It’s week three of the 2022-23 NCAA season and the 149-pound weight class is simply in shambles.
The summary of the last week
It’s not quite to the point where dogs and cats live together or our pets have their heads falling off, but those first three weeks of the season have been a mess around the top of the 149lb leaderboard.
We also have a lot of wrestling results to report so please allow me to do like Taylor Swift and blame Ticketmaster for any technical difficulties anyone experienced last week so I can stay with the sport. Many Thanks.
Carl’s Stone Cold Dual of the Century of the Week: Wisconsin at Cornell
149-pound, as I mentioned, is in tatters
New week, new top-rated 149lb wrestler loses. This time it was Austin Gomez who defeated #1 Yianni Diakomihalis. This is only the second loss of Yanni’s college career. The three-time national champions were on a 75-game winning streak.
— Wisconsin on BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) November 19, 2022
This a week after Sammy Sasso lost to Caleb Henson and two weeks after Paniro Johnson upset Austin Gomez. And so, in less than a month, the circle closes in the upper class of the weight class.
In a word: Yowza.
Luckily, figuring out how to get to #149 is no longer my responsibility, and I wish my colleagues JD Rader and Jon Kozak the best of luck and luck in solving this conundrum. If you disagree with their decisions, all grievances should be directed to the guilty parties (Jon and JD), but I will still be available to take compliments if you agree.
There were many other notable results from this dual as well. Vito Arujau made his season debut for Cornell, beating All-American Taylor LaMont with 133. Freshman U20 world No. 5 Vince Cornella beat #12 Joey Zargo of Wisconsin. Cornella the Cornellian is expected to be in the leaderboard Tuesday morning.
DJ Hamiti of Wisconsin defeated Julian Ramirez of our Cornell in a top 10 165-pounder bout. Badger Braxton Amos, a 2021 U20 freestyle world champion and bronze medalist in Greco, beat 2022 U20 silver medalist Jacob Cardenas. Also, two-time All-American ‘Thor’ Hillger returned to his form, defeating #10 Cornell’s Lewis Fernandes.
Truly a dual worthy of Carl from ATHF approval.
The co-dual of the week: Missouri, Arizona
One top 20 wrestler in each match, 4 top 20 matches and two top 10 matches! Now that’s what I call a quality double hit!
Arizona State’s Richie Figueroa beat Missouri’s #14 Noah Surtin and Jesse Vasquez defeated #6 Allan Hart to fuel the win for the Sun Devils. Vasquez in particular impressed, as the third-year wrestler from California had barely more than a dozen college matches in his career at the time and had never wrestled in the postseason, while Hart is a three-time NCAA qualifier with over 60 D1 wins Surname.
— Sun Devil Wrestling (@ASUWrestling) November 18, 2022
Go Army Invite, Go Navy Classic
Famed rivals the Army and Navy both held tournaments this weekend, the Black Knight Invite and the Navy Classic respectively.
Penn State was among ten D1 teams that made their way to West Point for the Army-sponsored invitation. Nebraska and Michigan State were among the even dozen D1 programs at Annapolis for Navy’s Classic.
Penn State took the crown at the Black Knight Invite, with Max Dean winning the 197-pound weight class and the Outstanding Wrestler honors. Check out the badass trophies the army handed out to champions and OW.
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) November 20, 2022
Watch Dean carve his way to a £197 Black Knight Invite title:
Penn State had 5 champions at the Black Knight Invite, while their Big Ten rival Nebraska won the same number of titles at the Navy Classic in Annapolis. Michigan State placed second and the hosts placed third at the United State Naval Academy.
The most classic of all Keystones
Five champions were the theme of the weekend at the big tournament as Virginia Tech marched up the Shenandoah Valley and right-hanged on the Mason-Dixon line to crash the Philly wrestling party in historic Palestra, home of the Keystone Classic bring.
The Hokies needed all those points from their five title lists as they narrowly edged the hosts, the Pennsylvania Quakers.
