Three Missouri Tiger wrestlers moved onto the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Thursday. The surprise was who did not advance.
Max Askren, the No. 1 seed at 197 pounds, lost by a point in his first-round match to Brandon Halsey of Bakersfield. Two takedowns in the first period helped lead Halsey to the narrow 5-4 victory.
Despite Askren’s loss, the Tigers sit at second in the team standings following Thursday’s first two rounds.
Max’s brother, top-seed Ben Askren, had no trouble with Daniel Burk of Northern Illinois in their 174-pound showdown. Askren made quick work of Burk, winning via technical fall 19-4 and earning his team bonus points.
Raymond Jordan and Matt Pell are the other MU grapplers to join Ben Askren in Friday’s quarterfinals. Fifth-seeded Jordan will battle the No. 4 seed at 184 pounds, Tyrel Todd of Michigan. Pell’s opponent is the returning national champion at 165 pounds, Johnny Hendricks of Oklahoma State.
Missouri trails team leader Minnesota 34-29.5 heading into the quarterfinals.