DES MOINES, IOWA – Junior Billy Watterson (Pound Ridge, N.J.) and sophomore Ophir Bernstein (Allen, TX) both split a pair of matches to advance to the third session as the duo represented Brown University on Thursday in the first day of competition at the NCAA Wrestling Championships held at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Watterson, who qualified for his first NCAA meet after a fourth-place finish at the EIWA Championships, opened the competition with a 7-6 decision over Joseph Duca of Indiana at 125 pounds. Watterson then lost by technical fall to second-seeded Jesse Delgado of Illinois and moved over to the consolation bracket to face either Minnesota's David Thorn or session three on Friday morning.
Bernstein, who qualified for his second straight NCAAs by virtue of a third-place finish at EIWAs, fell to No. 11 Mike Larson of Missouri, 8-5, in the opening round at 184 pounds. Bernstein then defeated Cody Reed of Binghamton by a 13-3 major decision in the consolation bracket to stay alive in the tournament. He will face off against fifth-seeded Kevin Steinhaus of Minnesota in the third session.
The third session begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET. and will be aired live on ESPN3.com. Brown has now sent two wrestlers to the national championships for the second straight season.