A slew of non-Division I duals hit the mats in Las Vegas, Lexington, Va., and Oklahoma City. In Las Vegas at the Desert Duals hosted by Iowa-based Wartburg College, it was the top-ranked Knights (Division III) who needed criteria to edge Wheeling Jesuit 22-21 in the day's tightest dual. Wheeling Jesuit, a relatively new Division II program in Wheeling, W.Va., came in ranked 20th in Division II. … Individually, one of the top individual matchups this season came at 165 pounds where Grand View's Grant Henderson, last year's NAIA runner-up at 157 pounds, knocked off returning NAIA champion Blake Cooper of Warner Pacific 6-4. Last season, Cooper became Warner Pacific's first All-American and national champion since the school reinstated wrestling.
Cornell continued its trip through Oklahoma with a 21-18 win over No. 18 Oklahoma in Norman. The 10 bouts were split five apiece, but the difference came with bonus points picked up by Brian Realbuto at 174 pounds, Gabe Dean at 184 pounds and Joey Galasso at 149 pounds. … No. 6 Virginia Tech beat West Virginia 36-4 at Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg, W.Va. Both teams agreed to a starting weight at 285 pounds to showcase Parkersburg native Jared Haught of Virginia Tech facing West Virginia's nationally ranked Jake A. Smith. Ohio State mauled Northwestern 43-3. Ohio State's Cody Burcher knocked off Johnny Sebastian, who was making his first appearance at 165 pounds this season after wrestling the season at 174.
A year after being shutout 50-0 by McDaniel College, second-year Greensboro College showed how much its improved by knocking off the Green Terror (yes, their actual nickname) 24-21. Of note, Greensboro head coach Erik Wince was Gardner-Webb's first NCAA Division I qualifier as a student-athlete.
No. 1 Oklahoma State got pinned at 125 pounds and 165 pounds but still had enough to beat visiting Cornell 23-19 in Stillwater. The No. 8 Big Red saw Gabe Dean earn another bonus-point victory with a major decision over All-American Nolan Boyd, the only wrestler Dean lost to last season. Cornell's Brandon Womack pinned Chandler Rogers at 165 pounds, while Noah Baughman pinned Nick Piccininni at 125 pounds to keep the Big Red within striking distance. Cornell's Brian Realbuto edged All-American Kyle Crutchmer 3-2 at 174 pounds. … Williams Baptist improved to 11-0 after picking up three dual wins on the season. The third-year program in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas has jumped from non-existent to one of the nation's top programs in the NAIA.
No. 18 Minnesota picked up three key individual upsets to spark the Golden Gophers past No. 10 Michigan 22-18 in Ann Arbor. Wins by Steven Polakowski at 125 pounds, Jake Short at 157 pounds and Nick Wanzek at 174 pounds sparked the Gophers to the victory. … No. 16 Wisconsin got technical falls from Ricky Robertson at 197 pounds and Connor Medbery at 285 pounds to pull away from No. 21 Northern Iowa 23-12.
No. 3 Iowa lit up Iowa State 26-9 in the annual CyHawk dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Rider coach Gary Taylor picked up career victory 431 as his Broncs knocked off Penn 32-10. This is Taylor's 39th and final season at the helm.
No. 7 Nebraska went into Reynolds Coliseum and handed No. 9 NC State a 22-10 loss. The highlight match came at 141 pounds where NC State All-American Kevin Jack earned a major decision over Colton McCrystal, who came into the bout wrestling extremely well. Nebraska All-American Eric Montoya got past scrappy Sean Fausz at 133 pounds. … Minnesota's Nick Wanzek, Bobby Steveson and Brett Pfarr scored back-to-back-to-back wins at 174, 184 and 197 pounds to lift No. 18 Minnesota past upset-minded Michigan State 20-17 in East Lansing. The Spartans, under first-year head coach Roger Chandler, made things interesting after Drew Hughes pin at 165 pounds. … No. 11 Lehigh smashed Princeton 34-3, but the lone Tiger win was a big one as Matt Kolodzik rallied to defeat Lehigh All-American Randy Cruz 6-4 in sudden victory at 141 pounds.
