The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Marist pushes Oak Park-River Forest, Montini wins record seventh straight
By Rob Sherrill
Chicago Marist twice wiped out deficits of 15 points or more, but two state champions were too much for the Redhawks to overcome in the Illinois 3A dual state tournament.
After losing five of the first six matches and falling behind Oak Park-River Forest 19-4 in the final, Marist then won five of the next six to tie the match at 22-22. The big win in that stretch: Jimmy McAuliffe’s stunning pin over state runner-up Jason Renteria at 106. McAuliffe, who once trailed 13-4, reversed Renteria to his back for five points, and later scored a takedown and threw in a cradle for the pin.
But Oak Park-River Forest had state champions Isaiah White (138) and Larry Early (145) on tap to close out the win, and that’s exactly what they did. Leading just 3-1 in the second period, White used a cradle to pin Mario Leveille in a rematch of their state final the previous week, and Early followed with a 9-2 decision to clinch the Huskes’ 31-22 victory.
Marist fell behind Aurora Marmion Academy 19-0 in the semifinals, but won six in a row to take a 24-19 lead. The key matches: Jake Ford’s 1-0 win over 220-pound place-winner Lucas Warren at 285, Nick Lukanich’s 3-2 win over two-time state place-winner Anthony Bosco at 113 and freshman Andy O’Brien’s 4-2 victory over state qualifier A.J. Jaffe at 120. O’Brien was in the line-up to replace three-time state place-winner Mark Duda, who had been ejected from the individual state tournament for flagrant misconduct and was not on the dual series roster.
Leveille’s takedown with 19 seconds remaining in the final match secured a 3-2 victory over Mike Callahan and put the Redhawks in the finals with a 27-25 comeback win.
Lombard Montini set a state record with its seventh consecutive team title, beating Geneseo 49-21 to win the 2A title. The Broncos had 16 pins and six technical falls in their three state meet duals.
Dakota repeated in 1A in similarly dominant fashion, beating Petersburg Porta 65-3 in the title match. Josh Alber (132) racked up a technical fall and two first-period pins to become the first Illinois wrestler in the state’s 77-year official history to finish a perfect career. Alber was 182-0 in his career, including 48-0 this season.
M. Perry breaks through in Ohio, Graham sets record
St. Paris Graham erased one of Lakewood St. Edward’s records from the books with its 14th consecutive Division 2 team title in the Ohio state tournament. By outscoring Uhrichsville Claymont 185.5-137.5, Graham eclipsed the record of 13 consecutive titles won in Division 1 by Lakewood St. Edward, from 1997-2009.
Micah Jordan (145) of Graham and Jacob Danishek (152) of Division 3 team runner-up Miamisburg Dayton Christian became the 26th and 27th Ohio wrestlers to win four state titles. The two were voted the Outstanding Wrestlers in their respective divisions. Jordan had a technical fall and three pins, while Danishek had two pins, a technical fall and a 12-7 finals decision.
Massillon Perry, which had never won a state title prior to this year, completed a dominating sweep of the Division 1 titles by more than doubling the score of second-place Perrysburg, 185-90.5. The Panthers got titles from two-time champion David Bavery (126), Casey Sparkman (152) and Tony Dailey (160), advanced six to the finals and placed nine.
Delta joined Graham as a repeat double champion, outscoring Dayton Christian 141-122.5 in Division 3. In the two years of the dual state meet, the same team has won the dual and individual team titles in both seasons.
Hayden Lee (113), one of two champions from Marysville, was voted the Division 1 Outstanding Wrestler after scoring a 5-2 finals win over defending champion Jose Rodriguez of Massillon Perry. St. Edward, meanwhile, placed seventh, the lowest finish for the Eagles since 1977.
Apple Valley loses just four times in state duals
Apple Valley showed how wide the gap is between No. 1 and No. 2 in Minnesota, beating Prior Lake 56-9 to win its ninth consecutive 3A state title. That followed victories of 64-4 over Maple Grove in the quarterfinals and 65-3 over Hastings in the semifinals. Two of the Eagles’ four losses were by a single point.
The defending champions in the other two classes lost in the semifinals. Kasson-Mantorville fell 40-19 to eventual champion Inver Grove Heights Simley in 2A. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City ended Jackson County Central’s four-year winning streak, 38-25 in A, then lost 38-22 to Chatfield, which won its first title.
With three first-period pins and a 12-0 major decision, Tommy Thorn (126) of St. Michael-Albertville became the state’s 15th four-time champion. Apple Valley sophomore Mark Hall (170) became the 16th, racking up two pins, a major decision and a technical fall. The Eagles had four champions, with junior Maolu Woiwor (132) and senior Seth Gross (138) winning for the third time.
Stillwater gets revenge in Oklahoma state tournament
The three big dogs of Oklahoma Class 6A, Stillwater, Edmond North and Broken Arrow, did battle one last time in the individual state tournament.
After losing to Broken Arrow in the dual state final, Stillwater flipped the script, racking up five state champions and scoring 143 points. Edmond North, which got titles from Dixon triplets Joel (182), Lance (220) and Andrew Dixon (285) and Derek White (195), scored 122, with Broken Arrow (104) finishing third. The three schools combined for 10 of the 14 champions.
Among Stillwater’s champions was Chandler Rogers (170), who added an Oklahoma title to the three he won in Washington. Kaid Brock (132) and Joe Smith (145) each won their second titles.
There was little drama in the other three classes, with Collinsville (5A), Tuttle (4A) and Perry (3A) each breezing to double titles.
This weekend’s slate: California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey among tourney closers
The last weekend of state tournament action has a last, but not least quality to it.
Several of the most talent-laden state tournaments in the country take place this weekend: California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as Maryland. Additionally, the New England Championships take place at Providence, R.I. The New Jersey tournament brings down the curtain with medal matches and championship finals on Sunday.
Here’s the docket for the Grand Finale:
California: Mar. 7-8 at Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield.
Maryland: Public Individual, Mar. 7-8 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
New England: Sanctioned, Mar. 7-8 at Providence Career and Technical Center, Providence, R.I.
New Jersey: Individual, Mar. 7-9 at the Boardwalk Convention Center, Atlantic City.
Pennsylvania: Individual, Mar. 6-8 at the Giant Center, Hershey.