Nebraska wrestlers James Green and Josh Ihnen both earned All-America honors on Friday as the Nebraska wrestling team completed the second day of the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo. The pair of Huskers each won their fourth round consolation match to guarantee themselves a spot in the top eight spots of their respective weight classes.
Green became the first freshman to earn All-America honors since Bryan Snyder finished in fourth place as a freshman in 1999. The No. 11 seed defeated No. 12 Steven Monk (North Dakota State) in the consolation fourth round match.
Green, who defeated Monk twice earlier this season, recorded the match-deciding takedown at the 41 second mark in second period and acquired the riding-time point to seal the 3-1 victory and advance to face off against No. 7 Dylan Alton in the consolation semifinals.
Against Alton, Green controlled much of the match, but surrendered a takedown with just 23 seconds remaining to fall by decision. 4-3. The Willingboro, N.J. native will wrestle in the seventh-place match Saturday morning against No. 4 Walter Peppelman (Harvard)
Ihnen, who had finished one match short of becoming an All-American the past two seasons, defeated No. 8 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa) in his consolation fourth round match by decision, 5-3. Ihnen then advanced to face No. 3 Ben Bennett (Central Michigan), but was forced to injury default and fell to the eighth-place match where he is slated to face off against the No. 1 seed Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming).
Seniors Tucker Lane and James Nakashima saw their tournament runs come to an end in the consolation fourth round. Nakashima dropped a two-point decision to No. 11 Micah Burak (Penn), 4-2, while Lane fell to No. 10 Michael McMullan (Northwestern), 4-3. Lane finishes his career as a four-time NCAA qualifier at heavyweight for NU.
Redshirt freshman Robert Kokesh (NU) was defeated by Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State) in his consolation match by decision, 4-3, to end his season.
As a team, the Huskers currently sit in 22nd place with 26 team points.
Green and Ihnen will wrestle in their eighth-place matches Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Fourth Round Consolation Matches
157- #11 James Green (NU) by dec. over #12 Steven Monk (North Dakota State), 3-1
165- Kyle Blevins (Appalachian State) by dec. over #8 Robert Kokesh (NU), 4-3
184- #7 Josh Ihnen (NU) by dec. over #8 Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), 5-3
197- #11 Micah Burak (Penn) by dec. over James Nakashima (NU), 4-2
Hwt- #10 Michael McMullan (Northwestern) by dec. over #11 Tucker Lane (NU), 4-3
Quarterfinal Consolation Matches
157- #7 Dylan Alton (Penn State) by dec. over #11 James Green (NU)
184- #3 Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) by injury default over #7 Josh Ihnen (NU)
157- #11 James Green (NU) vs. #4 Walter Peppelman (Harvard)
184- #7 Josh Ihnen (NU) vs. #1 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming)