The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Virginia Tech to play waiting game for first-ever NCAA trophy
(Photo: Virginia Tech’s Nick Brascetta ended his career on a high note when the 157-pound Hokie defeated Cornell’s Dylan Palacio for third place Saturday afternoon in Madison Square Garden.)
NEW YORK — There is no question Penn State is the best college wrestling team this year, considering the Nittany Lions feature five finalists and lead second-place Oklahoma State (with two finalists) by a 14.5-point margin heading into Saturday night’s finals.
But Saturday’s afternoon’s All-American round drama suggested that there are four schools — Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Iowa and Ohio State — that are still in the running for the three remaining team trophies … as 11 points separate these schools.
Of these schools, the Virginia Tech Hokies, whose highest national finish is eighth place, will not have a wrestler in the finals. The Hokies need for all three of Iowa’s finalists — Thomas Gilman (125), Cory Clark (133) and Brandon Sorensen (149) — and Ohio State’s finalists — Myles Martin (174) and Kyle Snyder (Hwt) — to lose to keep their standing in the final results.
A victory by any of these finalists will give each school at least four points per decision.
Finishing in the top four would garner Virginia Tech it’s first-ever NCAA trophy. The Hokies, who have secured a school-record six All-Americans, lost a team point during a consolation semifinal when Nick Brascetta was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in his victory over Rider’s Chad Walsh.
Among Tech’s most impressive All-Americans was Zach Epperly, who ended up winning seven straight wrestle backs, the final one — a third-place win over Penn’s Casey Kent — to avenge a first-round loss to the Quaker on Thursday.
Top 10 Team Scores heading into Finals
|1.||Penn State (5)||114.0|
|2.||Oklahoma State (2)||89.5|
|3.||Virginia Tech (0)||82.0|
|5.||Ohio State (2)||78.0|
|10.||NC State (1)||49.0|
The following is a look at the highlights of the 2016 NCAA All-American placement matches.
3rd — #1 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio St.) dec. #15 David Terao (American U.), 5-3 — The Buckeye sophomore used a third-period (1:21 left) takedown to clinch third place, but the native of Honolulu, Hawaii, earned a standing ovation after giving the national champ such a close bout. Terao appeared to put take the Buckeye to his back in the second period but the video challenge did not overturn the call.
5th — UN Conor Youtsey (Michigan) won by medical forfeit over Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) — The Panther was unable to wrestle after tweaking an injured knee in consolation semifinal to American’s David Terao.
7th — #5 Ryan Millhof (Oklahoma) dec. #10 Connor Schram (Stanford), 1-0 — The Sooner scored the match’s only point on an escape
3rd — #4 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) dec. #3 Zane Richards (Illinois), 9-4 — A high crotch takedown gave the defending national champ a 7-4 lead with 51 seconds left in the second period before the four-time OU All-American added a 1:03 riding time advantage.
5th — #7 Eric Montoya (Nebraska) dec. #5 Jordan Conaway (Penn State), 7-4 — Trailing 4-2 after a pair of takedowns by the Nittany Lion, the Husker caught Conaway in a turk for four-point nearfall that also led to a 1:18 riding time advantage.
7th — #8 Earl Hall (Iowa St.) won by TF over UN Jade Rauser (Utah Valley) 17-1, (2:16) — The Cyclone took the Wolverine straight to back as the bout started and added another four-point nearfall within the first minute of the bout, then did it again with 44 seconds left in the first frame.
3rd — #2 Joey McKenna (Stanford) dec. #4 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers), 7-6 — In a battle of former New Jersey preps, McKenna (formerly of Blair Academy) scored his second takedown with 1:38 to beat the former four-time NJ state champ. A second-period reversal gave McKenna a 4-1 lead before the Scarlet Knight escaped and scored a takedown with 1:07 left in the period.
5th — #12 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion) dec. #7 Solomon Chishko (Virginia Tech), 5-3 — The Monarch scored the winning takedown with 26 seconds left moments after earning an escape to tie the bout. Both wrestlers exchanced reversals in the second period.
7th — #8 Joseph Ward (North Carolina) dec. #16 Randy Cruz (Lehigh) 3-1 sv — The Tar Heel scored the bout’s only takedown on a double leg with 37 seconds left in the overtime period.
3rd — #3 Lavion Mayes (Missouri) dec. #11 Anthony Collica (Oklahoma St.), 3-2 — A takedown off a double leg with 32 seconds left in the first period held up to be the winning margin for the Tiger, who added a third-period escape.
