Something a little different in the Rocky Mountain high … and no, that isn't a pun about the state of Colorado's laws about a said controlled substance. No lying in the weeds here, this is Short Time Shots, a somewhat daily look at the happenings in college wrestling – I'm your host 11-time award winning wrestling broadcaster and journalist Jason Bryant, and I'm not just blowing smoke.
Speaking of things that make you bleary-eyed, I go to both Target and Menards today to get lawn bags. You know, the big paper bags that are biodegradable so you can put in your leaves and such. Yeah, both places completely out. What kind of bizarro world is this. Did the delivery driver camp out in Boulder a little too long? Totally left us all high and dry … yes, dad jokes.
In Denver, the 53rd edition of the NWCA All-Star Classic came and went with a split format featuring five men's matches and five women's matches. On the men's side, Joey McKenna of Ohio State topped Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State in what was an exciting match until McKenna picked up four nearfall points in the second period to break open a tight bout.
The night's most exciting men's bout came at what's typically the most sluggish weight as Oklahoma State's Derek White topped Maryland's Youssif Hemida 7-5 in sudden victory. These two guys were scrapping like little guys out there. Nebraska's Taylor Venz upended Cornell's Max Dean in another solid bout at 184 pounds. Venz picked up late points to ice a 10-5 win.
Myles Amine of Michigan hammered Jacobe Smith of Oklahoma State to the tune of a 10-2 major decision. In the night's finale, top-ranked Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton became the first Tiger wrestler to win a bout at the All-Star Classic in school history with an 11-7 win over Mitch Finesilver of Duke. Finesilver grew up not far from the arena in suburban Denver. As far as history goes, Princeton wrestlers were 0-5 coming in all-time, including Kolodzik's loss last year.
On the women's side, Simon Fraser's Dom Parrish and Emmanuel's Abby Nette and Maria Vidales were dominant with their victories, each earning technical superiority wins. Parrish opened the day beating Gabriela Ramos-Diaz of Wayland Baptist 10-0 at 123, while Nette beat Erika Mihalca 10-0 at 130.
Vidales reversed last year's outcome by earning a 12-0 technical fall over Campbellsville's Charlotte Fowler at 109. Fowl er had defeated Vidales 14-3 at last year's All-Star Classic in Princeton.
At 170, Brittany Marshall of Wayland Baptist topped Mariah Harris 3-1 with a takedown with 48 seconds remaining in a rematch of last year's WCWA championship final in almost the same fashion.
In the one match that saw a late comeback, Alexis Porter of McKendree scored six points in the final period to rally past King's Nicole Joseph 6-3.
On the Division I mats Friday evening, Matt Voss' technical fall at 285 pounds rallied George Mason past VMI 20-17. Even in defeat, keep an eye on VMI's Neal Richards. He's up at 174 pounds this year and picked up an impressive technical fall over Mason's Colston DiBlasi.
Clarion trounced Gardner-Webb 42-9 up in PA. Brock Zacherl, ranked by most everyone in the top 10 for Clarion at 149 pounds earned a 13-3 major decision, while Gardner-Webb's nationally ranked Tyler Marinelli got past Mike Bartolo 5-3 at 157 pounds. Clarion ended the bout with two falls and a tech to close things out.
Division II Ashland went 4-0 on the day, including a 21-14 win over Division I Kent State. The Eagles – that's Ashland for those wondering – beat Kent State's branch campus, NAIA Lindsey Wilson and Division III Otterbein. So the Division II school gets wins over a D1, a D3 an NAIA and an NCWA program in the same quad. That does not happen very often.
Also in that “quad” if that's what you want to call it, the Jeff Breese era at Lake Erie began as the Storm earned victories over Division III Otterbein, NAIA Lindsey Wilson and Cowley Community College, which made the trip from Kansas.
NAIA Lindenwood-Belleville trampled Division III MacMurray 47-3 on the men's side of things, but MacMurray would get a 25-18 win over the Lynx in the women's dual.
Out west, Providence – no, the one in Montana – beat North Idaho 37-7 and Southern Oregon beat Southwestern Oregon 27-20 in duals that saw NAIA schools beat NJCAA programs.
In the NJCAA, Muskegon got a pair of wins, beating Niagara and Triton, while the California Community Colleges actually had their scores reported the same night! Yes! Score. Anyway, Santa Rosa came away with a pair of wins in a double dual – The Bear Cubs – yes, seriously, the Bear Cubs beat Sierra and East Los Angeles in dual action. That's the fall league in California folks.
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