All four Wolverines drop opening bouts at NCAA Championships

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Junior 285-pounder Adam Fager is competing at his second straight NCAA Championships.
Junior 285-pounder Adam Fager is competing at his second straight NCAA Championships.

March 20, 2014

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - All four Utah Valley University grapplers, sophomore 125-pounder Jade Rauser, senior 141-pounder Avery Garner, senior 165-pounder Curtis Abner Cook and junior heavyweight Adam Fager, suffered first round defeats on Thursday morning at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The four Wolverines will all now head to the wrestleback brackets and will be back in action on Thursday evening.

Rauser (10-4) took on the top seed and defending national champion Jesse Delgado of Illinois in his opening bout for the second consecutive year at nationals and Rauser hung right with the Fighting Illini standout in the first period. Delgado (26-2) then got on the board late in the first with a takedown to jump out to a 2-0 advantage. Delgado then extended his lead to 5-0 at the end of the second period thanks to an escape point and another takedown. Rauser managed to record a couple of escapes in the final period but trailing 12-2 Delgado pinned the Wolverine sophomore in the closing seconds (6:53) to send Rauser to the wrestlebacks.

Rauser will go up against Bucknell's Paul Petrov (30-8) this evening.

After giving up an early takedown to No. 15 Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State in his opening bout, Garner (14-9) responded with an escape and a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 advantage in the first period. Collica then tied it up at the end of the period and jumped out to a 6-3 lead after two. Trailing 8-4 late in the contest, Garner tried to stage a comeback by picking up a reversal but it wasn't enough as Collica held on to take the bout by a score of 10-6.

Garner will now head to the wrestlebacks and face Missouri's Lavion Mayes (23-12) of Missouri tonight.

Cook (7-8) battled early with the two seed and three-time All-American Tyler Caldwell (25-3) of Oklahoma State but Caldwell took the upper hand late in the first with a takedown and a nearfall to lead 5-0 after one. Caldwell then put the contest away in the second period by taking Cook down and pinning him (3:36).

Cook will face Gardner-Webb's Austin Trott (28-8) this evening. The two met up against one another at the Eastern Michigan Duals in November and Trott took the bout by decision.

The 15th-seeded Fager (18-8) allowed a first-period takedown to Rutgers' Billy Smith (26-6) but the Wolverine junior countered with an escape to make it 2-1 at the end of the opening frame. Fager then tied it up in the second with a late escape point. Smith took the upper hand in the third, however, with an escape, takedown, and riding time point to take the bout by a score of 6-2.

Fager will look to bounce back in the wrestlebacks tonight against Lehigh's Maxillian Wessell (10-5).

Session II of the NCAA Championships will get underway tonight at 6 p.m. CT/5 p.m. MT and can be seen live on ESPNU as well as online at

2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Session I Results
125: No. 1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) Fall Jade Rauser (UVU), 6:53

141: No. 15 Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State) Dec. Avery Garner (UVU), 10-6

165: No. 2 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) Fall Curtis Abner Cook (UVU), 3:36

285: Billy Smith (Rutgers) Dec. No. 15 Adam Fager (UVU), 6-2