CLEVELAND, OHIO — Campbell heavyweight Jere Heino finished in the top 12 in the nation, with his run at the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships coming to an end Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
A junior from Helsinki, Finland, Heino took on Penn State’s Nick Nevills, the No. 3 seeded heavyweight, Friday night for All-America status. Nevills took a 2-0 lead to the second, and led just 3-0 entering the final period. Heino registered an escape, but a late takedown, plus riding time, gave the 2017 All-American the 6-1 win.
Heino defeated George Mason’s Matt Voss and No. 8 Tanner Hall of Arizona State earlier in the day to advance in the consolation bracket.
Heino gathered a pair of early takedowns to lead it 4-1 after the first period, and commanded a 7-2 advantage through two sets with another takedown, plus an escape, picking up an 8-3 win with riding time. It was the second time Heino defeated Voss this season, topping the George Mason product with a 12-4 major decision in November.
In his second bout of Friday’s morning session, Heino downed a seeded wrestler for the second time (also defeated No. 16 Matt Stencel of Central Michigan in round one, 8-3), eliminating No. 8 Tanner Hall of Arizona State, 5-4. With the score knotted at 2-2 heading to the third, Heino used an escape and a takedown to take the 5-2 lead, and held on for the victory.
Making his second straight NCAA appearance after claiming the 2018 Southern Conference Championship, Heino made a run to day two action at the NCAA Championships with an opening round win over No. 16 Matt Stencel from Central Michigan in round one, 8-3. In Thursday night’s championship bracket, Heino met two-time defending NCAA champion, No. 1 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State, with Snyder claiming the 23-8 tech fall.
Heino, who won 22 of his previous 24 matches heading into the 2018 NCAA Championships, finishes the season 27-7 overall.
Teammate Quentin Perez also made his second consecutive NCAA appearance at 165 after earning an at-large berth this season, was eliminated Thursday.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)