Former Miner still in hunt for 3rd place at NCAA wrestling championships |

Former Miner still in hunt for 3rd place at NCAA wrestling championships

Luke Manuel’s chase for the NCAA wrestling national championship came to an end in overtime of his second-round match in the 174-pound bracket Thursday night.

But the former Nevada Union star and Purdue University junior still has a shot at third place.

Manuel fell 3-1 to Oregon State’s Colby Covington in sudden victory overtime Thursday night in the round of 16 at the NCAA Wrestling National Championships in Omaha, Neb.

It was the fourth time this season that Covington and Manuel have met on the mat. The series is now tied at 2-2.

Covington, a junior who hails from Clovis, Calif., won the Junior College National Championship while wrestling at Central Iowa Community College. He then spent one season with the Iowa Hawkeyes before transferring to Oregon State.

Earlier in the day, Manuel (40-5) tied Purdue University’s single-season record for victories with a 4-2 overtime win over Edinboro College’s Philip Moricone, the Eastern Wrestling League champion.

According to Purdue University’s web site, Manuel and Moricone ended the first overtime session tied at 1-1, but each wrestler scored an escape in the tiebreaker period before Manuel followed with a takedown to take the opener.

Turning his attention toward the wrestleback bracket, Manuel will face the winner of Thursday night’s match between Michigan State’s Ian Hinton and Ohio State’s David Rella.

Manuel will need at least three more victories to have a shot at placing seventh in the NCAA tournament. Four wins will earn a chance at fifth place and five straight victories will give the former Miner a berth in the third-place matchup.

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