2023 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Notebook • 149 pounds

WIN Magazine will provide notes and quotes about the 149-pound wrestlers at the 2023 NCAA Division I Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

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Semifinals (March 17 – 7 p.m.)

#1 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. #12 Shayne Van Ness (Penn State), 8-2 — With just over a minute to go in the final period, the Nittany Lion freshman scored a go-ahead takedown to take a 3-2 advantage with under a minute to wrestle, but the three-time returning NCAA champion shot a double and fended off a defensive throw attempt by Van Ness to score takedown and back-points en route to his fourth NCAA finals appearance.

#2 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) major dec. #3 Kyle Parco (Arizona State), 14-2 — Sasso earned his second trip to the NCAA finals by dominating the third-seeded Sun Devil. The Buckeye scored four takedowns and four nearfall late to pull away in huge fashion for the surging Buckeyes.

Quarterfinals (March 17 – 11 a.m.)

#1 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. #8 Max Murin (Iowa), 8-7 – In the first meeting between these two, the three-time NCAA champ got a late scare by the Hawkeye who scored a takedown with 32 seconds left and nearly put the Big Red star on his back before Diakomihalis rolled through and moved on to his fourth all-time semifinal. Diakomihalis built his lead with two takedowns in the first period, a double in the second and a reversal to open the third period.

#12 Shane Van Ness (Penn State) dec. #20 Graham Rooks (Indiana), 10-7 – Despite a season record of 3-0 with two major decisions against Rooks, it was the Hoosier who jumped out to a 7-2 lead with three takedowns, but the freshman Nittany Lion mounted a furious comeback in the third period, scoring a takedown and two nearfall points on the edge of the mat while also adding a stall point and a riding time point to punch a ticket to the semifinals.

#3 Kyle Parco (Arizona State) dec. #6 Brock Mauller (Missouri), 4-3 – The Sun Devil recorded a second one-point win over the Tiger when he scored a takedown with 20 seconds left. This happened shortly after Mauller scored the first takedown of the bout with 48 seconds left to lead 3-1 before Parco tallied an escape and the winning takedown.

#2 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) dec. #7 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern), 2-1Just 27 seconds of riding time separated these two quarterfinalists, as Sasso improved to 3-0 on the year against his Wildcat foe.

Second Round (March 16 – 6 p.m.)

  • Three-time NCAA champ and No. 1 seed Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) locked up a cradle in the first minute and pinned true freshman No. 16 Jackson Arrington (NC State) who fought for over a minute on his back at the 2:11 mark.
  • No. 8 Max Murin (Iowa) used a second period takedown to defeat No. 9 Jaden Abas (Stanford), 3-1.
  • No. 12 Shayne Van Ness (Penn State) used a six-point move in the first period and never looked back, knocking off No. 5 Paniro Johnson (Iowa State), 14-8, to give the Nittany Lions their third quarterfinalist.
  • Two takedowns for No. 20 Graham Rooks (Indiana) earned the Hoosier his second upset victory of the day, this time over true freshman No. 4 Caleb Henson (Virginia Tech), 5-4.
  • Despite surrendering the first takedown, No. 3 Kyle Parco (Arizona State) fended off a late upper body throw attempt and converted it into a takedown of his own to knock off No. 14 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin), 6-3.
  • No. 6 Brock Mauller (Missouri), No. 7 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) and No. 2 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) all earned decision victories to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.

First Round (March 16 – 11 a.m. CDT)

  • Three-time NCAA Champ No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) topped alternate and former All-American No. 33 Dom Demas (Cal Poly), 6-1, on the strength of two takedowns, an escape and over four minutes of riding time.
  • In the wildest bout of the championships thus far, No. 21 Ethen Miller (Maryland) scored a takedown and successive tilts to jump out to an 8-0 lead on No. 12 Shayne Van Ness (Penn State) in the opening frame, but Van Ness stormed back with several takedowns and a feet-to-back scenario before securing a pin in the final 30 seconds.
  • No. 22 Chance Lamer (Michigan) surrendered the first takedown but used a second period escape and takedown to upend No. 11 Doug Zapf (Penn), 4-3.
  • Iowa State’s Paniro Johnson, seeded No. 5, avoided an upset by Ohio’s No. 28 Alec Hagan, who nearly scored a takedown in sudden victory before the ISU freshman earned a 2-1 tiebreaker victory.




All-American Round (March 18 – 10 a.m.)

Finals (March 18 – 6 p.m.)

Pre-NCAA Notes:

• Appalachian State’s Jon Millner, a two-time All-American, was forced to withdrawn from the Nationals because of an injury. The native Greensboro, N.C., had compiled a 29-3 record this season, won his fourth SoCon championship and entered the NCAAs with a 132-32 career record. After first qualifying in the cancelled 2020 NCAAs, the Mountaineer earned Top-8 honors the last two Nationals: 8th in 2021 and sixth last year. He was replaced in the bracket by Cal Poly’s Dom Demas.


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