NCAA Championship Notes
ST. LOUIS — Three American University wrestlers will head to the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, being held in St. Louis this week, March 16-18.
All three Eagles received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships by virtue of their placement at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships. Redshirt sophomore Josh Terao (125), junior Jeric Kasunic (197) and senior Jason Grimes (184) will represent the Eagles in St. Louis and are making their NCAA debuts at the Scottrade Center.
ABOUT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS...
This year, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will be held at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The event, in its 87th year, is being hosted by Missouri.
The action begins Thursday, with the first session slated to start at 11 a.m., followed by Session II at 6 p.m. On Friday, the third session, which features the quarterfinals, begins at 10 a.m., with the fourth session, including semifinals, starting at 7 p.m.
Saturday's action begins at 10 a.m. with the wrestleback semifinals and third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches. Meanwhile, the finals are slated to begin at 7 p.m.
All times listed are central time zone.
2017 NCAA Championship Broadcast Information
Thursday, March 16
Friday, March 17
Saturday, March 18
All individual mats will be streamed on ESPN3.
Redshirt sophomore Josh Terao is one win away from his 50th career victory. Terao (125) was the only Eagle to receive a ranking in the NCAA Championship as the 11th-seed. Terao will meet Jose Rodriguez from Ohio State. For Terao, he finished second at the EIWA Championships last weekend falling to Darian Cruz from Lehigh. Terao placed third at the Midlands Championship.
SCOUTING JOSE RODRIGUEZ
Rodriguez, a freshman, is 15-10 on the season and finished seventh at the Big Ten Championship. Since winning 11 of his first 13 matches, Rodriguez has dropped eight of his last 12. He finished second at the CKLV Invitational, falling to second-seed Joey Dance in the finals. Rodriguez met Thomas Gilman of Iowa and fell by technical fall, 23-8 on Jan. 27 and then by pinfall in the Big Ten Championship in 5:37.
TERAO VS. THE FIELD
Terao is 7-3 against the other 125-pound qualifiers that made the NCAA Championship. Two of those wins are over Shakur Laney from Ohio, while the others are against Ibrahim Bunduka of George Mason, Drew Templeman from Wyoming, Christian Moody from Oklahoma, Nathan Kraisser of Campbell and Jake Gromacki from Clarion. His losses are against Thomas Gilman of Iowa and Cruz from Lehigh.
DO THE DEW
Jason Grimes is set to meet 15th-seed Steven Schneider from Binghamton. Grimes and Schneider met nearly a month ago at Bender Arena, where Schneider came away with a 4-1 decision. The Atlanta, Georgia, native is 19-18 on the year coming off a fifth-place performance at the EIWA Championships last weekend.
SCOUTING STEVE SCHNEIDER
Schneider finished the season, 32-8 and is ranked 17th in the latest NCAA Coaches Poll. Schneider is 15-6 including a win over 16th-seed Jordan Ellingwood from Central Michigan. At EIWA Championships, Schneider fell to Army's Samson Imonode in the third-place final.
GRIMES VS. THE FIELD
Grimes has met eight other competitors from inside his bracket and is 4-9 with wins over Michale Fagg-Davis from Rider, Ville Heino from Campbell, Alexander DeCiantis from Drexel and Garrett Hoffman from Bucknell.
THE LONE WOLF
Kasunic will have a tough task at hand when he faces the top seed J'den Cox from Missouri. Kasunic is ranked 25th in the latest NCAA Coaches Poll is 24-10 on the season. For his career, Kasunic is 66-32 with 12 major decisions and 29 falls. He has won his last four bouts and took a major decision at Ohio defeating Nate Hall. In a home dual against Old Dominion, Kasunic pinned Kaleab Fetahi in 2:52. He placed third at the Wilkes Open and fifth at the Wolfpack Open. He has four major decisions and seven falls as a junior.
SCOUTING J'DEN COX
Cox enters the NCAA Championship with a perfect record of 23-0. Cox was named the MAC Most Outstanding Wrestler for the third time in his illustrious career. Cox finished fifth as the top seed in 2015 and won the NCAA Championship as the second seed in 2014 and 2016. Coming off his fourth consecutive MAC title, Cox is 23-0 on the season, recording bonus points in 18 victories. Last summer, Cox claimed a bronze medal (86-kg freestyle) at the Rio Olympics.
KASUNIC VS. THE FIELD
Kasunic is 2-8 against the rest of the 197-pound bracket. His victories are against Steban Cervanties of Navy and Daniel Chiad from North Carolina.
Pre-NCAA Championships Interview with head coach Teague Moore
On Tuesday, coach Moore chatted about American's first day in St. Louis and how the team is preparing for the NCAA Championships.
NCAA Wrestling Championships: Practice Day Interviews
Head coach Teague Moore along with Jeric Kasunic, Jason Grimes and Josh Terao discuss final preparations for the NCAA Championships.