By Kyle Bratke, Special to TheMat.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 1 Minnesota continued to roll on the first day of competition at the EAS Sports Nutrition/NWCA National Duals. Fresh off a win over previous No. 1 Penn State last week, the Golden Gophers had an opening round bye, then dominated in the quarterfinals with a 35-3 win over North Dakota State.
Minnesota was led by David Thorn (133) and Dylan Ness (149), who both recorded falls. With the win, Minnesota advances to the semifinals tomorrow afternoon and a showdown with Big Ten rival Ohio State.
“I think the guys showed tonight that they’re ready. They’re wrestling hard,” head J Robinson. “Tom Ryan brings a group of guys forward that wrestle hard, that wrestle intense, and that’s what we have to be ready for tomorrow.”
Host Ohio State, ranked No. 13 nationally and seeded fourth, advanced to the showdown with the top ranked Gophers after a 32-4 blowout of in-state rival Kent State. The Golden Flashes had upset Iowa State in the first round, 19-16. The two teams met earlier in the season, with the Buckeyes coming away with a 27-6 victory.
Ohio State started and ended the dual with technical falls, the first from 125-pounder Nick Roberts, who stopped Alfredo Gray 15-0, and the last from heavyweight Kosta Karageorge over Mimo Lytle 18-0. Kent State’s only win on the night came at 174 pounds when Caleb Marsh earned a 12-1 major decision over Jacob Bresciani.
Buckeye head Coach Tom Ryan knows what Minnesota will bring into tomorrow’s match, and understands that it will be one of his team’s toughest tests of the year.
“They’re tough. You’ve gotta be ready every second. Those guys come at you. They constantly move forward, they constantly pressure you, so it will be another level of intensity tomorrow,” Ryan said.
In the bottom half of the bracket, second-seeded Cornell rolled to 34-0 shutout win over Virginia Tech. Like Minnesota, Cornell had a bye in the first round.
The Big Red, ranked No. 4 nationally, won every close match, and then received bonus point performances from 184 pounder Gabe Dean, 16-7 over Nick Vetterlein, and 197-pounder Jace Bennett who upset Chris Penny with a third period fall.
In two consecutive ranked showdowns, returning all-American Mike Nevinger edged Eric Spjut 1-0 at 141, and Chris Villalonga bested all-American Zach Neibert 2-1 in tiebreaker 1 at 149. Top ranked Nahshon Garrett also continued to roll with a 7-2 decision over freshman Joey Dance at 125. Cornell remains unbeaten in dual meets so far this season.
Big Red head coach Rob Koll is excited for tomorrow’s semifinals, but says he hasn’t looked at the matchups yet.
“It doesn’t really matter what the matchups are, we can’t do anything about it. We’re not going to be able to juggle the lineup. We are what we are. We’re going to put our best guys out on the mat and if we win that’s great and if we don’t, we’ll lick our wounds and get ready for nationals.”
No. 11 ranked Oklahoma advances to the semifinals after wins over Bloomsburg and upset minded Central Michigan. The third-seeded Sooners knocked off the Chippewas 25-16 in the quarterfinals thanks to pins from returning national champion Kendrick Maple over Scott Mattingly at 149, and heavyweight Ross Larsen over Adam Robinson.
However, Central Michigan grabbed big wins at 133 and 141 when Joe Roth beat Cody Brewer 10-7, and Zach Horan downed Nick Lester 4-2. In another ranked matchup, No. 1 Andrew Howe bested No. 9 Mike Ottinger 4-2 at 174 pounds.
Sooner head coach Mark Cody is excited for tomorrow’s showdown with Cornell.
“I expect that to be a really good scrap tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a great match,” Cody said.
Monday’s action gets underway at 11 a.m. with the consolation quarterfinals. Virginia Tech takes on Chattanooga, Central Michigan faces off with Iowa State, Illinois will showdown with Kent State, and Oregon State will square off with North Dakota State.
Championship semifinal action begins at 1 p.m. with live coverage on Big Ten Network, and the placing rounds at 4 p.m., also on the Big Ten Network.
