Senior Ken Cook extended his winning streak to 13 straight matches as he collected two wins on the first day of the 2006 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. (Photo by Randy Martin)
March 16, 2006
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - UC Davis' No. 7 seed Ken Cook opened up the 2006 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with wins in the first two rounds on Thursday to stay alive in the championship bracket. No. 8 seed Derek Moore also opened up with a first round win, but lost in the second round and will drop into the consolation bracket when action resumes on Friday at Oklahoma CIty's Ford Center. Tyler Bernacchi and Omar Gaitan both went 0-2 in their first NCAA tournament appearances.
Gaitan opened up tournament action against the No. 8 seed at 133-pounds, Matt Keller of the University of Tennessee, Chatanooga. Keller captured the win by fall three minutes and 34 seconds into the match to push Gaitan into the consolation bracket where he faced this season's Pac-10 champion Scott Jorgenson of Boise State. Jorgenson and Gaitan last met in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament where Gaitan came up short in an 11- 6 decision.
This time around Gaitan scored first on a takedown in the first 20 seconds of the match but Jorgenson quickly got free, scoring on the escape and then grabbing a two-point takedown. Gaitan had a reversal in the second period, but Jorgenson matched the feat to end the second period with a narrow 5-4 lead. Jorgenson spread his lead in the third period eventually taking the 12-4 major decision and pushing Gaitan out of the tournament.
In his first match of the day, Bernacchi lost a 17-6 major decision to No. 4 seed Joe Mazzurco of Cornell. Mazzurco took an early 4-2 lead in the first period and then grabbed a one-point escape and a takedown to bring the match to 7-2. Brenacchi scored on an escape, but Mazzurco ended the second period with a 12-3 lead. In the third, Bernacchi scored first on an escape early in the third, but Mazzurco managed two more takedowns to seal the major decision win.
Next up for Bernacchi was Tyrel Todd of Michigan. Todd scored first on a takedown with 25 seconds left in the first period and followed with an escape at the beginning of the second period and then scored another takedown. In the third period, Todd collected riding time before Bernacchi scored his lone point on an escape. Todd came away with the 6-1 decision, ending Bernacchi's season.
Moore captured an early win in the tournament's first round as he pinned Central Michigan's Brandon Carter four minutes and 30 seconds into the match to advance to the 144-pound championship second round where he faced Brandon Rader of West Virginia. Despite scoring first on an early takedown, Moore was pinned by Rader two minutes and 17 seconds into the match. Moore will face Kevin Artis of UNC Greensboro in the consolation bracket on Friday. Moore defeated Artis in a 16-5 major decision in December.
At 174-pounds, Cook opened the tournament strong extending his winning streak to 12 straight matches as he took a 13-4 major decision over Ohio State's Blake Mauer. Cook moved on to face East Illinois' Kenneth Robertson in the second round and took a 6-4 win by decision to advance to Friday's quarterfinals. Cook will face No. 2 seed Jake Herbert of Northwestern on Friday. Herbert won both of his opening round matches by fall.
This is the first year that more than one Aggie has won in the first round of the NCAA tournament and Cook is the first UC Davis wrestler to win two championship bracket matches at the tournament. Cook and Moore will continue competition on Friday at Oklahoma City's Ford Center.
NCAA DIVISION I WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS - Day One
Oklahoma City Ford Center
UC Davis Results Only
Omar Gaitan (133) - lost by fall to No. 8 Matt Keller (U.T. Chatanooga), 3:34; lost major dec. to Scott Jorgenson (Boise State), 12-4.
Derek Moore (141) - won by fall Brandon Carter (Central Michigan), 4:30; lost by fall to Brandon Rader (West Virginia), 2:17.
Ken Cook (174) - won by major dec. Blake Mauer (Ohio State), 13-4; won dec. over Kenneth Robertson (Eastern Illinois), 6-4.
Tyler Bernacchi (184) - lost major dec. to No. 4 Joe Mazzurco (Cornell), 17-6; lost dec. to Tyrel Todd (Michigan), 6-1.
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