For the first time in college wrestling history, two Olympic wrestling medalists took to the mat in the same dual. Unfortunately for wrestling fans, the individual matchups between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Missouri were less than stellar as the Buckeyes cruised past the Tigers 30-9 in Columbus. Olympic bronze medalist and two-time NCAA champion J'den Cox had to hold off feisty Buckeye freshman Kollin Moore in the closing seconds to hang on to a 6-4 win, while World and Olympic champion Kyle Snyder laid the hammer down on Missouri freshman Austin Myers, earning his fourth career fall and third this season to cement the Ohio State win. … In Division III, rapidly improving UW-Platteville knocked off UW-Stevens Point 22-19, while Augsburg headed west and defeated Division II Minnesota State Moorhead 25-12.
No. 13 Illinois beat SIU Edwardsville 30-10, but it was SIUE heavyweight Jake McKiernan who registered the big upset, knocking off Brooks Black 6-0. Just two weeks earlier, McKiernan was beaten by Black's backup. Iowa Lakes beat Iowa Western 20-18 in a tightly-contested junior college dual between Iowa schools.
Campbellsville's women went 3-0, earning victories over the University of the Cumberlands, Life and Emmanuel in WCWA action. In a battle of Blue Jays in Division III, Johns Hopkins defeated Elizabethtown 34-13.
No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 2 Penn State rolled in dual matchups on Sunday. The top-ranked Cowboys shutout Pittsburgh 39-0, while Penn State drew the eighth-largest crowd in NCAA history as they defeated No. 11 Lehigh 30-10 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Wrestling without three starters, Ohio State came away with the team championship at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Nathan Tomasello and Micah Jordan won titles for the Buckeyes. Virginia Tech's Joey Dance scored a late takedown to beat upset-minded Jose Rodriguez of Ohio State 4-3. Tomasello edged Michigan's Stevan Micic 3-2 at 133, while Stanford's Joey McKenna knocked off returning NCAA finalist Bryce Meredith of Wyoming 3-1 at 141 pounds. Jordan controlled Edinboro's Pat Lugo 7-3 at 149, while Minnesota's Jake Short finally started to get going this season. Short topped Central Michigan's Colin Heffernan in the finals at 157. One of the biggest stunners came at 165 pounds where redshirt freshman Logan Massa knocked off three-time All-American and returning NCAA finalist Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin in the championship final. Arizona State super frosh Zahid Valencia scored a late takedown to knock off Cornell All-American Brian Realbuto 3-2, while Cornell's two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean torched Virginia Tech's Zack Zavatsky in the finals at 184. Zavatsky had previously picked up a win over returning NCAA champion Myles Martin of Ohio State in the semifinals. Brett Pfarr of Minnesota gave the Gophers a second champion beating Virginia Tech's Jared Haught. Wisconsin's Connor Medbery defeated Virginia Tech's Ty Walz for the second time this season, this one coming in sudden victory at heavyweight.
Most of the action took place at the 5th annual Grapple at the Garden. No. 8 Cornell, on paper, looked to be in for a battle with No. 10 Rutgers, but two early wins by Noah Bushman at 125 pounds and Mark Grey at 133 pounds prevented any Rutgers' momentum and the Big Red ended up coming away with a resounding 28-10 victory in New York City. Gabe Dean found himself tied with Nicholas Gravina early in the third period before turning Gravina at will in the third to earn a major decision at 184 pounds. Buffalo's James Benjamin upset Princeton All-American Brett Harner at 197 pounds in the Tigers' 28-12 win over the Bulls. In other action, No. 1 Oklahoma State laid the wood to No. 16 Minnesota 34-3. Kaid Brock earned some folkstyle revenge on Minnesota's Mitchell McKee at 133 pounds with a 10-2 major decision. McKee had some highly-publicized come-from-behind wins over Brock on the freestyle mats when the two were in high school. Cowboy heavyweight Austin Schafer upset two-time All-American Michael Kroells of Minnesota. Up in Cedar Falls, Northern Iowa's Drew Foster beat Old Dominion All-American Jack Dechow at 184 pounds in the Panthers' 29-9 win over the Monarchs. In Wyoming, 197-pounder Brandon Tribble moved up to 285 pounds and beat Iowa State heavyweight Quean Smith 4-3 in a bout that helped lift Wyoming past Iowa State, giving the Cyclones a third conference loss already.
Michigan State started off the season 2-0 with wins over Bloomsburg and Lock Haven of the EWL. Last season, the Spartans won two dual meets all season. They matched that number on Saturday.
It was Thanksgiving here in the United States. We hope you ate well. For the Canadians, we hope you ate well on Thursday.
