This Week in College Wrestling #3….12/01-12/07

Hola mi amigos.

With Hofstra on a break until their December 12th dual against Binghamton, I didn’t have much in the way of wrestling related entertainment this week. I did however spend a large portion of Saturday glued to the internet, trying to find updated results for the Mat Town Classic on the campus of Lock Haven University….I am happy to report that overall, the select members of the Pride team that choose to compete did represent HU well. Winning the title at 184 was true freshman, Ben Clymer. Steve Bonanno turned in another steady performance, claiming the bronze medal at 125. The only loss that the true frosh from Wantagh suffered was a 9-4 decision to 2007 NCAA Champion, Paul Donahoe, who is sitting out the first semester following a transfer from Nebraska to Edinboro….The one sour note for Hofstra at the Mat Town was Jordan Enck, who continues to be plagued by being an undersized heavyweight. The Manheim, PA native went 0-2 at the event.

Unfortunately, there are no rankings yet. I had hoped to incorporate them into this week’s edition of the column. However, because I am in the midst of working on an online interview with former US Olympic Gold Medalist, Jeff Blatnick, for another website, my time was somewhat limited. Following the conclusion of the Blatnick piece, I will be putting together a CHSAA preview for Lighthouse. But, if all goes well, I should have amble opportunity to release my first set of rankings this time next week….Your patience is as always, greatly appreciated.

Looking to the future, the next seven days (to be honest, it’s really only Fri-Sun) has me excited. In addition to the battle of interstate rivals, #1 Iowa versus #2 Iowa State, this weekend will also feature the next installment of the Bedlam series between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. If you thought this past weekend’s football game was exciting, just wait till the perennial powers take to the mat. If a pair of top quality duals isn’t a enough to feed your wrestling appetite, Friday marks the beginning of two of my favorite tournaments of the year, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (college) and the Walsh Ironman (High School). With the nation’s elite collegiate and scholastic programs attending their respective tournaments, I’ve always found that in a way, the latter serves as a precursor to the former. Put more simply, the kids you see placing and winning at the Ironman, seem to find their way onto the podium at the Vegas Invite and the NCAA tournament….Of course, as a lot of you already know, NYS regulations prohibit our high school athletes from participating in events such as the Ironman. Therefore, to a very small extent, this fact does put a damper on my enjoyment of Ohio based event.

Since the bulk of the nation’s top-25 college teams will be flocking to sin city, there are not a lot of premier duals (outside of the two cited above). Therefore, in this week’s predictions section, I have decided to do something a little different. Using the current InterMat rankings, I am going to take the projected top-8 seeds and predict the winners of each round, beginning with the quarterfinals. I will do this for all ten weights. Because this will likely cause this article to be severely on the lengthy side, I am going to cut short my analysis of the Iowa/Iowa State and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State duals. Instead, I will just predict the winners of each bout without going into to much detail.

However, before we too far ahead of ourselves, let us take a step back and review some of the top moments from last week’s action.

Wrestling Recap

-Defending NCAA Champion, Jaggers, Defeated at All-Star Classic: Exactly one week ago, the 2008 National Champion at 141 pounder, J Jaggers, found himself on the losing end of a 6-2 decision to then #2 ranked, Nick Gallick of Iowa State. Fortunately for the crowd favorite from the host school, the Ohio State University, the N.W.C.A All-Star Classic is considered to be strictly an exhibition and can not be used as a factor when determining national rankings and/or seeding for the NCAA tournament. Thus, despite the loss, you can expect the former winner of the Junior Dan Hodge trophy to maintain his top ranking….In addition to Gallick, other wrestlers who got their hand raised at the classic included Cyclone teammate, Jake Varner (197) a 13-1 major decision winner over Maryland Hudson Taylor. Winning bouts for defending Champion, Iowa, were Charlie Falck (125)– 6-2 over James Nicholson (ODU), Brent Metcalf (149)–19-3 TF over NC State’s Darrion Caldwell, and Phil Keddy (184)–3-2 over Louis Caputo (Harvard). Knocking off their Hawkeye teammate Jay Borschel 3-2 at 174 was Michigan’s Steve Luke, the #1 ranked grappler at the weight. Returning Champion, Jordan Leen, showed that until proven otherwise, the 157 weight class still belongs to him following a pin of Cyler Sanderson (Iowa State) at 5:59. Rounding out the victors were Illinois’ Jimmy Kennedy (133)–7-5 against Minnesota’s Jayson Ness, Missouri’s Nick Marable (165)–3-2 over Mack Lewnes (Cornell), and Oklahoma State’s Jared Rosholt, who defeated Wisconsin’s Kyle Massey 8-4.

