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Austin Harris' Tournament Ends But Not Without Fight To Become All-American

10:40 PM · Mar 19, 2021

Austin Harris, a former Roseburg wrestling graduate had wrestled his way into an opportunity to become an all-American if he had won Friday night in a Heavyweight match for Oklahoma State in the NCAA Wrestling Championships. But it wasn't meant to be as No. 29 Austin Harris fell 13-5 to No. 9 Kerkvliet and exited the tournament. It was a great run for the redshirt junior who lost his first match in the tournament Thursday but went on to win three consecutive matches to get into the Friday night matchup against Kerkvliet. The NCAA Championships are a double elimnation tournament. "It's been a wild ride, been doing what I'm told to get better," Harris said. "Came up a little short, but showed myself what I'm capable of and where I can be. I'm excited to get back to it next year. It's tough getting one round away (from placing), even though I came in a low seed. I knew what I could do. I came so far and know I can get so much better." In his first match Friday he defeated No. 3 Matt Stencel of Central Michigan in the consolation round, 7-4. In his second match Friday, No. 29 Harris pinned No. 11 Zach Elam from Missouri after throwing him to the mat. "I think Greco is huge for me," Harris said. "I'm very comfortable going upper body with these guys. I think it's very overlooked. It helps a lot." Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State is 15-3 on the year. A win against Kerkvliet would have meant Harris placed somewhere in the top eight in the nation, which is considered all-American. Harris lost to No. 4 Cohlton Schultz 0-9 in his first match on day one, but beat Quinn Miller 8-2 in his first consolation match on day one.

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