Local wrestlers still alive at NCAA

Lock Haven’s Dan Neff and Fred Garcia and Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi opened the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with first-round losses on Thursday during Session 1 of the three-day tournament.

Neff dropped his opening 141-pound bout, 3-0, to No. 7 seed Mark Ballweg. After a scoreless first period, Ballweg took a 1-0 lead on a second-period escape and added a takedown with one minute to go in the third period.

Neff rebounded in the first round of consolations with a third-period fall of Nebraska’s Ridge Kinley. Neff will face No. 8 seed Nick Dardanes of Minnesota in the second round of consolations.

Garcia fell at 184 pounds to No. 1 seed Ed Ruth of Penn State. Ruth pinned Garcia in 28 seconds. Garcia defeated Penn’s Canann Bethea, 5-4, in the first round of consolations and will wrestle North Carolina’s Alex Utley today.

Bucknell 285-pounder Joe Stolfi dropped his opening bout to No. 6 seed Bobby Telford of Iowa, 8-1, before coming back for an 8-4 win over Bloomsburg’s Justin Grant.

Muncy graduate Zack Strickland won his opening match, 6-1, over Nicholas Visicaro of Rutgers. The redshirt freshman faced No. 2 seed David Taylor of Penn State in the second round and lost by fall in 2:52.

Strickland will wrestle in the consolation rounds today.

Lewisburg graduate Nate Brown, the No. 9 seed at 174 pounds, was upset in the first round by Gardner-Webb’s Hunter Gamble. Brown, who entered the tournament 20-6, lost a 5-3 decision. He rebounded with a 2-1 tie-break win over Rutgers’ Greg Zannetti and will face No. 7 seed Jordan Blanton today in the second round of consolations.