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Busler and Garrett created early-season upsets
WIN’s Weekly College Wrestling Journal
Nov. 13, 2013
Two NCAA finalists fall in early-season tournaments
Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple is a 2013 NCAA champion and Penn State’s Nico Megaludis is a two-time NCAA runner-up. As of Nov. 10, neither NCAA finalist of 2013 was undefeated in the 2013-14 season.
That’s because Maple, a two-time All-American from Wichita, Kan., suffered his first official loss of the season on Nov. 9 when the Sooner lost 5-3 in overtime to Bryce Busler of Bloomburg in the 149-pound final of the Brockport/Oklahoma Invite in Brockport, N.Y. (Maple also lost to Ohio State’s Logan Stieber – the nation’s top-ranked wrestler at 141 pounds — in the Nov. 2 NWCA All-Star Classic, in Fairfax, Va., which does not officially count against his record this season.)
Busler, a senior from Mechanicsburg, Pa., was named the Eastern Wrestling League Wrestler of the Week for his victory over Maple. Busler trailed Maple 3-1 in the second period but benefitted from two stalling points against the Sooner, then ended the bout 30 seconds into overtime when he scored a takedown. Busler redshirted for the Huskies last season after qualifying for the 2012 NCAAs as a wildcard.
Meanwhile, second-ranked Megaludis — who finished second to Iowa’s Matt McDonough in the 2012 NCAA finals as a freshman and to Illinois’ Jesse Delgado in last March’s championhip match — reached the finals of the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, held Nov. 10 in Binghamton, N.Y. But he then lost 6-5 to Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett. The Big Red sophomore was ranked No. 3 before the bout after finishing third in last year’s Nationals. Garrett also opened the season with a 6-1 victory over Oklahoma’s Jarrett Patterson at the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 2.
Moving up and down weights to success
Several nationally-ranked wrestlers not only changed weight classes, but found success early this season.
• Chattanooga’s Nick Soto, ranked No. 12 at 125 pounds by WIN before the Nov. 10 Hokie Duals in Salem, Va., moved up to 133 pounds and won all three bouts; beating Hofstra’s Jamel Hudson, 8-7, Virginia Tech’s Erik Spjut, 4-0, and Rider’s Chuck Zeisloft, 13-2. Soto, a junior from Spring Hill, Fla., actually began his career at 133 pounds in 2011-12 — when he was named SoCon Freshman of the year and won the Southern Scuffle championship and eventually competed at the NCAAs. Last season, he dropped down to 125 pounds and qualified for the Nationals.
• Oklahoma’s Nick Lester, ranked 15th at 157 pounds before the Brockport Open, dropped down to 141 pounds for the tournament and won the championship; beating Buffalo’s Nick Flannery, 12-6, in the final. Lester, a senior from Eureka, is a two-time NCAA qualifier — at 149 pounds in 2012 and ’13 — but was forced to move after Oklahoma’s national champion Kendric Maple moved from 141 to 149.
• Wisconsin’s Jackson Hein, ranked 12th in the preseason at 197 pounds, dropped down to 184 pounds and won two of three bouts at the Hokie Duals; beating North Carolina’s 13th-ranked Alex Utley, 3-2; Virginia’s 11th-ranked Jon Fausey, 3-1, sv. Unfortunately, the Badger lost to Old Dominion’s Jack Dechow in his third and final match of the day.
Season begins for …
The following schools will compete in their first official action of the season:
• Iowa, ranked No. 2 in WIN’s Tournament Power Index, will wrestle at the Luther Open, Nov. 16, in Decorah, Iowa, where fans will get their first look at Cory Clark and Thomas Gillman, past four-time state champions in Iowa and Nebraska, who are vying to replace Iowa’s former two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough at 125 pounds.
• No. 7 Nebraska and No. 18 Northwestern will open the Big Ten dual season, Nov. 17 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. Potentially the best match-ups of the dual will come at 165 pounds, where No. 14 Austin Wilson of Nebraska will take on No. 15 Pierce Harger of Northwestern.
• Penn opens its season at the East Stroudsburg Open, Nov. 17. Among the Quakers’ higher ranked wrestlers is sophomore Charles Cobb, ranked No. 11 at 141.
• Boise State opens its dual season in a Nov. 15 home match against Wyoming. The Broncos’ only action this season happened at the Cowboy Open in Laramie, Wyom, Nov. 3, when heavyweight J.T. Felix won the championship bout.