Griffith’s upset of Marinelli in quarters keeps Stanford name alive

Updated: March 19, 2021

Photo: Stanford’s Shane Griffith scored this takedown to upset Iowa’s No. 1-ranked Alex Marinelli to advance to Friday evening’s semifinals at 165 pounds. (John Sachs photo)

By Mike Finn

ST. LOUIS — The Stanford wrestling program is still fighting to save its future after the California university announced last spring that the 2020-21 season would be the last for the Cardinal.

But Stanford sophomore Shane Griffith made sure the Cardinal wrestling name would continue to battle heading into Friday night’s semifinals as the No. 8 seed stunned Iowa’s top-ranked Alex Marinelli, 3-1, in sudden victory at 165 pounds to highlight the quarterfinal round of the 2021 NCAAs being held in the Enterprise Center.


D1 Brackets_after session 4


This came a day after Stanford’s Real Woods, seeded No. 21,  upset Oklahoma’s No. 5 seed Dom Demas at 141 pounds. Wood lost his quarterfinal to NC State’s Tariq Wilson, 3-1, but will still get a chance to wrestle for All-American honors later this evening. Two other Stanford wrestlers — 149-pound Jaden Abas and heavyweight Nathan Traxler — also remain alive for Top-8 honors after winning their third wrestle back today.

For Marinelli, it marked the second straight national tournament that the Hawkeye was upset in the quarterfinals while he was the No. 1 seed. In 2019, Marinelli was upset by Virginia Tech’s eventual NCAA Mekhi Lewis. Oddly and sadly, the Hokie — who hoped to add another All-American honor after redshirting last winter — was forced to medically forfeit his quarterfinal bout to Bucknell’s Zach Hartman.

Overall, top-ranked Iowa remained in a good position to capture the school’s 24th all-time team championship and first since 2010 by leading the field with 73.5 points, 16 points ahead of second-place Penn State (53.5). Five Hawkeyes — Spencer Lee (125), Austin DeSanto (133), Jaydin Eierman (141), Michael Kemerer (174) and heavyweight Anthony Cassioppi advanced to the semifinals that will begin at 7 p.m. (CDT). Penn State’s four semifinalists include Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141), Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (184)

The remaining nine top-seeds all advanced to the semifinals, including Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin, who was forced to score a takedown with five seconds left to edge North Dakota State’s Jared Franek, 5-4.

Four of tonight’s semifinals will include the top four seeds at those weights.

Among the biggest exceptions will be at 197 pounds where Oklahoma’s No. 26 seed Jake Woodley will be a semifinalist. Meanwhile, a pair of freshman qualified for the semis in their first tournament: Rutgers’ John Poznansk (184) and Oklahoma State’s A.J. Ferrari (197)

Click here to view quarterfinal highlights of every weight class.

2021 NCAA Div. I Semifinalists

125 pounds

#1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. #4 Drew Hildebrandt (Central Michigan)

#3 Brandon Courtney (Arizona State) vs. #7 Taylor Lamont (Utah Valley)

133 pounds

#1 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State) vs. #4 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)

#3 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech) vs. #2 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)

141 pounds

#1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) vs. #4 Tariq Wilson (NC State)

#3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) vs. #2 Nick Lee (Penn State)

149 pounds

#1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. #4 Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State)

#3 Brock Mauller (Missouri) vs. #2 Austin O’Connor (North Carolina)

157 pounds

#1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. #4 Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider)

#3 David Carr (Iowa State) vs. #2 Hayden Hidlay (NC State)

165 pounds

#8 Shane Griffith (Stanford) vs. #5 Zach Hartman (Bucknell)

#3 Jake Wentzel (Pitt) vs. #7 Ethan Smith (Ohio State)

174 pounds

#1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) vs. #12 Bernie Truax (Cal Poly)

#3 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. #2 Demertrius Romero (Utah Valley)

184 pounds

#1 Aaron Brooks (Iowa) vs. #4 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa)

#6 John Poznanski (Rutgers) vs. #2 Trent Hidlay (NC State)

197 pounds

#1 Myles Amine (Michigan) vs. #4 A.J. Ferrari (Oklahoma State)

#6 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) vs. #26 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma)


#1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. #5 Anthony Cassioppi (Iowa)

#6 Gannon Gremmels (Iowa State) vs. #2 Mason Parris (Michigan)


Top 15 Team Scores After the Quarterfinals

Pl. School (Semifinalists) Points
1. Iowa (5) 73.5
2. Penn State (4) 57.5
3. Oklahoma State (2) 49.5
4. NC State (2) 46
5. Missouri (1) 38.5
6. Michigan 2) 35
7. Ohio State (2) 32.5
8. Arizona State (1) 31.5
8. Minnesota (1) 31.5
10. Rutgers (2) 27
11. Pitt (1) 26.5
12. Iowa State (1) 25.5
13. Northwestern (1) 22.5
14. Virginia Tech (1) 21.5
15. North Carolina (1) 20.5
15. Utah Valley (1) 20.5

Other Schools with Semifinalists




Oklahoma (1)



21. Central Michigan (1) 16.5
23. Rider (1) 13
29. Bucknell (1) 11