PITTSBURGH, Penn. — Former Belgrade wrestling standout Jarrett Degen finished Day 1 of the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships with a 2-0 record, advancing to the quarterfinals on Friday.
Degen, a four-time state champion at Belgrade High School and former Virginia Tech transfer, opened his 149-pound bracket with a dominant 14-3 victory over Cal State Bakersfield’s Russell Rohlfing. It was the second win in three tries for Degen against Rohlfing this season, after the two split matches back in January at the Southern Scuffle.
The win advanced Degen, who is seeded eighth in the 149-pound weight class, to the second round where he met No. 9 Justin Oliver of North Carolina State. Tied 8-all late in the third period, Degen scored a late takedown and added riding time to secure an 11-8 decision to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
The Big 12 conference tournament runner-up at 149 pounds, Degen will face top-seeded Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers. Ashnault enters the match with a perfect 29-0, while Degen is 27-6, according to WrestleStat.com.
Degen is Montana’s lone representative in the NCAA Championships.
UPDATE: Degen fell to Ashnault 10-3 and will wrestle Friday evening in the blood round.