OMAHA, Neb Northwestern graduate Scott Clymer must have had mixed feelings after the first day of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships.
The former Tiger and current Liberty University grappler experienced the thrill of winning his opening bout. But later in the day, Clymer not only suffered a crushing loss in his next match but also learned his brother, Ben, was eliminated from the tournament.
Another former TIMES NEWS area wrestler, Steve Mytych, also saw action Thursday. The former Pleasant Valley and Northampton student won his opening match before losing in the next round.
Both Scott Clymer (141 pounds) and Mytych (133) will be competing in wrestlebacks today.
"I felt like it was my first match at the Giant Center," said Scott Clymer after earning a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Cal State Fullerton's Adin Duenas in his first match of the day. "I was very nervous but my coach told me that everyone is nervous here."
Clymer gave up a late first period takedown to Duenas, but escaped with 11 seconds left in the period to pull within 2-1. Duenas, who must not have gotten the scouting report on Clymer, chose down to start the second period. The former Northwestern Tiger kept him on the mat the entire two minutes, as Duenas only got close to escaping at the very end of the period.
Still trailing 2-1, Clymer chose down to start the third period and was given an escape to tie the match. With 1:49 on the clock for riding time (in college a wrestler gains a point if his riding time is one minute more than his opponent), Clymer was able to defend a lead, wrestling well in a few scrambles to avoid any more scoring and garner his first victory of the tournament.
"That's my bread and butter it was in high school, and has continued in college," said Clymer when asked if he was happy Duenas chose down to start the second. "Obviously it's a little tougher in college, but that's where I want to be.
"This is it, it's unbelievable. Seeing all the District 11 kids here is great, the Easton guys, the Northampton guys, Cort Choate from Blue Mountain, and of course my brother."
Unfortunately for Clymer, he met one of those District 11 kids in the next round.
After giving up the initial takedown to Lehigh's Matt Ciasulli, an Easton grad, Clymer used a reversal and rode him out to finish the first period tied 2-2. Clymer then scored a reversal and rode Ciasulli again to take control of the match.
Ciasulli choose neutral to start the third period. A takedown for Ciasulli and an escape by Clymer made the score 5-4 with 45 seconds left. Clymer came very close to two takedowns and with about five seconds left came out on the wrong end of a devastating takedown.
Devastating could also describe Ben Clymer's bouts at the NCAAs.
In what was almost a carbon copy of his brother Scott's first match, Ben lost 3-2 to Nick Palmeri of Michigan State at 184 pounds. Ben was taken down early in the first period and escaped to end the first period trailing 2-1. Clymer got a quick escape to tie the match at 2-a quick escape to tie the match at 2-2, concluding the scoring in period two. Palmeri had 20 seconds of riding time going into the third period, and Clymer rode him for one minute and 16 seconds to fall just four seconds short of attaining riding time. The escape gave Palmeri a 3-2 lead and that was where the match would end.
"I always say I don't get nervous about wrestling," said Ben. "Then I walked into the same arena as the Brands brothers, Dan Gable and every othe wrestler I have ever heard of. Yeah, I was nervous, but I don't think it affected how i wrestled. You can't train for that though.
"I am really proud of Scotty (Clymer). His getting that first win had me pumped up. I am a little bummed right now, but my goal is to come back and get a win so I can get that adrenaline rush of winning here."
A 3-1 loss, however, to Steve Bosak of Cornell in the wrestlebacks brought an abrupt halt to his tourament.
Mytych, meanwhile, is still alive after splitting his two matches.
The former Bear and current Drexel wrestler gained a 3-2 win over Bandon Low of UC Davis in his opener.
Mytych then fell to Borislav Novachkov in three overtimes. After a scorless first period, and exchanging escapes in the second and third period, the match ended in regulation tied at 1-1. A scoreless first overtime was followed by Mytych giving up two back points. Mytych gave up an escape in the third overtime and lost by a final score of 4-1.