5th — #10 Mike DePalma (Kent St.) pinned Alec Pantaleo (Michigan), 3:30 — The former transfer from Edinboro ended his career on a high note by twice putting the Wolverine on his back; the second ending in a fall.
7th — #9 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) dec. Geo Martinez (Boise State), 5-1 — The redshirt freshman scored takedowns in the first and second periods and added a 2:16 riding time advantage.
3rd — #8 Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech) dec. #5 Dylan Palacio (Cornell), 4-1 — The Hokie scored the bout’s only takedown with 39 seconds left in the second, then added a 1:10 riding time advantage.
5th — #15 Chad Walsh (Rider) won by medical forfeit over Ian Miller (Kent St.) — The Golden Flash was unable to wrestle in either wrestleback on Saturday after injuring his leg in the semifinal loss to Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez on Friday night.
7th — #6 Joseph Smith (Oklahoma St.) dec. #2 Thomas Gantt (NC State), 6-3 — The Cowboy freshman scored two takedowns, the second coming off an inside single with 1:28 left in the second for the victory.
3rd — #3 Bo Jordan (Ohio St.) dec. Daniel Lewis (Missouri), 9-7 — The Tiger led 5-2 in the second period before the Buckeye exploded with a reversal, two takedowns and a 2:06 riding time advantage.
5th — #6 Steven Rodrigues (Illinois) dec. #14 David McFadden (Virginia Tech), 8-5 — The Illini, a native of New York, enjoyed his homecoming even more when he clinched the victory on a double with 1:44 left, then added a 2:05 riding time advantage.
7th — #10 Austin Wilson (Nebraska) dec. #7 Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers), 4-2 — Trailing 1-0 entering the third period, the Husker scored his only takedown with 1:28 left, then added a 2:25 riding time advantage.
3rd — #8 Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech) dec. UN Casey Kent (Pennsylvania), 8-4 — The Hokie avenged his first-round loss to the Quaker and ended the tournament on a seven-match winning streak by scoring a first-period takedown, second-period penalty point and reversal with 1:05 left.
5th — #12 Nathan Jackson (Indiana) dec. UN Lelund Weatherspoon (Iowa St.), 5-2 — After giving ups a first-period takedown to the Cyclone, the Hoosier responded with two escape, a second-period takedown and a 2:17 riding time advantage.
7th — #7 Cody Walters (Ohio) dec. #13 Alex Meyer (Iowa), 4-3 — After the Hawkeye rode Walters the entire second period, the Bobcat scored a takedown then added a reversal with six seconds left to lead 4-2.
3rd — #13 Pete Renda (NC State) won by TF over #8 Nolan Boyd (Oklahoma St.), 18-3 — The Wolfpacker led 10-3 after one period — after securing two takedowns a reversal and two-point nearfall and built up nearly six minutes of riding time.
5th — #9 Mathew Miller (Navy) dec. Willie Miklus (Missouri), 4-2 — The Midshipmen earned a standing ovation after he scored a second-period takedown and third-period reversal.
7th — #10 Nate Brown (Lehigh) dec. #2 Sammy Brooks (Iowa), 9-3 — The defending national runner-up used a four-point nearfall to lead 4-0 in the second period, then swapped takedowns with the Hawkeye before adding a 1:49 riding time advantage.
3rd — #3 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) dec. Nathan Burak (Iowa), 2-1 — A 1:23 riding time advantage, which came after riding the Hawkeye for 1:32 in the second period, provided the winning margin for the Gopher.
5th — UN Patrick Downey (Iowa St.) pinned Jared Haught (Virginia Tech), 3:48 — The Cyclone was trailing 3-1 — following a first-period takedown by the Hokie — when Downey hit a throw with 1:12 left in the second period.
7th — #5 Conner Hartmann (Duke) major dec. #7 Brett Harner (Princeton) 11-2 — The Blue Devil’s used a four-point nearfall to lead 8-0 with 31 seconds left in the second period, then added a 3:09 riding time advantage.
3rd — #5 Adam Coon (Michigan) pinned Ty Walz (Virginia Tech), 7:57 sv — The Wolverine had already clinched the victory when he scored the bout’s only takedown with eight seconds left — giving him a 3-1 lead — then added two more team points with the fall.
5th — #7 Amarveer Dhesi (Oregon St.) pinned Austin Marsden (Oklahoma St.), 1:29
7th — #9 Michael Kroells (Minnesota) dec. #8 Max Wessell (Lehigh), 5-2 — The Gopher ended the Minnesota on a positive note after he led 3-2 after two periods.