Kevin Tao and No. 20 David Terao led the American University wrestling team in the first day of competition at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn., advancing to the second day of the tournament.
"Today we could have wrestled better, we fell short in a number of matches," said Head Coach Teague Moore. "We have to get better at finishing out periods and finding more scoring positions. I'm happy for David and Kevin. David overturned an early season loss and Kevin fought hard to gather his 3 wins."
Terao entered the tournament as the 20th-ranked wrestler in the InterMat national rankings, receiving the first national ranking of his career on Tuesday. He opened the event with a 3-1 decision over Dominic Parisi of Appalachian State, before dropping a 9-3 decision to No. 2 Nicholas Megaludis of Penn State. Terao will face North Carolina's Brian Bokoski in the consolation bracket tomorrow.
Tao also advanced to the second day of competition at 149 lbs., opening the tournament with a 14-1 major decision over Parker Smith of Chattanooga before ending up on the short end of a 6-3 decision to North Carolina's Thomas Gantt. He bounced back in the next round, pinning Arizona State's Nathan Hoffer in 6:02 and registering a 7-6 decision over Derek Golner of North Carolina. Tao will face No. 18 Drake Houdashelt of Missouri in his next bout.
Keithen Cast, Thomas Barreiro and Blake Herrin all had strong days for the Eagles as well. Cast went 2-2 in the tournament at 174 lbs., opening the event pinning Virginia's James Suvak in 2:15. He was pinned by No. 3 Matthew Brown of Penn State in the next round, but registered a 18-5 major decision over Northern Colorado's Dylan Rutledge. Cast then fell to Cornell's Marshall Peppelman in 4:29.
After falling to No. 1 Ed Ruth of Penn State in 2:16, Barreiro posted three straight decisions at 184 lbs. over Duke's Dylan Ryan, Appalachian State's Jake Johnson and Cleveland State's Corbin Boone. He then dropped a 6-4 decision in sudden victory to Brett Pfarr of Minnesota in his final bout of the tournament.
Herrin also bounced back with three straight victories after ending up on the short end of a 3-2 decision to Missouri's Devon Mellon in his first match at heavyweight. He earned a 12-2 major decision over North Carolina's Joshua Davis for his second victory of the tournament and registered a 3-1 sudden victory decision over Oklahoma State's Tyson Yoder before falling to No. 17 Jeremy Johnson of Ohio in a 4-0 decision.
American finished the day in 15th place in the team standings. Competition will resume tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.