Rauser's NCAA Championship Journey Continues With Session III Wins
NEW YORK CITY – Utah Valley University senior Jade Rauser's quest to become an NCAA Division I All-American continues after going a perfect 2-0 during session III of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday morning at Madison Square Garden in New York City. With the wins, Rauser will now enter Friday's evening's fourth session just one win shy of securing All-American status.
After opening his 2016 run with a 1-1 record on Thursday, the UVU 133-pound senior avoided elimination by defeating both No. 16 Nathan Kraisser of Campbell and No. 9 Mack McGruire in the wrestlebacks on Friday morning.
"Jade has never wrestled better than he has the second half of this season and he is performing his very best when it counts here this weekend," said head coach Greg Williams. "We are excited for him to have this opportunity tonight to go for his long time goal of becoming an NCAA All-American."
Rauser (23-7) started session III off with a bang by picking up his second straight win of the tournament by major decision. The UVU four-time NCAA qualifier was the aggressor in the bout against the 16th-ranked Kraisser (34-9) of Campbell, as he jumped out to a 6-3 lead after two periods thanks to a trio of early takedowns. Rauser then put the match away in the third with a takedown, a pair of nearfalls and another last-second takedown and a riding time point to win the match by a score of 17-4.
The Wolverine senior then matched up with the ninth-seeded McGuire (25-7) and the 17th-ranked Rauser didn't disappoint by knocking off the seeded foe by a score of 5-3. Following a scoreless opening period, McGuire was the first to get on the board with an escape point in the second. Rauser then responded late in the stanza with a takedown and two-point nearfall of his own to take a 4-1 advantage after two. Following a McGuire takedown to make it a one-point match at 4-3, Rauser picked up an escape point and managed to fight off a late shot by McGuire to hold on to the 5-3 victory.
With the pair of wins, Rauser will now advance on to face the sixth-seeded George DiCamillo (29-3) of Virginia in the Round of 12 on Friday evening. Both grapplers will be searching to lock up their first All-America status.
Fellow Wolverine senior Chasen Tolbert (125 pounds) too competed for UVU at the NCAA Championships but had his 2016 run come to a close on Thursday with a 1-2 record. Following a 6-1 win over Old Dominion's Brandon Jeske in the Pigtails, Tolbert then dropped a pair of bouts to the three-time All-American third-seeded Nico Megaludis of Penn State (18-5) and Sean Fausz of North Carolina State (7-4) to have his season and outstanding collegiate career come to a close. Tolbert, who made his second straight appearance at the NCAA Championships this weekend, finishes his UVU career in the top-10 in all-time victories at Utah Valley with a 65-36 career record.
The session IV of the NCAA Championships will begin at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT on Friday evening and will be televised live on ESPN and streamed live on ESPN3.
UVU's 2016 NCAA Championship Results
- 133 - Jade Rauser (3-1)
- Champ. Round 1 - #2 Cory Clark (Iowa) over Jade Rauser (UVU), MD 8-0
- Cons. Round 1 - Jade Rauser (UVU) over Gary Wayne Harding (OK State), MD 12-
- Cons. Round 2 - Jade Rauser (UVU) over Nathan Kraisser (Campbell), MD 17-4
- Cons. Round 3 - Jade Rauser (UVU) over #9 Mack McGuire (Kent State), Dec. 5-3
- 125 - Chasen Tolbert (1-2)
- Champ. Prelims - Chasen Tolbert (UVU) over Brandon Jeske (ODU), Dec. 6-1
- Champ. Round 1 - #3 Nico Megaludis (PSU) over Chasen Tolbert (UVU), MD 18-5
- Cons. Round 1 - Sean Fausz (NC State) over Chasen Tolbert (UVU), Dec. 7-4