Dean pins his way to second straight Southern Scuffle title

Updated: January 2, 2015

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Southern Scuffle is not the NCAA Division I tournament, but many of the nation’s best wrestlers used this event, Jan. 1-2, to show where they stand three months before that nationals will be held in St. Louis, this March.

That includes Cornell’s Gabe Dean, who was among two wrestlers who won Southern Scuffle championships for a second straight year. It also helped the sophomore ready his regular-season resume — that took a hit early in December at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational where he finished fourth as the then top-ranked 184-pounder — by pinning Pitt’s Max Thomusseit (who took over the top spot from Dean) in the final Friday night in McKenzie Arena in 3:55.

“Vegas showed the pressure I felt with having the target on me,” said Dean, the Scuffle’s OW who earned the preseason No. 1 after winning last year’s Scuffle — beating the eventual three-time champ Ed Ruth of Penn State — and finishing third in last year’s NCAA tournament. “Then I had to get back to wrestling again. That’s what I learned from that.”

Also winning the Scuffle for a second straight year was Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer — ranked No. 1 at 165 after competing at 157 last year when he won a national championship — who defeated No. 2 Nick Sulzer of Virginia, 8-2, in this year’s Scuffle final

“I beat (Sulzer) in the beginning of the year (at the NWCA All-Star Classic, Nov. 1, in Philadelphia) and now I beat him at this time of the year,” said Dieringer, a junior from Pt. Washington, Wisc. “This lets me know where I am. I believe I’m way better than I was last March. My defense is better. I’m stronger and I’m up a weight.”

Perhaps the biggest upset of the championship matches came at 125 pounds, where Missouri’s Alan Waters, ranked No. 3 by WIN, defeated Cornell’s No. 2 Nahshon Garrett — last year’s Scuffle winner — by scoring a third-period reversal and earning a 1:24 riding time advantage for a 3-1 victory.

What made this even sweeter was it helped Waters avenge an NCAA third-place loss to Garrett in the 2013 NCAAs, which was the Tiger’s final match before an injury forced him to redshirt last season.

“It was not fun taking the redshirt year; sitting in the stands watching others compete,” Waters said. “But it gave me a chance to work on some of my weaknesses. I was able to take a step back and look at it from a different perspective.”

Missouri captured the most individual championships — as sophomores Lavion Mayes (141) and J’den Cox (197) earned titles — but the Tigers settled for second place behind Penn State — by a 165-150 — margin despite the fact that the Nittany Lions did not win an individual championship.

“This was an amazing team performance,” said PSU coach Cael Sanderson. “We didn’t have any champions and may not have finished strong but these guys scored a lot of bonus points. It was fun to see.”

Top 15 Schools (32 teams entered)

Pl.            School            Points

  1. Penn State 165
  2. Missouri 150
  3. Oklahoma State 135.5
  4. Nebraska 116
  5. Michigan 88.5
  6. Cornell 79.5
  7. Lehigh 79
  8. Pittsburgh 72
  9. Wyoming 57.5
  10. Virginia 51.5
  11. Iowa State 49.5
  12. Army 48
  13. Central Michigan 47.5
  14. Chattanooga 43.5
  15. North Carolina 42.5


Placement Matches

(WIN rankings before names)

125 pounds

1st Place Match – 3. Alan Waters (Missouri) dec. 2. Nahshon Garrett (Cornell ), 3-1

3rd Place Match – 20. Sean Boyle (Chattanooga) dec. 9. Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State), 11-9

5th Place Match – 17. Tim Lambert (Nebraska) dec. 10. Tyler Cox (Wyoming), 3-2

7th Place Match – 7. Jordan Conaway (Penn State) dec. NR Ben Willeford (Cleveland State), 10-4

133 pounds

1st Place Match – 15. Earl Hall (Iowa State) dec. 9. Rossi Bruno (Michigan), 5-2

3rd Place Match – 5. Mason Beckman (Lehigh) won in sudden victory – 1 over 7. James Gulibon (Penn State) (SV-1 3-1)