-Iowa goes 4-0 at Northeast Duals: A week removed from going 4-0 at the Hawkeye Duals, the University of Iowa improved their record to 8-0 with a sweep of four duals against Binghamton (45-0), #17 Central Michigan (27-6), Maryland (38-6), and Bloomsburg (39-3). The Tom Brand led Hawkeyes have now won 74 out of a possible 80 dual bouts this season. At the forefront of the impressive performance under the roof of the McDonough Athletic Complex (Hudson Valley Community College) were Falck, Metcalf, Borschel, Alex Tsirtsis (141), Ryan Morningstar (165) who all went undefeated on the day. Heavyweight, Dan Erekson, went 3-0, sitting out the dual against CMU.

-#22 Lehigh Shocks #7 Oklahoma State: The University of Iowa was not the only team to go perfect this past weekend in Troy, NY. Joining them was the Mountainhawks of Lehigh University, who posted a 5-0 record on the day, including an 18-13 upset of the Cowboys of Oklahoma State…Starting the upset bid on the right note was RS freshman, Connor McDonald, who upset #5 Obe Blanc, 4-3. Lehigh would feed off of this clutch performance, getting their hands raised in five of the next seven bouts to an almost insurmountable 18-6 lead. Highlighting this effort was Mike Galante, who scored a last second takedown to topple #10 Brandon Mason. Other key victories included Seth Ciasulli’s 8-6 win over Jamal Parks at 141 and former NYS Champion, Trevor Chinn’s 3-2 win over highly regarded RS freshman, Luke Silver…In the battle of the present versus the future in the heavyweight division, it was the present, Oklahoma State’s Rosholt who emerged with the 8-1 decision over LU’s Zach Rey.

-Sunday, A tough Day for Cleveland: If your name contained “Cleveland” in it yesterday, more than likely, your day ended with you feeling disappointed. A few hours after the Cleveland Browns blew a fourth quarter lead in a 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, another Cleveland found himself on the wrong end of a close contest. #3 Cody Cleveland, a sophomore from Tennessee-Chattanooga, who entered yesterday’s dual against Virginia Tech with a strong chance to ascend into the #2 spot following Nick Gallick’s loss last week to Wisconsin’s Zach Tanelli, saw that opportunity foiled by the Hokies’ Chris Diaz, who pulled the 8-6 upset in front of the hostile Mocs’ fans. The win was one of many for Coach Dresser’s team as VT cruised to a 37-0 shutout of the host school.

Weekly Predictions

#1 Iowa vs. #2 Iowa State—Saturday December 6th, 2008

125- #2 Charlie Falck (Iowa) dec #7 Tyler Clark (ISU) 3-0 Iowa

133- Joey Slaton (Iowa) dec #5 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU) 6-0

141- #2 Nick Gallick (ISU) dec #6 Alex Tsirtsis (Iowa) 6-3

149- #1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) dec #11 Mitch Mueller (ISU) 9-3

157- #6 Cyler Sanderson (ISU) dec Matt Ballweg (Iowa) 9-6

165- #3 Jon Reader (ISU) dec #11 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) 9-9

174- #2 Jay Borschel (Iowa) dec #8 Duke Burk (ISU) 12-9 Iowa

184- #3 Phil Keddy (Iowa) dec Jerome Ward (ISU) 15-9

197- #1 Jake Varner (ISU) dec #19 Chad Beatty (Iowa) 15-12

285- #2 David Zabriskie (ISU) dec Dan Erekson (Iowa) 15-15

Toss-ups/Potential Upsets: 125, 133, 141, 174, 285

Potential Iowa Bonus Points: 149

Potential Iowa State Bonus Points: 157, 197


#7 Oklahoma State vs. #19 Oklahoma—Sunday December 7th, 2008

125- #5 Obe Blanc (OSU) dec #16 Joey Fio (OU) 3-0 Oklahoma State

133- #12 Tyler Shinn (OSU) dec David Armstrong (OU) 6-0

141- #12 Zach Bailey (OU) dec Jamal Parks (OSU) 6-3

149- #15 Kyle Terry (OU) dec Luke Silver (OSU) 6-6

157- #14 Shane Vernon (OU) dec #12 Newly McSpadden (OSU) 9-6 Oklahoma

165- #10 Brandon Mason (OSU) Ryan Smith (OU) 9-9

174- #9 Jeff James (OU) dec Kyle Griffin (OSU) 12-9 Oklahoma

184- Jared Shelton (OSU) dec Pat Flynn (OU) 12-12

197- #8 Eric Laptosky (OU) dec #18 Clayton Foster (OSU) 15-12 Oklahoma

285- #1 Jared Rosholt (OSU) dec Nathan Fernandez (OU) 15-15

Toss-ups/Potential Upsets: 125, 141, 157, 184, 197

Potential Oklahoma Bonus Points: None

Potential Oklahoma State Bonus Points: 285


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-125 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #6 Rollie Peterkin (UPenn) vs. (8) Frank Perelli (Cornell)—Winner: Peterkin

