Mango, Lester earn All-Amercian honors at NCAA wrestling tournament
By: Warren Mayes
Two local wrestlers now can call themselves college All-Americans.
Stanford junior Ryan Mango finished fifth and Oklahoma sophomore Nick Lester wound up eighth at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships that were held at the Scottrade Center.
It is Mango’s second consecutive year of gaining All-American status. Mango is a graduate of Whitfield.
Mango, the eighth seed at 125 pounds, dropped his first match Saturday, a 10-3 decision to sixth-seeded Frank Perrelli of Cornell. He trailed 6-1 after the first period and was unable to recover. With the loss, he fell into the fifth-place match against fifth-seeded Nicholas Bedelyon of Kent State.
In his match against Bedelyon, Mango fell behind 3-0 after the first two periods. He chose neutral to start the third, scoring a takedown early on. After an escape by Bedelyon, Mango registered another takedown to force a sudden-death overtime. There, Mango recorded a takedown in just eight seconds to get the win and the fifth-place finish.
Ryan Mango went 5-2 at the tournament. Here are his matches: He decisioned Shane Young (West Virginia) 10-8; earned a major decision over ninth-seeded Levi Mele (Northwestern) 15-6; lost to top-seeded and eventual champion Matt McDonough (Iowa) 13-3; earned a major decision over seventh-seeded Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) 12-4; defeated seventh-seeded Jesse Delgado (Illinois) 4-3; lost to sixth-seeded Frank Perrelli (Cornell) 10-3; and topped Bedelyon 6-4 in overtime.
Mango is the brother of Spencer mango, an Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler.
Mango won a season-best 30 matches this season, leading the team. He is just the fifth Cardinal wrestler to receive multiple All-America accolades, placing sixth at the NCAA Championships in 2011. Mango also won his first conference championship in 2012, taking home the Pac-12 title in February.
¶ At 149 pounds, Lester was unseeded. Lester added to Oklahoma’s prestigious number of All-Americans as he became Oklahoma’s 265th wrestler to achieve the honor.
He opened with a 9-4 decision over No. 4-seeded Donald Vinson, of Binghamton. Lester earned one of the biggest upsets of the opening day with the victory. Lester trailed 4-3 after the first period where each wrestler earned a reversal. Lester chose the bottom position to start the second where he quickly earned an escape to knot the score, 4-4. Both wrestlers started the final period in the neutral position, but Lester closed out the match with a takedown and near fall.
In his second match, he won by technical fall 16-0 over Kevin Tao, of American.
Lester, a Eureka graduate, lost his third match to Hostfra’s Justin Accordino in an 11-3 major decision. Lester trailed, 5-1, after giving up a takedown and near fall in the first period. Accordino added a reversal and another near fall in the second. Lester closed out the match with a takedown, but gave up an escape.
In his next match, Lester topped Steve Santos, of Columbia, 5-0. He secured All-America status following a the victory over Santos. In the bout, Lester tallied two takedowns and an escape.
He did not fare well in his rematch with Vinson, who won a 16-5 major decision.
In the match for seventh place, Scott Sakaguchi, of Oregon State, 1-0. Neither wrestler scored a point, but the Beaver held a 2:00 advantage of riding time to secure the win and a seventh-
Lester finished his season at 23-13.
“Lester has had this kind of potential all year long and it’s nice that we finally see it at the NCAA tournament,” Oklahoma coach Mark Cody said.
Lester’s twin brother, Matt, also competed in the tournament unseeded in the 157-pound class.
Matt Lester lost his first match to No. 3-seeded Jason Welch, of Northwestern, 4-1. He bounced back in the wrestlebacks, scoring a 13-0 major decision over Cotton Palmer, North Carolina State. However, he was bounced from the tournament with a 10-7 loss to Justin Lister, of Binghampton.