5th Place Match – 19. Kevin Devoy (Drexel) dec. 17. Mackenzie McGuire (Kent State), 4-2

7th Place Match – 20. Nick Soto (Chattanooga) dec. NR Troy Heilmann (North Carolina), 10-4

141 pounds

1st Place Match – 6. Lavion Mayes (Missouri) dec. 14. Geo Martinez (Boise State), 6-4

3rd Place Match – NR Anthony Abidin (Nebraska) dec. 7. Zachary Horan (Central Michigan), 2-1

5th Place Match – NR Joseph Ward (North Carolina) dec. NR Kade Moss (Penn State), 8-5)

7th Place Match – NR George Fisher (Michigan) dec. 12. Dean Heil (Oklahoma State), 9-3

149 pounds

1st Place Match – 2. Joshua Kindig (Oklahoma State) dec. 3. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri), 5-3

3rd Place Match – 10. (141) Edgar Bright (Pittsburgh) dec. 15. Zack Beitz (Penn State), 3-2

5th Place Match – NR Luke Frey (Penn State) pinned NR Tyler Berger (Nebraska), 1:31

7th Place Match – 18. Mike Racciato (Pittsburgh) dec. NR Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan), 3-2

157 pounds

1st Place Match – 2. James Green (Nebraska) dec. NR Jason Nolf (Penn State), 7-4

3rd Place Match – NR Tommy Gantt (North Carolina State) dec. NR Dylan Alton (Penn State), 5-2

5th Place Match – NR Aaron Walker (The Citadel) won by tech fall over 11. Russell Parsons (Army) (TF 20-5)

7th Place Match – 14. Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State) dec. NR Max Hvolbek (Stanford), 10-4

165 pounds

1st Place Match – 1. Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) dec. 2. Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 8-2

3rd Place Match – 14. Peyton Walsh (Navy) dec. NR Chandler Marstellar (Oklahoma State), 8-3

5th Place Match – NR Coleman Gracey (Army) dec. NR Marshall Peppelman (Lehigh), 4-0

7th Place Match – NR Ethan Ramos (North Carolina) dec. NR Dakota Friesth (Wyoming), 7-3)

174 pounds

1st Place Match – 1. Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) dec. 4. Matt Brown (Penn State), 3-2

3rd Place Match – NR John Eblen (Missouri) dec. 5. Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh), 7-3

5th Place Match – 17. Andy McCulley (Wyoming) won by medical forfeit over NR Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State)

7th Place Match – 6. Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State) won in sudden victory – 1 over 19. Jordan Rogers (Oklahoma State) (SV-1 10-8)

 184 pounds

1st Place Match – 2. Gabe Dean (Cornell ) pinned 1. Max Thomusseit (Pittsburgh), 3:55

3rd Place Match – 5. Nate Brown (Lehigh) pinned NR Matt McCutcheon (Penn State), 5:00

5th Place Match – 17. Domenic Abounader (Michigan) dec. 18. Willie Miklus (Missouri), 4-3

7th Place Match – 11. Nolan Boyd (Oklahoma State) won by forfeit over NR Timothy Dudley (Nebraska)

197 pounds

1st Place Match – 1. J`Den Cox (Missouri) dec. 5. Conner Hartmann (Duke), 6-1

3rd Place Match – 6. Morgan McIntosh (Penn State) dec. 14. Elliot Riddick (Lehigh), 4-3

5th Place Match – 15. Jace Bennett (Cornell ) won by medical forfeit over 8. Max Huntley (Michigan)

7th Place Match – 11. Shane Woods (Wyoming) won in sudden victory – 1 over 19. Zach Nye (Virginia) (SV-1 3-1)


1st Place Match – 4. Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State) dec. 5. Adam Coon (Michigan), 7-4

3rd Place Match – NR Jon Gingrich (Penn State) dec. 14. Devin Mellon (Missouri) (Dec 3-2)

5th Place Match – 19. Riley Shaw (Cleveland State) won by medical forfeit over NR Nick Nevills (Penn State)

7th Place Match – NR Mimmo Lytle (Kent State) dec. NR Jacob Kettler (George Mason) (Dec 5-2)