(4) #9 Marcos Orozco (Cal Davis) vs. (5) #11 Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech)—Winner: Orozco

(3) #13 Mike Watts (Michigan) vs. (6) #12 Nikko Triggas (Ohio State)—Winner: Triggas

(2) #7 Anthony Robles (Arizona State) vs. (7) #14 Zachary Sanders (MInnesota)—Winner: Robles


(1) Peterkin vs. (4) Orozco—Winner: Peterkin

(2) Robles vs. (6) Triggas—Winner: Robles


(1) Peterkin vs. (2) Robles—Champion: Rollie Peterkin (UPenn)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-133 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #3 Jimmy Kennedy (Illinois) vs. (8) #19 Jimmy Conroy (Pittsburgh)—Winner: Kennedy

(4) #8 Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State) vs. (5) #16 David Marble (Bucknell)—Winner: Hochstrasser

(3) #7 Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) vs. (6) #17 T.J. Dillashaw (Cal Fullerton)—Winner: Humphrey

(2) #1 Jayson Ness (Minnesota) vs. #18 Matt Fisk (Lehigh)—Winner: Ness


(1) Kennedy vs. (4) Hochstrasser—Winner: Kennedy

(2) Ness vs. (3) Humphrey—Winner: Ness

-Finals: (1) Kennedy vs. (2) Ness—Champion: Jimmy Kennedy (Illinois)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-141 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #1 J. Jaggers (Ohio State) vs. (8) #20 Chris Bencivenga (UNC-Greensboro)—Winner: Jaggers

(4) #4 Chris Drouin (Arizona State) vs. (5) #7 Andrae Hernandez (Indiana)—Winner: Hernandez

(3) #8 Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin) vs. (6) #17 Filip Novachkov (Cal Poly)—Winner: Tanelli

(2) #5 Kellen Russell (Michigan) vs. (7) #10 Mike Thorn (Minnesota)—Winner: Russell


(1) Jaggers vs. (5) Hernandez—Winner: Jaggers

(2) Russell vs. (3) Tanelli—Winner: Russell


(1) Jaggers vs. (2) Russell—Champion: Kellen Russell (Michigan)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-149 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #3 Darrion Caldwell (NC State) vs. (8) #13 Trevor Chinn (Lehigh)—Winner: Caldwell

(4) #8 Jake Patacsil (Purdue) vs. (5) #14 Cesar Grajales (UPenn)—Winner: Grajales

(3) #6 Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin) vs. (6) #17 Jason Chamberlain (Boise State)–Winner: Ruschell

(2) #4 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) vs. (7) #11 Matt Kyler (Army)—Winner: Palmer


(1) Caldwell vs. (5) Grajales—Winner: Caldwell

(2) Palmer vs. (3) Ruschell—Winner: Palmer


(1) Caldwell vs. (2) Palmer—Champion: Lance Palmer (Ohio State)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-157 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #6 Jordan Leen (Cornell) vs. (8) #9 Kurt Kinser (Indiana)—Winner: Leen

(4) #10 Adam Hall (Boise State) vs. (5) #16 Chase Pami (Cal Poly)—Winner: Hall

(3) #5 J.P. O’Connor (Harvard) vs. (6) #13 Jason Johnstone (Ohio State)–Winner: O’Connor

(2) #3 Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska) vs. (7) Tyler Safratowich (Minnesota)—Winner: Burroughs


(1) Leen vs. (4) Hall—Winner: Leen

(2) Burroughs vs. (3) O’Connor—Winner: Burroughs


(1) Leen vs. (2) Burroughs—Champion: Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-165 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #1 Mack Lewnes (Cornell) vs. (8) #18 Chris Bullins (UNC-Greensboro)—Winner: Lewnes

(4) #8 Zach Shanaman (UPenn) vs. (5) #14 Andy Rendos (Bucknell)—Winner: Rendos

(3) #6 Luke Manuel (Purdue) vs. (6) #11 Roger Smith-Bergsrud (Illinois)—Winner: Smith-Bergsrud

(2) #4 Stephen Dwyer (Nebraska) vs. (7) #13 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)—Winner: Sponseller


(1) Lewnes vs. (5) Rendos—Winner: Lewnes

(6) Smith-Bergsrud vs. (7) Sponseller—Winner: Sponseller


(1) Lewnes vs. (7) Sponseller—Champion: Mack Lewnes (Cornell)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-174 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #1 Steve Luke (Michigan) vs. (8) Ben Freidl (Illinois)—Winner: Luke

(4) #20 David Rella (Ohio State) vs. (5) Trevor Perry (Indiana)—Winner: Rella

(3) #11 Kurt Brenner (West Virginia) vs. (6) Shane Riccio (Bucknell)—Winner: Brenner

