The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Wisman’s double a major nationals highlight
By Rob Sherrill
Looking at some of the outstanding accomplishments of the national tournaments just concluded, there were some great performances. But the headliner was turned in by junior Dylan Wisman of Winchester (Va.) Millbrook, the only wrestler to win titles both in the NHSCA High School Nationals and in the Flonationals.
Currently ranked No. 9 at 182 by WIN, Wisman, who won his first state title in February, posted an 11-0 record in the two tournaments. Six of those wins came in the NHSCA Junior Nationals March 27-28 at Virginia Beach, Va. That included four pins, three in the first period, and a pair of 3-1 decisions, the second over Iowa champion Cash Wilcke of Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove. At the Flonationals, Wisman went 5-0, following a first-round pin with four decisions by a combined 10 points. His final victory came over New York champion Christian Dietrich of Greene.
Last summer, as a sophomore wrestling in the Junior Division, Wisman was the only double All-American at Fargo, finishing fourth in both styles.
But there were plenty of other great performances. One came in the Flonationals, the other in the NHSCA Juniors.
120: Nick Piccinnini of Setauket (N.Y.) Ward Melville scored a 10-2 major decision over the nation’s top-ranked wrestler, Luke Pletcher of Greater Latrobe (Pa.). Piccinnini had a pin and a technical fall in posting a 7-0 record, but he entered the final having won his previous three matches by a total of five points. No stranger to close matches himself, Pletcher entered the final with three straight decisions.
220: At Virginia Beach, a pair of unbeaten juniors squared off in the final, and Kenneth Brinson of Atlanta (Ga.) Marist, who moved well up the charts in the last WIN ranking to No. 10, showed he isn’t done moving, edging three-time Kentucky champion Austin Myers of Alexandria Campbell County, 8-6. Brinson had two first-period pins and two decisions prior to the final, while Myers pinned three of his four opponents and added an 11-5 decision.
Finally, there were the redemption stories. Here are three, two from the Senior Nationals and one from the Flonationals.
126: After losing in overtime in a bid to repeat as California state champion at 126, Mason Pengilly of Porterville Monache took the Senior title at 120, 5-2 over Tyrone Klump of Nazareth (Pa.). Pengilly had three pins and an 8-2 decision prior to the finals.
145: Unable to defend his state title after suffering a season-ending injury in the conference tournament, Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer of Cheektowaga (N.Y.) scored an overtime takedown to edge three-time California champion Niko Villarreal of Gilroy to complete a 6-0 run to the Senior Nationals crown. That win also helped New York edge California, 238.5-236.5, for the state team title.
195: Undefeated entering the state tournament, Tom Sleigh of DuBois (Pa.) lost by a point in the quarterfinals and finished third. He made up for it by posting a 5-0 record and winning the Flonationals title. That run included a technical fall and two major decisions.