Click for complete results on Track Wrestling
NWCA NATIONAL DUALS
At Columbus, Ohio, February 16
CORNELL 34, VIRGINIA TECH 0
125 - Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) over Joey Dance (Virginia Tech) Dec 7-2; 133 - Mark Grey (Cornell) over Dennis Gustafson (Virginia Tech) Dec 3-1;141 - Michael Nevinger (Cornell) over Erik Spjut (Virginia Tech) Dec 1-0; 149 - Christopher Villalonga (Cornell) over Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) TB-1 2-1; 157 - Brian Realbuto (Cornell) over Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech) Dec 6-5; 165 - Dylan Palacio (Cornell) over Chris Moon (Virginia Tech) Dec 8-1; 174 - Jesse Shanaman (Cornell) over John Dickson (Virginia Tech) Dec 8-4; 184 - Gabriel Dean (Cornell) over Nick Vetterlein (Virginia Tech) Maj 16-7; 197 - Jace Bennett (Cornell) over Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) Fall 6:03; 285 - Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Cornell) over Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) Dec 6-2
OHIO STATE 32, KENT STATE 4
MINNESOTA 35, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 3
125 - Nick Roberts (Ohio State) over Alfredo Gray (Kent State) TF 15-0; 133 - Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State) over Mackenzie McGuire (Kent State) Dec 2-0; 141 - Logan Stieber (Ohio State) over Tyler Small (Kent State) Maj 13-2; 149 - Ian Paddock (Ohio State) over Michael Depalma (Kent State) Dec 9-3; 157 - Randall Languis (Ohio State) over Thaddeus Keklak (Kent State) Dec 4-0; 165 - Joe Grandominico (Ohio State) over Clay Wenger (Kent State) Dec 5-2; 174 - Caleb Marsh (Kent State) over Jacob Bresciani (Ohio State) Maj 12-1; 184 - Kenny Courts (Ohio State) over Mike Vollant (Kent State) Dec 5-3; 197 - Nick Heflin (Ohio State) over Cole Baxter (Kent State) Dec 4-1; 285 - Kosta Karageorge (Ohio State) over Mimmo Lytle (Kent State) TF 18-0
125 - Samuel Brancale (Minnesota) over Hunter Weber (North Dakota State) Maj 10-1; 133 - David Thorn (Minnesota) over Justin LaValle (North Dakota State) Fall 3:34; 141 - Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota) over Clayton Cathey (North Dakota State) Dec 6-1; 149 - Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) over Tyler Diamond (North Dakota State) Dec 4-2; 157 - Dylan Ness (Minnesota) over Nicholas Olejnik (North Dakota State) Fall 4:14; 165 - Steven Monk (North Dakota State) over Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) Dec 8-5; 174 - Logan Storley (Minnesota) over Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) Dec 9-3; 184 - Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) over Kurtis Julson (North Dakota State) Dec 6-0; 197 - Scott Schiller (Minnesota) over Tyler Lehmann (North Dakota State) Dec 8-5; 285 - Michael Kroells (Minnesota) over John Gusewelle (North Dakota State) Maj 14-5
OKLAHOMA 25, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 16
125 - Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma) over Corey Keener (Central Michigan) Dec 9-2; 133 - Joe Roth (Central Michigan) over Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) Dec 10-7; 141 - Zach Horan (Central Michigan) over Nick Lester (Oklahoma) Dec 4-2; 149 - Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) over Scott Mattingly (Central Michigan) Fall 2:36; 157 - Luke Smith (Central Michigan) over Dryden Dennis (Oklahoma) Maj 12-0; 165 - Clark Glass (Oklahoma) over Zack Cline (Central Michigan) Dec 5-2; 174 - Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) over Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan) Dec 4-2; 184 - Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan) over Alec Iacovelli (Oklahoma) Fall 2:23; 197 - Travis Rutt (Oklahoma) over Jackson Lewis (Central Michigan) Maj 13-3; 285 - Ross Larson (Oklahoma) over Adam Robinson (Central Michigan) Fall 1:42