Kyle Snyder registered his second and third career falls as Ohio State beat Cleveland State 52-0 and Kent State 36-13. Snyder's first career fall came in the first round of last year's NCAA Division I Championships. UW-Eau Claire continued to turn heads. In coach Tim Fader's second year, the Blugolds earned their second big win of the season, beating Luther College 20-15.
Cerritos finished its regular season with a stellar 18-1 record and claimed the California Community College dual meet state championship with a 23-16 win over Fresno City College. Cerritos' lone loss came to NJCAA power Clackamas Community College a week prior. No. 5 Missouri used bonus points where Virginia Tech was soft and pulled out an entertaining 23-19 win over No. 6 Virginia Tech in Columbia. Zach Synon's upset over Dennis Gustafson at 141 pounds was a key Missouri victory as were head-to-head ranked wins by Lavion Mayes at 149 pounds and J'den Cox at 197 pounds.
South Dakota State looked like it was going to beat Minnesota for the first time since the Ford Administration until a fifth stall call with 4.4 seconds left at 285 pounds disqualified Alex Macki and gave Minnesota's Michael Kroells the six team points Minnesota needed to steal the 18-17 win at home. … Fourth-ranked Ohio State topped No. 19 Arizona State 27-15. Olympic champion Kyle Snyder trounced a ranked Tanner Hall at heavyweight.
Third-ranked Iowa blanked outgunned Iowa Central and Cornell College in a pair of duals at the Iowa City Duals. The Hawkeyes picked up a 55-0 victory over Iowa Central, coached by former Hawkeye Luke Moffatt and a 45-0 win over Cornell College, which is coached by longtime Hawkeye Wrestling Club coach Mike Duroe. … Starting a lineup with seven freshmen, No. 11 Michigan won seven of 10 bouts and cruised past No. 17 Oklahoma 27-15. … No. 6 Virginia Tech traveled west and right into No. 22 Northern Iowa's West Gym and came away with a 27-10 victory. The most exciting match came at 174 pounds where UNI freshman Taylor Lujan gave No. 2 Zach Epperly a fierce battle, only to come up on the losing end of a 7-5 decision.
Great Falls picked up a third upset in a row as the Argonauts (yes, that's their nickname) topped Southern Oregon 21-19.
In a cross-town battle between Division II Minnesota State Moorhead and Division III Concordia College (of Moorhead), it was the D3 Cobbers who came away with the dual, beating the Dragons 21-15. The Cobbers won the last two weights with Jake Briggs and Justice Davis picking up victories.
Second-ranked Penn State won eight out of 10 matches in beating No. 14 Stanford 36-6. No. 6 Virginia Tech won its Moss Arts Center dual over Chattanooga 29-6. No. 3 Missouri won nine of 10 over host Old Dominion to start the season 1-0. Otterbein blew through the John Carroll Duals with four more wins to start its season 5-0. American knocked off Campbell and Josh Terao, fresh off a redshirt and down to a lower weight, beat Nathan Kraisser at 125 pounds. John Carroll picked up two shutouts, blanking Adrian 48-0 and first-year Lourdes 45-0.
Appalachian State picked up one of its biggest wins in school history, knocking off No. 15 Oregon State 25-15 in Boone. The Mountaineers also pounded Division II Belmont Abbey 50-0. NAIA Williams Baptist came out of the Hatcher Duals with a championship. The field consisted of Arkansas teams and Alma College from Michigan, the alma mater of the event's namesake, Greg Hatcher, who has been responsible for starting dozens and dozens of new high school and college programs in Arkansas. On the women's side, King University went 8-0 to win the Patriot Duals on the women's side of things.
No. 2 Penn State opened up its season by blanking Army West Point 45-0. No. 10 Rutgers began a west coast swing with dual meet wins over Division II San Francisco State 45-0 and CSU Bakersfield 26-15. No. 11 Michigan opened its season with a 24-9 win over visiting Virginia.
In a dual between two brand-new programs, Otterbein would begin its wrestling revival with a 36-10 win over Thomas More in a Division III battle. In California, Sacramento City won its sixth Big 8 Conference championship with a 43-6 win over Lassen. In the NAIA, Great Falls upended Montana State-Northern 23-13 in a matchup between two in-state rivals. Great Falls opened up the season unranked in the NAIA, while the Lights started the year ranked in the top five.
