2023 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Notebook • 174 pounds

WIN Magazine will provide notes and quotes about the 174-pound wrestlers at the 2023 NCAA Division I Championships in Tulsa, Okla.

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Semifinals (March 17 – 7 p.m.)

#1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) dec. #4 Chris Foca (Cornell), 6-0 — The two-time defending NCAA champion Nittany Lion handled the first-time All-American Big Red wrestler, scoring takedowns in the first and third period while adding an escape and riding time point to ensure a third-straight championship finals appearance.

#2 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) dec. #3 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech), 3-1 TB-1 — Setting up a final featuring two Pennsylvania natives, Labriola escaped in the first segment of the 30-second tiebreakers and chose neutral, as the Husker senior spun around for a late insurance takedown to earn his first trip to the NCAA finals.

Quarterfinals (March 17 – 11 a.m.)

#1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) dec. #8 Bailee O’Reilly (Minnesota), 5-2 — The two-time defending champ beat the Gopher for a second time this season; this coming when the Nittany Lion scored a pair of takedowns in the first period.

#4 Chris Foca (Cornell) fall #5 Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State), 1:54. — The first-time All-American for the Big Red broke an early 0-0 deadlock by throwing a headlock and planting the Cowboy in the first period.

#3 Mekhi Lewis (Va. Tech) dec. #11 Nelson Brands (Iowa), 2-0 — The 2019 national champ put a stamp on this victory when he rode the Hawkeye the entire third period; giving him an escape (in the second period) and a riding time point .

#2 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) dec. #7 Peyton Mocco (Missouri), 4-3 — A first period takedown and second period reversal was enough for the four-time All-American Husker to punch his ticket to the semifinals.

Second Round (March 16 – 6 p.m.)

  • Penn State’s defending national champ No. 1 Carter Starocci scored the match’s only takedown with 16 seconds left in the first period as he shut out Indiana’s No. 17 Donnell Washington, 4-0.
  • Minnesota’s No. 8 Bailey O’Reilly scored the match’s only takedown with 1:12 left in the first and added a riding time point for a 4-2 win over Illinois’ No. 9 Edmond Ruth.
  • Oklahoma State’s No. 5 Dustin Plott rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the second period by scoring three takedowns the rest of the way for a 10-6 win over Oregon State’s No. 12 Aaron Olmos.
  • A third-period escape and a riding time point provided the winning margin for the 2019 NCAA champ Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech as the No. 3 Hokie prevailed 5-4. Lewis jumped out with a takedown 48 seconds into the match before the Wildcat rallied to score a takedown and lead 4-3 after two periods.
  • Iowa’s No. 11 seed Nelson Brands scored a takedown with three seconds left in the first period that held up for a 3-1 upset of Ohio State’s No. 6 Ethan Smith.
  • Nebraska’s No. 2 Mikey Labriola scored a takedown with 38 seconds left to give the second-ranked Husker a 3-1 win over Utah Valley No. 15 Demetrius Romero.

First Round (March 16 – 11 a.m. CDT)

  • There were three first-period pins at this weight, including by Penn State’s top-ranked Carter Starocci over Clarion’s John Worthing in 1:21. Also flattening foes were South Dakota State’s #13 Cade DeVos over Central Michigan’s Alex Cramer in 2:13 and by Cornell’s No. 4 seed Chris Foca over Arizona State’s Cael Valencia in 2:22.
  • Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis, the 2019 NCAA champ and 2022 runner-up and seeded No. 3, got a scare from Rutgers’ 2021 All-American Jackson Turley before the Hokie held on to win 2-1. Lewis’ only points came on a second-period reversal.
  • Iowa’s Nelson Brands, seeded No. 11, scored a takedown and two-point nearfall with four seconds left to earn a 6-3 victory over NC State’s Alex Faison.
  • Northwestern’s No. 19 Troy Fisher scored a takedown with 1:02 left in sudden victory to upset Army No. 14 Ben Pasiuk, 10-8.
  • Missouri’s Peyton Mocco, seeded No. 7, scored a takedown with 1:03 left to beat Ohio’s No., 26 Sal Perrine, 3-1
  • Drexel’s Michael O’Malley, seeded No. 23, scored a takedown and four-point nearfall to lead 6-0 after one period, then held on to edge Chattanooga’s No. 10 Rocky Jordan, 8-7. The Moc scored two takedowns in the final period.




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

Finals (March 18 – 6 p.m.)

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