What are the top individual match-ups at National Duals?

Updated: February 19, 2015

By Mike Finn

NEWTON, Iowa — While this weekend’s NWCA National Duals will involve six teams that rank among WIN’s Top-10 dual teams, there are also seven top-ranked individuals who will compete in the 27th-annual event that will be held Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

How many of them could see their probable NCAA top seed challenged this weekend.

Ohio State’s Logan Stieber, the three-time NCAA champion and top-ranked 141-pounder, overcame such a challenge in last weekend’s NWCA National Dual Regionals as the Buckeye senior defeated No. 2-ranked Mitchell Port of Edinboro. Stieber’s toughest opponents this weekend could be Minnesota’s No.-4 Nick Dardanes and Missouri’s No.-6 Lavion Mayes.

Among the other top-ranked wrestlers competing in the National Duals is Illinois’ 125-pound Jesse Delgado, the two-time defending NCAA champion, who will face Missouri’s No. 2-ranked Alan Waters in a quarterfinal match-up between the two schools. Other highly ranked wrestlers at 125 pounds are Iowa’s No. 5 Thomas Gilman and Ohio State’s No. 7 Nathan Tomasello.

At 133 pounds, Minnesota’s top-ranked Chris Dardanes could face Iowa’s No. 6 Cory Clark and Illinois’ No. 7-ranked Zane Richards.

If the seeds hold up and lead to a meeting between No. 1 Iowa and No. 2 Missouri on Sunday, there could be a match-up at 149 pounds between the Hawkeyes’ No. 3-ranked Brandon Sorensen and the Tigers’ top-ranked Drake Houdashelt.

At 157 pounds, Minnesota’s top-ranked Dylan Ness could meet No. 2-ranked Isaiah Martinez of Illinois, while No. 4 Brian Realbuto of Cornell will also compete in this year’s Duals.

At 184 pounds, Cornell’s top-ranked Gabe Dean will face his toughest challenge in the first round when the Big Red battle Lehigh and Dean will likely see the Mountain Hawks’ No. 5-ranked Nathaniel Brown.

Missouri’s J’den Cox, the defending NCAA champ at 197 pounds, could face Minnesota’s No. 5-rated Scott Schiller and Iowa’s No. 6 Nathan Burak.

The following is a preview of this year’s quarterfinal dual match-ups and probable meetings of wrestlers ranked by WIN.


Quarterfinals, Saturday, Feb. 21, Noon CST


No. 1 Iowa (15-0) vs. Chattanooga (12-5)

125 — #5 Thomas Gilman (Iowa), So. vs. #8 Sean Boyle, Sr.

133 — #6 Cory Clark (Iowa), So. vs. #15 Nick Soto, Sr.

Other Ranked Wrestlers:

Iowa — 141: #8. Josh Dziewa Sr.; 149: #3 Brandon Sorensen, RSFr.; 157: #14 Mike Kelly, Sr.; 165: #13 Nick Moore, Sr.; 174: #3 Mike Evans, Sr.; 184: #8 Sam Brooks, So.; #6 Nathan Burak, Jr.; Hwt: #4 Bobby Telford, Sr.

Chattanooga — none


No. 4 Minnesota (12-2) vs. No. 5 Cornell (15-1)

133 — #1 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota), Sr. vs. #18 Mark Grey, So.

157 — #1 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), Sr. vs. #4 Brian Realbuto, So.

174 — #4 Logan Storley (Minnesota), Sr. vs. #20 Duke Pickett, Jr.

184 — #13 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota), So. vs. #1 Gabe Dean, So.

197 — #5 Scott Schiller (Minnesota), Sr. vs. #10 Jace Bennett, Sr.

Other Ranked Wrestlers:

Minnesota — 141: #4 Nick Dardanes, Sr.; Hwt: #16 Michael Kroells, So.

Cornell — 125: #3 Nahshon Garrett, Jr.; 149: #5 Chris Villalonga, Sr.; 165: #9 Dylan Palacio, So.


No. 3 Ohio State (13-3) vs. No. 14 Lehigh (13-4)

133 — #10 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State) Jr. vs. #11 Mason Beckman, Jr.

141 — #1 Logan Steiber (Ohio State), Sr. vs. #20 Randy Cruz, Jr.

157 — #9 Josh Demas (Ohio State), Sr. vs. #20 Mitch Minotti, So.

197 — #3 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State), Fr. vs. #11 Elliot Riddick, So.

Other Ranked Wrestlers

Ohio State — 125: #7 Nathan Tomasello, RSFr.; 165: #5 Bo Jordan, RSFr.; 174: #17 Mark Martin, Jr.; Hwt: #17 Nick Tavanello, So.

Lehigh — 184: #5 Nathaniel Brown, Sr.


No. 2 Missouri (21-0) vs. No. 9 Illinois (13-4)

125 — #2 Alan Waters (Missouri), Sr. vs. #1 Jesse Delgado, Sr.

141 — #6 Lavion Mayes (Missouri), So. vs. #12 Steven Rodrigues, Jr.

174 — #5 John Eblen (Missouri), Sr. vs. #6 Zac Brunson, So.

184 — #12 Willie Miklus (Missouri), RSFr. vs. #19 Nikko Reyes, So.

Other Ranked Wrestlers:

Illinois — 133: #7 Zane Richards, So.; 157: #2 Isaiah Martinez, RSFr.; 165: #8 Jackson Morse, Sr.

Missouri — 149: #1 Drake Houdashelt, Sr.; 197: #1 J’den Cox, So.; Hwt: #10 Devin Mellon, Sr.


Semifinal, Saturday, Feb. 21, 3 p.m. CST

Iowa-Chattanooga winner vs. Minnesota-Cornell winner

Missouri-Illinois winner vs. Ohio State-Lehigh winner


Championship & Third-Place Dual, Feb. 22, 11:30 a.m. CST