Heil and Martin among NCAA standouts in University freestyle quarterfinals

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | June 03, 2017, 7:51 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers advances to University Nationals quarterfinals at 65 kg. Photo by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling.

AKRON, OHIO – Several of the nation’s favorite wrestlers, including two NCAA champions and three other NCAA finalists, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2017 Freestyle University Nationals, which will be wrestled at 9 a.m. ET Sunday at the Louis and Freda Stile Athletic Field House on the campus of the University of Akron.

Two-time defending NCAA champion Dean Heil and 2016 NCAA champion Myles Martin are among the quarterfinalists. Both are hometown favorites with Heil originating from Brunswick, Ohio, while Martin is representing the Ohio RTC this weekend and competes collegiately for Ohio State University, just two hours away.

Heil, an Oklahoma State Cowboy, picked up a pair of technical falls to bookend a tough 5-4 win over Ryan Pomrinca of Lehigh Valley WC in the round of 64. He earned his spot in the 65 kg/143 lbs. quarters with a controlling 10-4 win against Jeff Bizzle from Nebraska Golden Eagles Wrestling Club.

Tomorrow he’ll see Robbie Mathers of Arizona State.

The rest of the 65 kg bracket proves to be a loaded weight, featuring guys like three-time All-American Anthony Ashnault, two-time All-American Earl Hall, 2017 All-American Kaid Brock and NCAA qualifiers Brock Zacherl and Tommy Thorn.

Martin has flown through the 86 kg/189 lbs. bracket so far, racking up tech falls in each of his matches to outscore his opponents, 30-0. He started his tournament with a win over Max Dean, before rolling over Will Schaney and Taylor Jackson to advance to the quarters.

Martin will face two-time NCAA qualifier Nick Gravina from Rutgers.

Also in the 86 kg quarterfinals is 2016 All-American Pete Renda of North Carolina State, who is representing the Wolfpack Wrestling Club this weekend.

Other NCAA finalists on track to a University title include Ethan Lizak of Minnesota Storm, Brandon Sorenson of University of Iowa and Joey LaVallee of Missouri Wrestling Foundation.

Lizak, a 2017 NCAA finalist for the University of Minnesota, is competing at 57 kg/125 lbs., where he has dominated the field, winning all his matches with a first-period tech. He’ll take on All-American Sean Russell, who finished seventh at the 2017 NCAA championships.

Looking to keep Lizak from the crown at 57 kg is 2016 All-American David Terao of DCAC, who holds the No. 1 seed at the weight.

Also enjoying the big stage at the 2017 NCAAs was 157-pound finalist LaVallee, who has secured his spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Seeded No. 2, LaVallee beat all of his opponents on Saturday with perfect 10-0 scores.

He’s set to face fellow MWF and Mizzou teammate Connor Flynn in the morning.

Sitting opposite of him at the No. 1 spot is Chance Marsteller, who collected 34 points against his opponents today, while giving up just four. Marsteller will go head-to-head with Cole Walter in the quarters.

2016 NCAA finalist Sorensen will take on Old Dominion’s Kenan Carter, who is competing as part of the Virginia Beach RTC. Sorensen recorded tech falls in three of his first four matches.

Junior World bronze medalist in Greco Taylor LaMont entered the field as the No. 1 seed at 61 kg/134 lbs. He was relentless against his competition, winning 10-0, 12-2 and 13-2, respectively.

In the morning, he’ll face Jacob Rubio of Sooner Wrestling Club.

The 97 kg/213 lbs. class boasts three Fargo champions in the quarters, including Ohio native and top-seeded Ben Darmstadt, No. 2 seed Bobby Steveson and Mitch Sliga.

Several big names went down early on Saturday, including two No. 1 seeds: Daniel Lewis at 80 kg/176 lbs. and Tanner Hall at 125 kg/275 lbs.

At 80 kg, Jacobe Smith, a two-time NJCAA national champion and now Oklahoma State wrestler, edged out Lewis in a 17-16 thriller, where Smith stopped a furious Lewis comeback in the round of 32.

Smith will take on Dylan Lydy of the Boilermaker RTC in the quarters.

At 125 kg, Matthew Voss, a wrestler for George Mason, took out top-seeded Hall in a high-scoring first-round match, 16-12. Voss went on to win his next two matches to earn the right to face Michael Boykin of Wolfpack Wrestling Club in the quarters.

