Berger advances to NCAA final; Huskers stamp fourth All-American for second time in three years

Berger advances to NCAA final; Huskers stamp fourth All-American for second time in three years


For the second time in three seasons, Nebraska has four All-Americans at the NCAA wrestling championships.

With Mikey Labriola's gutsy three-overtime win in what's known as the "blood round," NU stamped its fourth All-American at the 2019 championships Friday in Pittsburgh.

Tyler Berger led the Husker firework show, winning a 157-pound national semifinal 5-3 decision over Iowa's Kaleb Young to advance to his first national final, where he will face an opponent he knows so well, Penn State's Jason Nolf.

He is the first Husker to reach the final since T.J. Dudley did the same in 2016.

Earlier in the day, with a win in the quarterfinals, Berger stamped his third All-American status.

Nebraska sits in seventh-place in the team race after Friday's action with 51 points, just ahead of Michigan and Minnesota, who both have 48 points.

Penn State leads the team race with 120.5 points. The Nittany Lions have won six of the last seven team titles.

The other two All-Americans that clinched their spot on Friday were Isaiah White and Chad Red.

After a loss on Thursday, Red rallied to win three matches on Friday.

He beat Michigan's Kanen Storr and Iowa's Max Murin to clinch his two-time All-American status, then lost to Minnesota's Mitch McKee in the consolation quarterfinals. Red will wrestle Lehigh's Kyle Shoop in Saturday's seventh-place match.

For the second time in as many years, White lost to Penn State's two-time national champion Vincenzo Joseph in the national quarterfinals in overtime.

White did bounce back to win two consolation matches to advance to the consolation semifinals Saturday against Wisconsin's Evan Wick.

Although four NU wrestlers will finish in the top eight, Taylor Venz is not one of them.

The sophomore from Farmington, Minnesota, finished fourth last year, but lost a 5-4 decision in the "blood round" to Virginia Tech's Zach Zavatsky.

Eric Schultz also fell short of making All-American. The sophomore came up two matches short after a loss to William Miklus of Iowa State, 3-2.

The consolation wrestling matches start in Pittsburgh on Saturday at 10 a.m. and the finals will begin at 7 p.m.


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