English (Mark Selders)

Central York High School graduate James English got off to a winning start at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Oklahoma City, Okla., on Thursday.

English, a sixth-year senior at Penn State, earned a thrilling 5-4 decision over No. 12 seed Dylan Cottrell of Appalachian State by scoring an escape with 16 seconds left to earn the victory in a 149-pound first-round contest. Cottrell entered the bout with a 26-1 record while English was 11-5 and unseeded.

In the round of 16, English nearly pulled off another win against fifth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern, who entered the bout with a 28-3 individual record. Two weeks ago, Tsirtsis won the Big Ten title at 149, while English finished fifth.

English was leading, 3-2, in the final period, when Tsirtsis got a reversal with about 20 seconds remaining to defeat English, 4-3.

English will next complete in the second round of consolations Friday morning, where he'll face North Carolina's Christian Barber, who finished fourth at 149 pounds at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament earlier this month. This is the first NCAA appearance for English, who has endured an injury-plagued career at PSU.