(2) #3 Brandon Browne (Nebraska) vs. (7) Kurt Swartz (Boise State)—Winner: Browne


(1) Luke vs. (4) Rella—Winner: Luke

(2) Browne vs. (3) Brenner—Winner: Browne


(1) Luke vs. (2) Browne—Champion: Steve Luke (Michigan)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-184 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #4 Louis Caputo (Harvard) vs. (8) Jordan Blanton (Illinois)—Winner: Caputo

(4) #12 AJ Kissel (Purdue) vs. (5) #13 Justin Kerber (Cornell)—Winner: Kerber

(3) #7 Vincent Jones (Nebraska) vs. (6) #15 David Craig (Lehigh)—Winner: Craig

(2) #5 Kirk Smith (Boise State) vs. (7) Anthony Biondo (Michigan)—winner: Smith


(1) Caputo vs. (5) Kerber—Winner: Caputo

(2) Smith vs. (6) Craig—Winner: Smith


(1) Caputo vs (2) Smith—Champion: Kirk Smith (Boise State)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-197 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #2 Tyrel Todd (Michigan) vs. (8) Joe Kennedy (Lehigh)—Winner: Todd

(4) #13 Richard Starks (Army) vs. (5) #20 Cody Gardner (Ohio State)–Winner: Gardner

(3) #11 Logan Brown (Purdue) vs. (6) #18 Patrick Bond (Illinois)—Winner: Bond

(2) #3 Craig Brester (Nebraska) vs. (7) Cam Simaz (Cornell)—Winner: Brester


(1) Todd vs. (5) Gardner—Winner: Todd

(2) Brester vs. (6) Bond—Winner: Brester


(1) Todd vs. (2) Brester—Champion: Craig Brester (Nebraska)


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational-285 Pounds (Preseed):


(1) #3 Kyle Massey (Wisconsin) vs. (8) Zack Rey (Lehigh)—winner: Massey

(4) #12 Corey Morrison (Ohio State) vs. (5) #20 Ryan Flores (Columbia)—Winner: Flores

(3) #5 John Wise (Illinois) vs. (6) #15 Dustin Rogers (West Virginia)—Winner: Wise

(2) #6 Zach Sheaffer (Pittsburgh) vs. (7) #19 Ben Berhow (Minnesota)—winner: Sheaffer


(1) Massey vs. (5) Flores—Winner: Massey

(2) Sheaffer vs. (3) Wise—winner: Sheaffer


(1) Massey vs. (2) Shaeaffer—-Champion: Zach Sheaffer (Pittsburgh)

3 thoughts on “This Week in College Wrestling #3….12/01-12/07”

  1. Matt, Your on your way to becoming wrestling’s version of Jimmy the Greek with a number of upset predictions at the Las Vegas Invitational. Since I didn’t write the article, I’ll have to go with my New York bias and pick J.P. O’Conner as the upset winner at 157.

    How about a gut prediction for the two dual meets that you have ending in a tie?

  2. Bill,

    You’re right. Ties are like kissing your sister. Therefore, I’ll see what I can do as far as breaking these ties.

    Iowa/Iowa State—In the past, Gallick, much like his brother, has shown a tendency to keep matches low scoring. Therefore, since one or two takedowns may be enough to pull out the “w” in this bout, I’ll call Tsirtis in an upset. Alex is a year more mature. Plus, since the starting spot is far from locked up by Alex, he should approach this dual with an immense amount of motivation. I know that if my job was on the line every time I took to the mat, I’d come out inspired….18-12 Iowa

    Oklahoma/Oklahoma State—In this installment of the Bedlam series, I tend to think that the upset opportunities for the Smith’s Cowboys are more feasible than for Spates’ Sooners. At 141, Parks is so explosive with his offense that he could very well jump out to a 4-1, 6-2 lead after the first period. The question with him is whether or not he will be able to put together a solid effort for a full seven minutes? If he does succeed in doing so, he should pull the upset and position nicely to etch out the dual victory…At 197, Foster most definitely has the talent to knock off Lapotsky. In fact, outside of one very impressive weekend in March two years ago, I am not sure what the Sooner wrestler has done to deserve his top-10 ranking. Foster had the more distinguished resume on the scholastic level. Therefore, why not use this weekend to “announce his presence with authority” (to quote Tim Robbins from “Bull Durham”)…..Finally, this past weekend, Fernandez lost a tournament bout to one of his own teammates. Hence, it would positively seem likely that the #1 wrestler in the land, Rosholt, would be a heavy favorite to tack on at least one bonus point during their battle…22-9 Oklahoma State

  3. NOTE: When the preliminary seeds for Vegas were released, I noticed that there were a significant amount of scratches. Therefore, I redid the predictions. The national ranking next to each wrestler’s name is courtesy of InterMat (as of December 2nd).

    Enjoy !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *