followed up with a takedown to lead by one at the end of the first period. Sheptock added a point with an escape in the second period to head into the final frame down by one point. But Sheptock could not score the needed takedown and lost 5-3 despite several late attack attempts.

Fourth-seeded Christian Boley responded from an opening round defeat and won a 9-6 decision in the opening round of the 197-pound wrestleback. In the first round against Binghamton's Cody Reed, Boley was docked a point late in the third period for grabbing Reed's sock and lost a 2-1 decision.

In the wrestleback against Old Dominion's Joe Budi, Boley battled an aggressive Budi at the beginning of the match. Boley was able to score two takedowns to lead 4-1 after the first period. Boley added a takedown in the second and third periods to secure the win.

Sophomore Shane Gentry and freshman Geoffrey Alexander opened the tournament in the 125-pound pigtail and 133-pound pigtail, respectively. Gentry dropped a 9-0 major decision to seventh-seeded Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma, while Alexander lost an 8-0 major decision to 11th-seeded Steven Keith of Harvard.

In the wrestlebacks, Gentry lost a tight 7-5 decision to West Virginia's Shane Young and 12th-seeded Bryan Ortenzio earned a 8-2 decision over Alexander.

At 157, senior Kyle John lost a 9-0 major decision to Daniel Kolodzik in the opening round, and dropped a hard-fought 8-5 decision to fourth-seeded Walter Peppelman of Harvard in the wrestleback.

Eighth-seeded Spencer Myers lost to Andrew Delaney of The Citadel, 8-3, in the first round, and fell to ninth-seeded Levi Cooper on riding time, 2-1, in the final match of the evening.

Session III begins Friday at 11 a.m.

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