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Tywan Claxton waits for time to run out in his match on February 23, 2014. The Bobcats defeated Garnder Webb University in the Convo. 

Claxton remains Ohio's lone title contender at NCAA Championships

Tywan Claxton is Ohio’s lone title contender after one day at NCAA Tournament; four others in contention for All-American

Coach Joel Greenlee stressed after day one of the NCAA Championships that anything could happen.

That was most certainly the case on Thursday.

Ohio’s biggest question mark, 149-pound redshirt junior No. 11 Tywan Claxton, won both of his matches and will compete for a chance to appear in the title match Friday, while 174-pound redshirt junior No. 9 Cody Walters, who seemed to be Ohio’s best chance to win a national title, was bounced from title contention in the second round.

“(Walters) wrestled a pretty good guy from Pitt,” Greenlee said. “It was a battle, he was in the match the whole time. He was a little bit beat up. If he was 100 percent, I think he wins that match. He wasn’t 100 percent, so he didn’t win. It’s time for him tomorrow to come back and scrap his (butt) off, take it one match at a time, and try to make it to Saturday.”

Walters will wrestle Ohio State’s Mark Martin tomorrow in the consolation round as he tries to keep his All-American hopes alive.

Ohio still has five wrestlers alive as it heads into day two of the NCAA Championships. Redshirt junior Andrew Romanchik, 184-pound wrestler, was eliminated as he lost in sudden victory in the first championship round and lost a decision in the first round of consolations.

The Bobcats were 3-3 in the first round championship matches, with the most surprising win coming from 157-pound redshirt junior Spartak Chino, who upset Citadel’s No. 16 Aaron Walker. Chino was pinned in the next round by No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois.

He’ll face Brown’s No. 15 Justin Staudenmayer in the consolation round.

 Claxton, Ohio’s only remaining title contender, cruised through his first two matches of the tournament, winning decision by 8-5 and 7-2, respectively. He’ll face No.3 David Habat of Edinsboro tomorrow in the quarterfinals, which, if he wins, will secure an All-American bid.

Beskdes Claxton, Greenlee still has All-American aspirations for all five of his wrestlers.

“I think we have five guys who could become All-American Saturday,” Greenlee said. “I’ll put our guys up against Saturday. We have a great group of guys. They’ve worked hard, they deserve to be on the podium, and I think they’re hungry for it. Anything can happen.”

@efelderstein14

ef684013@ohio.edu

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