Adding to the chaos at 149 was Penn’s Doug Zapf, who defeated Caleb Henson in the semifinals. Henson beat Sammy Sasso last week. Zapf was then stopped in the final by Appalachian State’s Jon Jon Millner. Milner lost to Sasso at the 2022 NCAA tournament, so imagine.
VT won 125, 133, 141, 165 and 184, with Sam Latona earning a big win over UPenn’s Michael Colaiocco in the final of the 133.
The hosts were not ruled out, however, as Anthony Artalona won a dogfight over George Mason’s Peter Pappas in the final of the 157.
Watch Artalona win a Keystone Classic title:
Guns were locked in the Albany Armory
Iowa ended her road trip to ‘Banach Country’ (ie New York) with two duels at the Journeymen Wrestling Armbar at the Armory in Albany, the day after Wrestling Army at West Point. Iowa now has dominion over the Hudson due to their three victories.
NC State also went 2-0 in Albany, beating a dangerous Illinois squad and a determined Central Michigan team.
Surprising results – or are they?
While I’m not surprised by any outcome and pretty much expect everything that happens in collegiate wrestling, there are outcomes that, by the consensus of the wrestling community (of which I’m a pillar myself), would by definition be considered surprising (although without the slightest trace of disrespect towards either wrestler).
Here are some of those supposedly “surprising” results from week 3.
149: Austin Gomez via Yianni Diakomihalis (already covered).
141: Jesse Vasquez on Allan Hart (see above).
174: Lennox Wolak of Columbia over #6 Ethan Smith of Ohio State. Ethan Smith is a four-time NCAA qualifier who finished fifth in 2021. He finished the blood round last year. Wolak is in his fourth year out of high school and started 2020 as a freshman for Columbia, but maybe his best win to date has been Brad Laughlin or Daniel Manibog? Many were surprised by this result, but I always knew Wolak was capable of victory while still respecting what Smith had achieved and viewing him as a favorite for the match.
133: Lehigh’s Connor McGonagle via Pitt’s #8 Mickey Phillippi. Phillippi is a four-time NCAA Qualifier and three-time Bloodrounder. He beat Daton Fix once. Some people were shocked by McGonagle’s win since he has never won the EIWAs and went 0-4 on two trips to the NCAAs. Of course, I knew it definitely wasn’t impossible and I was stunned by the outcome of the game.
157: Central Michigan’s Corbyn Munson over NC State’s #7 Ed Scott. Munson is no dimwit, having qualified for the NCAAs last season and finishing with 26 wins. Still, the win came as a surprise to many as Ed Scott had a better record despite a tougher schedule. But not to me!
141: #19 Cael Happel (Northern Iowa) DEC #5 Clay Carlson (State of South Dakota), 8-6. To be honest, anyone who thought this result surprising, even for a brief moment, is disappointed (with all due respect to Carlson).
TERPS TERPS TERPS TERPS TERPS TERPS
Thanks to a pin at 125 and a match-clinching win at 285, Maryland defeated Pitt at the Panther’s gym for the Terrapins’ first doubles win over a ranked opponent since 2013.
— NCAA Wrestling (@NCAAWrestling) November 19, 2022
Small school spotlight
Sacred Heart fears no team, as evidenced by the schedule, which, thanks to head coach John Clark, almost always includes multiple contests against the nation’s top-ranked programs. That courage was shown on Friday when the Pioneers took on the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes.
Although Sacred Heart ultimately lost the duel, two victories over Iowa are nothing to scoff at! Congratulations to Mike Manta and Nick Palumbo on the dubs and cheers to SHU, a New England school with just 5,500 students.
Other cool content on FloWrestling
Of course, there’s this week’s trusty boxing results, carefully curated by the nimble fingers of your humble blogger.
It’s also the eve of the NWCA All-Star Classic! We’ve created more content for this event than you have time to consume before the games start, but here’s some content to get you started before Tuesday at 8pm et.
And I will blog the event live because that is my job, my calling, my telos. Until then!