Michigan goes 3-0 in placement matches, Penn State clinches team title in session five of NCAAs

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | March 23, 2019, 3:11 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Stevan Micic of Michigan takes down Luke Pletcher of Ohio State. Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.

PITTSBURGH – 60 wrestlers wrapped up their 2019 NCAA tournament on Saturday morning as the placement matches decided the 3rd through 7th place finishes in Session IV at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Michigan won six matches in the morning session, with three Wolverines winning the consolation semifinals and, shortly after, picking up third-place finishes, including Stevan Micic, Alec Pantaleo and Myles Amine.

Returning NCAA runner-up Micic took third at 133 pounds against fifth-ranked Luke Pletcher of Ohio State. Both wrestlers fought back after semifinal losses to compete for bronze, but it was the Wolverine that picked up the win, 6-1.

Third place at 157 pounds went to No. 4 Pantaleo of Michigan, who outlasted 2018 NCAA runner-up Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State, 5-3. Pantaleo ends his collegiate career as a three-time All-American for the Wolverines.

“I think this whole weekend went well for me, except I think I won in the quarters,” Pantaleo said. “I feel good. My body feels better than it did at the beginning of the year. I’m strong, fast, explosive and ready to wrestle freestyle in three weeks.”

At 174 pounds, No. 4 Amine of Michigan finished his third-straight All-American campaign with a 4-3 decision over four-time All-American and No. 2 Daniel Lewis from Missouri with a 4-3 decision to take third at the weight.

Top-seeded 125-pounder Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern bounced back after a loss in last night’s semifinals, winning two bouts on Saturday morning to end his sophomore season with a third-place finish.

In the bronze match, Rivera topped 8-seed Vitali Arujau, a true freshman from Cornell, with an 8-3 win, thanks to a big second period, which saw the Wildcat score a reversal and four nearfall points.

In the fifth-place match, second-ranked Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State defeated Princeton’s Patrick Glory for the third time this season and second time this weekend, claiming a fall late in the second period.

Minnesota senior Ethan Lizak, a 2017 NCAA runner-up, finished his college career on Saturday, taking seventh at the NCAA tournament at 133 pounds with an 8-5 decision over Penn State freshman Roman Bravo-Young.

At 141 pounds, three-time All-American Jaydin Eierman from Missouri edged out ninth-ranked Dom Demas from Oklahoma for third place. Eierman scored an escape in the third after a second-period rideout over the Sooner for a 2-0 win.

The seventh-place bout came down to two wrestlers outside the top-10, No. 13 Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven and No. 16 Chad Red of Nebraska.

Shoop continued his impressive run, defeating Red with an 11-3 major decision.

North Carolina freshman Austin O’Connor, who entered the tournament as the 6-seed, finished third in the nation at 149 pounds, defeating No. 3 Mitch Finesilver of Duke for the second time in this tournament.

The first matchup was a 3-1 decision in sudden victory. Today’s head-to-head came down to the end once again as the Tar Heel picked up a takedown in the final 30 seconds for a 7-5 win.

For fifth-place at 157 pounds, redshirt freshman for Iowa Kaleb Young, ranked sixth, knocked off No. 3 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern for the second time in two days.

Both wins for the Hawkeye came in similar fashion as Young scored a takedown in sudden victory for a 7-5 win.

For the second-consecutive year, Lock Haven’s Chance Marsteller and Wisconsin’s Evan Wick met up in the third-place match at 165 pounds.

Wick won the quarterfinal matchup yesterday with a fall, but Marsteller swung the result in his favor this time, putting together a crucial third period with a reversal and takedown for a 6-5 win. Marsteller ends his college career as a two-time All-American.

“I’m happy to go out with a win,” Marsteller said. “I’m happy with the way I wrestled on the back side. I’m still pretty devastated that I’ll never end my career as a national champion. I think winning that match (against Wick) proves that I’m good enough to be in the finals. I’m definitely a little salty, but I’m glad that I’m tough enough mentally to get my head back on, come back through and win four matches on the back side.”

No. 1 seed Alex Marinelli of Iowa finished seventh at 165 pounds, claiming a decisive 11-3 win over No. 11 Bryce Steiert of Northern Iowa.

Capping off his career for Ohio State, No. 1 Myles Martin finished third at 184 pounds. After a heartbreaking loss in Friday night’s semifinals, Martin won his consolation semi and went on to outlast first-time All-American and Lehigh senior Ryan Preisch, 5-3, in the bronze bout.

“It was tough to get going and get my body motivated after a tough loss yesterday,” Martin said. “I think yesterday, I was just a little overconfident and a little out of focus when things got tough. It hurt, but today I just had to go out there and win for my team.”