Campbell earned its first-ever victory over a Big 12 school on Sunday, beating West Virginia 29-17 in Morgantown. The Camels would also beat Ohio 23-15 before falling to No. 23 Pittsburgh 21-13. With the dual against West Virginia tied at 18 heading into 197 pounds, NCAA qualifier Jake Smith was hit with flagrant misconduct, disqualifying him from the dual while he was working on a major decision. The loss of a team point gave Campbell a 24-17 lead heading into heavyweight. Finland native Jere Heino earned a tech fall at heavyweight to put the icing on the proverbial cake. Pittsburgh started the year 2-0 with the win over Campbell and a 21-16 win over Ohio.
North Dakota State heavyweight Ben Tynan delivered a crucial fall in the second-to-last bout to lift the Bison over No. 14 Iowa State, giving the Cyclones their second Big 12 loss in a row. Tynan faced 197-pound true freshman Samuel Colbray, who bumped up after the Cyclones starting heavyweight was injured during the loss to South Dakota State two days prior. No. 1 Oklahoma State opened up with a 36-3 win over Bucknell in a double dual hosted at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Oklahoma. NEO topped Labette 45-3 on the other half of the meet.
Gabe Dean of Cornell smoked Myles Martin of Ohio State 13-4 in the 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic in Cleveland in a battle of two returning NCAA champions. Dean built a 5-0 lead heading into the third period before opening up the offense with three third-period takedowns to come away with the major decision. Sixth-ranked Virginia Tech didn't need the services of heavyweight Ty Walz, who was competing at the All-Star Classic, in two dual wins at home. The Hokies topped former EWL rival Edinboro 24-13 before beating VMI 39-6.
No. 21 Stanford beat intra-state rival Cal Poly 21-9 in an outdoor dual in California. Gotta love that November California weather.
Division III Castleton won its first dual in school history, beating Bridgewater State 31-6 in a tri-meet with Southern Maine. Once-lowly UW-Eau Claire had a statement win, beating Dubuque 19-16 to sweep a tri-meet with first-year Nebraska Wesleyan.
South Dakota State won seven out of 10 matches in its Big 12 opener against Iowa State. The 27-9 win was the first in school history for the Jackrabbits over the Cyclones and also gave Chris Bono a win over his alma mater. No. 21 Arizona State rallied to beat homestanding Northern Colorado 24-19. Tanner Hall's victory at heavyweight put the match away for the Sun Devils.
The first Division I-only dual meet came down to criteria as Cal Poly edged Indiana 19-18. The Mustangs earned the criteria win on the first criteria, most wins. Earlier in the day, both teams defeated Division II San Francisco State. Cal Poly opened up 2-0 under first-year head coach Jon Sioredas. They were 3-9 last season.
Both Cornell College and Upper Iowa won outdoor dual meets in the state of Iowa. Cornell College beat Simpson College 27-15 in a matchup of Division III teams, while Upper Iowa trounced Truman State 38-3 in a matchup of Division II programs in Super Region 3.
Not too much in the way of close duals on the first day many four-year colleges were able to wrestle in duals. We had a mixed bag of four reported results, with Division II Alderson-Broaddus upending NAIA West Virginia Tech 39-9 in an intrastate tilt, while Millikin topped Hannibal-LaGrange 44-3 and RIT beat Niagara County Community College 23-15. Both Millikin and RIT are Division III programs. NAIA Wayland Baptist topped NJCAA Northwest Kansas Tech 31-19.
Averett University in Danville, Va., hires former SIU Edwardsville and George Mason assistant coach as its first head wrestling coach. Averett becomes the fifth Division III team in Virginia and the fourth new program in the last five years.
Grand View opens up the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the NAIA. The Vikings, winners of five straight NAIA team championships, has been ranked No. 1 for 32 straight weeks.
Bloomsburg finally closed its head coaching opening by hiring internally with assistant coach Marcus Gordon. Former head coach Jason Mester stepped down on September 1.
Wartburg begins the season ranked No. 1 in the NWCA Division III Coaches Association team rankings. The Knights are the reigning NCAA Division III champions.
Back-to-back Division II champions St. Cloud State opens the season ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II. The Huskies are followed by No. 2 Maryville, No. 3 Pitt-Johnstown, No. 4 Mercyhurst and No. 5 Upper Iowa.
Eastern Oregon returned to wrestling competition and opened up with a pair of wins over California junior colleges. The Mountaineers, a new program in the NAIA, defeated Lassen and West Hills, although the matches aren't counted as “official” victories since the NAIA doesn't count matches against junior colleges or NCWA programs as “countable” contests. Hey, we'll still give them credit for restarting the program with some wins.