When seedings for the 2018 NCAA wrestling championships were announced, Maryland heavyweight Youssif Hemida’s eyes focused on one name.
“After I get that first win,” Hemida said, “I get a rematch against Stoll.”
The junior wanted revenge on Iowa’s Sam Stoll, who he’s lost to multiple times, including at the Big Ten tournament March 3, where Hemida finished sixth and Stoll (20-5) placed fourth.
Hemida (29-5) beat Virginia’s Tyler Love (9-19) in the first round of Thursday’s NCAA championships to earn his second chance at Stoll. No. 12 Hemida trailed No. 5 Stoll, 2-0, in the third period but earned a takedown and a four-point nearfall to win a 7-2 upset.
“I was kind of riding an emotional high for a little bit,” Hemida said. “Being the guy who was down, you know you’re a lower seed and you’re not supposed to win … To get that last second takedown just felt really awesome.”
The heavyweight was the only Maryland wrestler to win both his matches and remain in the championship bracket on the first day of the NCAA championships. Both 141-pounder Ryan Diehl and 149-pounder Alfred Bannister went 1-1, falling to the consolation bracket.
Diehl (13-13) had a big upset over Penn State’s No. 8 Nick Lee (28-6), whom he lost to by a 22-10 major decision earlier in the season, in his first match of the day.
“The Q erupted with that because it was one of the first top-seeded guys to get beat,” coach Kerry McCoy said. “It was great for him to go out there and set the tone for the day.”
Bannister (24-9) bested Wyoming’s Sam Turner (25-17) by a 4-3 decision in triple overtime.
Diehl will wrestle Iowa’s Vince Turk (15-9) and Bannister will face Cortlandt Schuyler (13-11) of Lehigh in their weight classes’ consolation bracket.
Hemida faces No. 4 Jacob Kasper (37-2) of Duke in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story stated Ryan Diehl would face Vince Turk in his next matchup. He’ll face Chad Red. This story has been updated.