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149-Pound Scouting Report
Call it “Oliver’s Twist”, but Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver turned a few heads when the two-time finalist and 2011 champion at 133 pounds announced he was jumping up two weights for his senior season.
The move appears to be a great one for the Cowboy, who also earned All-American honors as a freshman in 2010 and will prepare to make the U.S. World freestyle team at 145.5 pounds this summer after competing at that weight last April.
In compiling a 33-0 record — including a Big 12 championship — the Cowboy also has pinned 17 foes entering his final Nationals. Only five victims have kept it within eight points of Oliver this season.
One of those who came close to beating the Cowboy was Minnesota’s Dylan Ness, a surprise national runner-up at last year’s NCAAs. He did not start competing this year until the Southern Scuffle and enters the NCAAs with just a 14-4 mark. But after losing by just a 6-4 margin to Oliver during the National Duals, the ever-exciting Gopher won the Big Ten championship by getting off his back to score a fall.
Oddly, the only year Oliver did not reach the NCAA finals was his freshman year when he lost to Jayson Ness — Dylan’s older brother — in a classic double-overtime thriller. The older sibling went on to win both the NCAA title and Hodge Trophy that March.
Meanwhile, there are four other seniors who want to end their careers on a positive note.
One is Boise State’s Jason Chamberlain, who took an Olympic redshirt last winter after earning his first All-American honor in 2011.
Another is Binghamton’s Donnie Vinson, who considered ending his career last season after graduating early. But after an incredible run in the NCAA wrestlebacks last March — after losing in the first round as a No. 4 seed — that earned him a third-place finish, the New York native would love to become the Bearcats’ first national champ.
Next is Air Force’s Cole VonOhlen, who qualified for his fourth national tournament, but is still looking for his first All-American honor. The Falcon suffered an injury while losing to Oliver during the Southern Scuffle final and competed just six times since that event and medically forfeit his final at the West Regional.
Finally, there is Columbia’s Steve Santos, who captured the recent EIWA championship, and also wants at least a first All-American honor after losing in the Round of 12 last March.
The following wrestlers, who could be lower seeds or unseeded at the Nationals, could provide some surprise upsets:
• Virginia Tech’s Nick Brascetta already caught the nation’s attention when he defeated Vinson for the Midlands championship in December. He enters his second Nationals with an ACC title.
• Purdue’s Ivan Lopouchanski started his career at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and represented that program at the national tournament until UNCG dropped wrestling two years ago. Since transferring to West Lafayette, the native of Russia has qualified for two Nationals. He finished third at the Big Ten tourney.
• Penn State’s Andrew Alton earned the Schalles Award for pinning two years ago when he missed All-American honors, then redshirted last winter. This year, the sophomore is 26-4 with 11 pins.