|NCAA Division I Wrestling Recap: Week 2|
By John Fuller USA Wrestling
Four Champions Fall
Four of the five defending NCAA champions fell on Monday night at the NWCA/Marines All-Star Classic - Teyon Ware of Oklahoma (141 lbs.), Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State (149), John Hendricks of Oklahoma State (165) and Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State (285).
Ware lost to Nate Gallick of Iowa State, whom he traded wins with last year and Mocco lost to Cole Konrad of Minnesota, the wrestler Mocco defeated in last year's NCAA finals in overtime.
While most of the wrestling community is buzzing about Mocco's loss, they should be buzzing about the win by Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan over Esposito. Tannenbaum has continued to move up the ladder at this weight class, and a convincing 7-3 win should be enough to turn him from an "Other" to a "Title Contender."
Hendricks lost an electrifying 5-3 overtime match to Matt Nagel of Minnesota.
Of Oklahoma school wrestlers, only Sam Hazewinkel (125) of Oklahoma and Jake Rosholt of Oklahoma State (197) won their matches.
In other words, it was not a good showing for the local wrestlers in a major event that was held in Stillwater, Okla. These wrestlers will hope they can put on a better showing at another major event in the state - the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.
It's been a few years since Minnesota was heralded as a national title contender - three to be exact. But with some of the recruits from the past few years starting to shine, this could be the squad that gives Oklahoma State a run for its money.
Not only did Nagel and Konrad come up with big wins at the All-Star Classic, but Roger Kish (184 lbs.) won the Open Division title at the Kaufman-Brand Open while Dustin Schlatter won the 149-pound title in the 20 and Under Division. Add them in with a healthy Mack Reiter and this is one solid squad.
Hofstra had a tough week last week. On Tuesday, the Pride defeated Army 19-19 on the tiebreaking criteria of most individual victories (6-4). However, just two nights later, Hofstra could not survive a close dual, getting upset by Oregon State 18-17.
While Hofstra does have some new names in its lineup this year, the early-season struggles were far from expected. These are simply growing pains for a solid program in a slight rebuilding stage.
A Bunch Of Bull
Congratulations to Kyle Cerminara of Buffalo, who shattered John Stutzman's school record of dual meet takedowns over the weekend. Stutzman finished his career with 135 dual meet takedowns.
This weekend, Cerminara scored 20 takedowns against opponents from Findlay, Gardner-Webb and Bloomsburg to move into first place with 149 career dual meet takedowns.
165-pound Mickey Moran was then named Mid-American Conference Wrestler of the Week for his dominating performances as well.
While the three opponents were not the strongest on Buffalo's schedule, the Bulls did lose only seven individual matches in the three meets. This is a much improved team from last year and don't be surprised if they put a few wrestlers into the NCAA Tournament this year.
Wisconsin lost the first three matches, and then proceeded to win five of the final seven bouts against a higher-ranked Penn State squad in State College, 19-15.
Kyle Massey's pin over Penn State's Joel Edwards at heavyweight put the Badgers on the scoreboard. The Nittany Lions did record wins at 133 and 141 lbs. to take a 15-10 lead, just one win away from clinching the meet, but wins by Wisconsin's Tyler Turner (149), Craig Henning (157) and Jake Donar (165) gave Wisconsin the victory.
Turner and Henning's victories both took place in overtime.
While the wrestling world is still abuzz concerning Virginia Tech's recruiting class from last year, fans are forgetting one wrestler who is for sure in the lineup this year - 141-pound David Hoffman.
Hoffman took first place at the Kaufman-Brand Open in Omaha, Neb. this past weekend, downing Alex Tsirtsis of Iowa in the finals, 14-3. Not many wrestlers have been able to dominate Tsirtsis, including Gallick, so this could be a telling sign for the Hokie.
149-pound freshman Brent Metcalf was also impressive, placing third overall, losing only to All-American Ty Eustice of Iowa, 3-2 in the semifinals. However, Metcalf was hoping to compete against another highly-touted freshman, Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota, who inexplicably entered the 20 and under division.
It is an odd move for a Minnesota wrestler, as coach J Robinson is a coach who has been praised for his marketing techniques, and his ability to always try to get the matchup that fans want to see.
It appears that Travis and Trent Paulson could finally be on the same track. Each has had their own success, but this weekend, each won a title at the Kaufman-Brand Open.
Trent captured the title at 157 lbs., downing NCAA finalist Joe Johnston of Iowa, 4-0. Travis took first place at 165 lbs.