The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Maryland’s Cochran and Missouri among biggest winners at Southern Scuffle
Photos: Maryland’s Kyle Cochran (left) improved his 2021-22 record to 14-1 after the unranked Terp beat three nationally-ranked wrestlers to win the 184-pound Southern Scuffle championship, Jan. 2, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Meanwhile, Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole (right) was one of two champs and nine place winners for the team champion Tigers. (Sam Janicki photos)
Editor’s Note: WIN Magazine will announce its next weekly rankings on Tuesday, Jan. 4, one day after Michigan and Arizona State are slated to wrestle in Austin, Texas. Also, additional features from the 2022 Southern Scuffle will appear in the upcoming issue of WIN Magazine on Jan. 14.
By Mike Finn
Maryland wrestling has dealt with tough times since 2014 — the last time the Terps had a winning season — going a combined 21-93 in dual competition, 1-61 against Big Ten opponents and finishing last in the Big Ten in five of the last seven years.
And Terp Kyle Cochran unfortunately has witnessed much of that pain as the senior had posted an average record of 31-29 over four years before this season. But the native of Paramus, N.J., is helping change that culture, especially Jan. 1-2, when he won all five bouts, including against three nationally-ranked wrestlers to win the 184-pound championship at the 2022 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
After beating Missouri’s No. 10-ranked Jeremiah Kent, 5-0, in the quarterfinals, Cochran created perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament when he edged Virginia Tech All-American and No. 9-ranked Hunter Bolen, 6-4, to reach the finals. In the championship match, Cochran rode Cornell’s Jonathan Loew the entire second period for an eventual 4-1 victory to improve his season’s record to 14-1.
The University of Missouri dominated the team race with a 175.5-109.5 margin over second-place North Dakota State as Keegan O’Toole (165 pounds) and Rocky Elam (197) won individual titles for the Tigers.
The remaining nine individual champions included Minnesota’s Pat McKee (125), Michigan State’s Rayvon Foley (133), Stanford’s Real Woods (141), Duke’s Josh Finesilver (149), North Dakota State’s Jared Franek (157), South Dakota State’s Cade Devos (174) and Air Force’s Wyatt Hendrickson (Hwt).
Hendrickson earned The Gorrarian Award (most pins in fewest amount of time) and Most Outstanding Wrestler Award.
Woods, who is now a two-time Scuffle champion, is also a two-time NCAA qualifier, who did not start wrestling this winter until the Reno TOC in mid-December.
Many of the wrestlers competing in the college tournament — that started in 2003 and is held every winter before it was cancelled a year ago because of the pandemic — are considered non-starters this winter. That included 2021 NCAA All-American Michael Beard, who settled for second place at 197 pounds, and Minnesota’s redshirt freshman Aaron Nagao, who also took second at 133 pounds.
Another previous non-starter to finish high at the Scuffle was Iowa freshman Drake Ayala, who placed third at 125 pounds after winning two matches against Missouri’s nationally-ranked Noah Surtin. The young Hawkeye, whose only loss in Chattanooga came in the semifinals against eventual champ Pat McKee of Minnesota, has been redshirting this season. But there is speculation that Iowa may take the redshirt off Ayala after three-time NCAA champion and two-time Hodge Trophy winner Spencer Lee had knee surgery and is out for the season.
Ayala, a native of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, said the following to Flowrestling’s Andy Hamilton: “You guys know as much as me. If they choose for me to step out there I’m going to be ready, and if not I’m going to trust my coaches.”
2022 Southern Scuffle
Jan. 1-2 • Chattanooga, Tenn.
Top 10 Schools
|2.||North Dakota State||109.5|
|6.||South Dakota State||76|
2022 Southern Scuffle Placewinners
1st – Pat McKee (Minnesota) won by med. forfeit over Killian Cardinale (West Virginia)
3rd – Drake Ayala (Iowa) dec. Noah Surtin (Missouri), 14-10 SV
5th – Caleb Smith (Appalachian State) won by med. forfeit over Fabian Gutierrez (Chattanooga)
7th – Greg Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. Eddie Ventresca (Virginia Tech), 5-3 SV
1st – Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) dec. Aaron Nagao (Minnesota), 2-0
3rd – Brayden Palmer (Chattanooga) dec. Cullan Schriever (Iowa), 4-2 SV
5th – Trey Crawford (Missouri) dec. Codi Russell (Appalachian State), 9-7 SV
7th – Ethan Fernandez (Spartan Combat RTC) major dec. Ethan Oakley (Appalachian State), 16-4
1st – Real Woods (Stanford) dec. Allan Hart (Missouri), 4-0
3rd – Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) won by med. forfeit over Clay Carlson (South Dakota State)
5th – Wyatt Henson (Iowa) won by med. forfeit over Vince Cornella (Spartan Combat RTC)
7th – Quinn Kinner (Rider) won by med. forfeit over Josh Saunders (Cornell)
1st – Josh Finesilver (Duke) dec. Josh Edmond (Missouri), 11-10
3rd – Victor Voinovich (Oklahoma State) won by injury default over Gaven Sax (North Dakota Statea), 4-0 5:41
5th – Chris Sandoval (Northern Colorado) won by med. forfeit over Alex Madrigal (George Mason)
7th – John Arceri (Buffalo) dec. Jeff Boyd (West Virginia), 3-1 SV
1st – Jared Franek (North Dakota St) dec. Chase Saldate (Michigan State), 6-3
3rd – Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) dec. Hunter Richard (Cornell), 6-4
5th – Brock Mauller (Missouri) dec. AJ Kovacs (North Carolina St), 8-4
7th – Jalin Harper (Oklahoma State) dec. Alex Hornfeck (West Virginia), 2-1
1st – Keegan O’Toole (Missouri) major Peyton Hall (West Virginia), 13-4
3rd – Cael Carlson (Minnesota) pinned William Formato (Appalachian State), 6:15
5th – Luke Weber (North Dakota St) won by med. forfeit over Patrick Kennedy (Iowa)
7th – R.J. Mosley (Gardner-Webb) won by med. forfeit over Thomas Bullard (North Carolina State)
1st – Cade Devos (South Dakota St) dec. Peyton Mocco (Missouri), 3-2
3rd – Bailee O’Reilly (Minnesota) dec. Austin Brenner (North Dakota State), 5-4
5th – Matt Finesilver (Duke) major dec. Brennan Swafford (Iowa), 14-0
7th – Andrew Berreyesa (Cornell) won by medical forfeit Tyler Eischens (Stanford)
1st – Kyle Cochran (Maryland) dec. Jon Loew (Cornell), 4-1
3rd – Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech) dec. Jeremiah Kent (Missouri), 9-5 SV
5th – Layne Malczewski (Michigan State) won by med. forfeit over Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota)
7th – Gavin Stika (Oklahoma State) dec. D.J. Parker Jr. (North Dakota State), 7-3
1st – Rocky Elam (Missouri) won by injury default over Michael Beard (Penn State), 5-0 3:00
3rd – Cam Caffey (Michigan State) dec. Tanner Sloan (South Dakota St), 8-6
5th – Andy Smith (Virginia Tech) won by medical forfeit over Alan Clothier (Northern Colorado)
7th – Jaron Smith (Maryland) pinned Garrett Joles (Minnesota), 1:31
1st – Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force) pinned Lewis Fernandes (Cornell), 1:33
3rd – Brandon Metz (North Dakota State) dec. Aaron Costello (Iowa), 3-1
5th – Tyrie Hougton (NC State) dec. Owen Trephan (NC State), 2-2 tb
7th – Austin Harris (Oklahoma State) dec. Michael Mcaleavey (The Citadel), 7-1