Martin won the 174-pound NCAA title in 2016 as a true freshman and put together three-more All-American season for the Buckeyes.

Two wrestlers, who entered the tournament outside the top-10, capped off All-American finishes at 184 pounds on Saturday as No. 26 Dakota Geer of Oklahoma State took seventh and No. 15 Chip Ness of North Carolina took sixth.

In his first NCAA appearance, Geer defeated the Nos. 2, 3 and 7 seeds.

Taking third at 197 pounds was Oklahoma State senior Preston Weigel, a two-time All-American for the Cowboys. Weigel, ranked No. 3, used his impressive top game to defeat No. 4 Patrick Brucki of Princeton for a 7-1 win to end his college career.

Coming into the tournament as the No. 16 seed, Josh Hokit from Fresno State defeated four-time All-American Willie Miklus of Iowa State, scoring back points in the tie-breaker period for a 7-2 win.

Hokit is the first AA for Fresno State since it reinstated its program last season and became the Bulldogs’ highest-placing NCAA finisher since 2002, when Stephen Abas won a national title.

Rounding out the 2019 NCAA third-place winners was No. 3 Gable Steveson of Minnesota, who picked up a first-period takedown over No. 4 Jordan Wood of Lehigh for a 4-0 win.

For the eighth time in nine years, Penn State clinched the NCAA team title, leading the field with 123.5 points and five finalists.

Ohio State sits in second with 96.5 points and three finalists, followed by No. 3 Oklahoma State, which has 84 points and two finalists.

Tonight 10 champions will decided in the NCAA championship finals, which are set for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday live on ESPN.

2019 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa. (March 21-23)

Team scores
1. Penn State – 123.5
2. Ohio State – 96.5
3. Oklahoma State – 84
4. Iowa – 72
5. Michigan – 62.5
6. Missouri – 62
7. Cornell – 55.5
8. Minnesota – 53.5
9. Nebraska – 52
10. Virginia Tech – 46

Placement results
125 pounds

3rd - #1 Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern) dec. #8 Vitali Arujau (Cornell), 8-3
5th - #2 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) fall #7 Patrick Glory (Princeton), 5:30
7th - #9 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) dec. #4 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State), 7-4

133 pounds
3rd - #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan) dec. #5 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State), 6-1
5th - #7 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) dec. #8 John Erneste (Missouri), 11-6
7th - #6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) dec. #10 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State), 8-5

141 pounds
3rd - #5 Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) dec. #9 Dom Demas (OU), 2-0
5th - #3 Nick Lee (Penn State) fall #7 Mitch McKee (Minnesota), 4:22
7th - #13 Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven) MD #16 Chad Red (Nebraska), 11-3

149 pounds
3rd - #6 Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) dec. #3 Mitch Finesilver (Duke), 7-5
5th - #5 Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) dec. #4 Brock Mauller (Missouri), 10-6
7th - #8 Jarrett Degen (Iowa State) dec. #10 Pat Lugo (Iowa), 11-9

157 pounds
3rd - #4 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) dec. #5 Hayden Hidlay (NC State), 5-3
5th - #6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) dec. #3 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern), 7-5 SV1
7th - #9 Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State) dec. #7 Larry Early (Old Dominion), 3-2

165 pounds
3rd - #5 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) dec. #4 Evan Wick (Wisconsin), 6-5
5th - #7 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. #3 Josh Shields (Arizona State), 8-4
7th - #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec. #11 Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa), 9-3

174 pounds
3rd - #4 Myles Amine (Michigan) dec. #2 Daniel Lewis (Missouri), 4-3
5th - #6 David McFadden (Virginia Tech) dec. #10 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska), 4-3
7th - #5 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) dec. #9 Devin Skatzka (Minnesota), 5-1

184 pounds
3rd - #1 Myles Martin (Ohio State) dec. #8 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh), 5-3
5th - #4 Emery Parker (Illinois) dec. #15 Chip Ness (North Carolina), 11-5
7th - #26 Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State) dec. #3 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech), 5-4

197 pounds
3rd - #3 Preston Weigel (Oklahoma State) dec. #4 Patrick Brucki (Princeton), 7-1
5th - #16 Josh Hokit (Fresno State) dec. #6 Willie Miklus (Iowa State), 7-2 TB1
7th - #5 Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. #9 Ben Honis (Cornell), 8-4

285 pounds
3rd - #3 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) dec. #4 Jordan Wood (Lehigh), 4-0
5th - #6 Amar Dhesi (Oregon State) dec. #10 Youssif Hemida (Maryland), 5-2
7th - #9 Matt Stencel (Central Michigan) dec. #7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), 3-1