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Joe Williams steamrolled his opponents Thursday, pinning both, to h

March 21, 1997

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) _ Joe Williams steamrolled his opponents Thursday, pinning both, to help give No. 2 Iowa a slim lead after the first two rounds of the NCAA wrestling championships.

The two-time defending champion Hawkeyes, seeking their sixth national title in seven years, had 37 1/2 points as consolation matches continued late Thursday. Iowa has six of its 10 wrestlers in the championship bracket going into Friday’s quarterfinals and semifinals.

Top-ranked Oklahoma State, which won the 1994 national championship, was second with 27 1/2 points. The Cowboys have seven wrestlers in the championship bracket.

Cowboys coach John Smith, whose team is favored to win the three-day tournament, said he likes his team’s chances.

``We went through some battles today. I hope it’s going to benefit us in the quarterfinals and semifinals,″ Smith said. ``The points haven’t even started yet. These are play points.″

Minnesota was third with 24 points, followed by Edinboro (21), Lock Haven (20), Oklahoma (18), Iowa State (17), and Ohio State, Penn State and North Carolina (16).

Williams, the defending champion and No. 1 seed at 158 pounds, pinned Harvard’s Ed Mosley in just 31 seconds to improve to his match record to 25-1. Earlier, he decked Maryland’s Arash Alizadeh in 2 minutes 35 seconds.

Another defending champion and top seed, Clarion’s Sheldon Thomas, struggled to beat Cal Poly-SLO’s Tyson Rondeau 6-3 at 118 after destroying Nebraska’s Todd Beckerman in a 17-0 first-round technical fall.

``That was a pretty good tune-up for Friday,″ Thomas said of Rondeau. ``He was definitely ready for me. My coaches said I wrestled well, but I wasn’t happy.″

Other defending champions who won second-round bouts included Cary Kolat of Lock Haven at 134, Chris Bono of Iowa State at 150 and John Kading of Oklahoma at 190.

All but Kading are seeded first. Kading is a No. 2 seed behind Edinboro’s Jason Robison, who won both his bouts Friday.

Kolat, meanwhile, beat No. 8 Brett Matter of Penn 14-5, Bono whipped Craig Welk of Cal Poly SLO in a 25-10 technical fall and Kading pinned Scott Adams of Cal Poly SLO in 3:56.

``My goal was to come out and dominate two opponents _ whoever they were,″ said Bono, who pinned Arizona State’s Michael Douglas in 5:44 in the first round. ``I’m right where I want to be. I’m going out there to dominate everyone I wrestle.″

Top-seeded wrestlers also had a good second round.

Winners included Iowa State’s Dwight Hinson at 126, Iowa’s Mark Ironside at 134 and Lincoln McIlravy at 150, Oklahoma State’s Mark Branch and Mark Smith at 167 and 177, and Penn State heavyweight Kerry McCoy.

Hinson scored an 11-5 decision over Stanford’s Zack Zimmerer, Ironside earned a 19-9 decision over Clarion’s Chris Marshall, Branch whipped Central Michigan’s Mike Greenfield 12-4 and Smith stopped Miami’s Rick Tomaro 6-5.

McCoy, the 1994 champion, beat Minnesota’s Shelton Benjamin 13-3.

Hinson, who finished second last year, said he feels more relaxed about going for a championship this year.

``I’ve been here before. I know what to expect,″ he said. ``I just feel more relaxed and hopefully I’ll feel like this all the way through Sunday.″

One of the biggest upsets of the day was at 150, where unseeded Jason Foresman of VMI decisioned No. 3 seed Bill Lecure of Michigan 4-3. Foresman went on to beat Pittsburgh’s Kevin Johnson 8-6 in the second round.

Two unseeded West Virginia wrestlers also pulled off early upsets.

Vertus Jones beat No. 7 Zac Taylor of Ohio State 9-7 at 167 and teammate John Koss surprised third-seed Aaron Simpson of Arizona State 5-3 at 177.

In the second round, Koss decisioned Iowa’s Tony Ersland 2-1. Jones lost 18-6 to Iowa State’s Bart Horton.

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