Two other notables were handed early losses at 70 kg.

2014 NCAA champion Jason Tsirtsis fell in the round of 16 to Matt Zovistoski of App State RTC, while two-time All-American Kevin Jack suffered an 11-8 defeat to Mike Vanbrill of Rutgers.

The quarterfinals will take place at 9 a.m. ET and can be streamed live on Flowrestling.org with a subscription. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @USAWrestling.

2017 UNIVERSITY FREESTYLE NATIONALS
at Akron, Ohio

Championship quarterfinals match ups
57 kg/125 lbs.
David Terao (DCAC) vs. Devin Schroeder (Boilermaker RTC)
Brock Hudkins (Northern Illinois RTC) vs. Gary Wayne Harding (OK State/Cowboy WC)
Louie Hayes (Cavalier WC) vs. Luke Welch (Boilermaker RTC)
Sean Russell (Edinboro RTC) vs. Ethan Lizak
(Minnesota Storm)

61 kg/134 lbs.
Taylor LaMont (Sunkist Kids WC) vs. Jake Rubio (Sooner WC)
Nathan Boston (Campbell) vs. Johnni DiJulius (Titan Mercury WC)
Daniel DeShazer (Minnesota Storm) vs. William Erneste (Missouri Wrestling Foundation)
Dom Forys (Pittsburgh WC) vs. Ian Parker (Cyclone RTC)

65 kg/143 lbs.
Dean Heil (OK State/Cowboy WC) vs.  Robbie Mathers (Sunkist Kids WC)
Chad Red (Nebraska WTC) vs. Earl Hall (Cyclone RTC)
Kaid Brock (OK State/Cowboy WC) vs. Tommy Thorn (Minnesota Storm)
Brock Zacherl (Clarion RTC) vs. Anthony Ashnault (Sunkist Kids WC)

70 kg/156 lbs.
Brandon Sorensen (Univ. of Iowa) vs. Kenan Carter (Virginia Beach RTC)
Troy Heilmann (Tar Heel WC) vs. Max Thomsen (Panther WC RTC)
Mike Vanbrill (Rutgers) vs. Cole Erickson (Coe College)
Grant LaMont (Wolverine WC) vs. Matthew Zovistoski (App State RTC)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Chance Marsteller (Mat Town USA ) vs. Cole Walter (Lehigh WC)
Nate Higgins (Southern Illinois TC) vs. Josh Shields (Sunkist Kids WC)
Jacen Peterson (ASU Wrestling) vs. Ian Brown (Lehigh Valley WC)
Connor Flynn (Missouri Wrestling Foundation) vs. Joey Lavallee (Missouri Wrestling Foundation)

80 kg/176 lbs.
Jacobe Smith (Cowboy WC/Titan Mercury WC) vs. Dylan Lydy (Boilermaker RTC)
Chad Walsh (Broncs WC) vs. Devin Skatzka (Hoosier WC)
Jordan Kutler (Lehigh Valley WC) vs. Joseph Grello (Rutgers)
Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton WC) vs. Nick Becker (Grizzly WC)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Myles Martin (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) vs. Nick Gravina (Rutgers)
Dakota Geer (Edinboro RTC) vs. Keegan Moore (Cowboy WC/Titan Mercury WC)
Ryan Preisch (Lehigh Valley WC) vs. Jacob Holschlag (Panther WC RTC)
Ricky Robertson (Univ. of Wisconsin) vs. Pete Renda (Wolfpack WC)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Ben Darmstadt (NYRTC) vs. Anthony McLaughlin (USAF Academy)
Tyler Hoffman (Panther WC RTC) vs. Jeric Kasunic (DCAC)
Danny Chaid (Tar Heel WC) vs. Tom Sleigh (Buffalo Valley RTC)
Mitch Sliga (Northwestern) vs. Bobby Steveson (Minnesota Storm)

125 kg/275 lbs.
Matt Voss (George Mason) vs. Michael Boykin (Wolfpack WC)
Malik McDonald (Wolfpack WC) vs. Michael Hughes (Blue and Gold RTC)
Cory Daniels (Tar Heel WC) vs. Connor Tolley (Chattanooga)
Andrew Dunn (SERTC VT) vs. Garrett Ryan (NYRTC)