Jayson Ness of the University of Minnesota won the 133-pound title at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Qwest Center in Omaha Saturday night in a thrilling come-from-behind win in the finals.
The Golden Gopher defeated Daniel Dennis of Iowa, 6-4, in the last ten seconds of the match, overcoming a two-point deficit by scoring four points in the closing ticks.
Both finalists were redshirt seniors. Ness, the top seed, brought a perfect 32-0 record to the title match; second-seeded Dennis was 22-3, with two of those losses to his finals rival. The two had last wrestled each other two weeks earlier, in the finals of the 2010 Big Ten conference championships, where Ness won the title.
How Ness got to the finals: 1st Rd: pinned unseeded Sean Clair (Eastern Michigan), 2:12… 2d Rd: dec. unseeded Ian Paddock (Ohio State), 5-0… Qtrfinals: dec. No. 8 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 4-0… Semifinals: dec. No. 4 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State), 1-0 TB2.
How Dennis got to the finals: 1st Rd: dec. Kevin Smith (Buffalo), 6-2… 2d Rd: dec. unseeded Kelly Kubec (Oregon State), 4-0… Qtrfinals: dec. No. 10 Nick Fanthorpe (Iowa State), 4-3… Semifinals: dec. No. 3 Franklin Gomez (Michigan State), 5-3 SV1.
- First period: No scoring (though Ness nearly got a pin from a neutral position)
- Second period: Dennis took down. Ness rode for much of the period, but the Hawkeye got the reversal with about a half-minute to go in the period. (Score: 2-0 Dennis)
- Third period: Ness chose down, scored the escape. (Score: 2-1 Dennis)
- Third period: Dennis got a takedown. (Score: 4-1 Dennis)
- Third period: Ness got another escape. (Score: 4-2 Dennis)
- Third period: In the last ten seconds, Ness scored a takedown and two nearfall points as time expired.
Ness’ four points in the final seconds made the final score 6-4 for the Gopher senior… denying Dennis the 133-pound championship he thought was his for 6 minutes, 50 seconds of the match.
Ness was also named NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Bill Koll Outstanding Wrestling Award.
With the win, Ness became the 14th Minnesota wrestler to win an NCAA title, and only the third to win his first championship his senior year (the others being Marty Morgan and Brock Lesnar). Ness also joins only a handful of Minnesota wrestlers who have earned NCAA All-American honors four times (most recently, two-time NCAA heavyweight champ — and emerging MMA star — Cole Konrad).
- On the final ten seconds: “I was just thinking about getting a takedown to tie it up,” the Gopher champ responded. “I came after him as hard as I could. Good things happen when you wrestle for a full seven minutes.”
- On winning a national championship: “I didn’t feel any pressure. All you can do is give it your best. It’s defiantly up there. I don’t have a top list but it’s up there. I usually don’t show much emotion but this was an exciting one for me.”
- On getting back points for the win: “It wasn’t in my mind at all to get back points, (but) once he fell down, I was able to get him on his back and it worked out for me. The Lord helped me out on that one.”
Taking to the mat, instead of the ice: Jayson Ness’ father played hockey. Ness was introduced to wrestling by Marty and Gordy Morgan, University of Minnesota mat stars 20 years ago.
2010 NCAA All-Americans — 133 pounds:
1st: Jayson Ness (Minnesota)
2d: Daniel Dennis (Iowa)
3d: Franklin Gomez (Michigan State)
4th: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State)
5th: Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
6th: Dan Mitcheff (Kent State)
7th: Borislav Novachkov (Cal Poly)
8th: Steve Bell (Maryland), 4:26
NOTE: In the coming days, College Wrestling Examiner will provide additional information from the 2010 NCAAs, including more detailed analysis of the finals bouts… fun facts about NCAA All-Americans… and more.
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Minnesota wrestling: Ness wins crown, Minnesota places seventh
InterMat: Audio interviews with the individual champs
InterMat: Day Three recap (including finals)
College Wrestling Examiner: March Matness — Your guide to the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships (including Mat Bracketology series)
TheMat.com Special Coverage Section
TheOpenMat.com: Special Coverage Section
TheMat.com: Video interviews with finalists (after semifinals wins), other video clips
2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships: Official website… List of seeds/qualifiers by weight… Brackets
TheMat.com: College postseason tournament schedule and scores
College Wrestling 101: Links to articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more
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