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Michigan leads Big Ten Championships after day one, 4.5 points ahead of Penn State, with Iowa right behind

by Tony Black, USA Wrestling

Nick Suriano (Michigan) made the 125-pound finals at the 2022 Big Ten Championships. Photo by Sam Janicki.

Following an always exciting session 2 of the 2022 Big Ten Wrestling Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, powerhouses Michigan, Penn State and Iowa sit one-two-three with 116, 111.5 and 109 points, respectively.

Both the Wolverines and Nittany Lions placed five wrestlers in the finals, while Iowa followed closely behind with four finalists.

At 125 pounds, Michigan’s Nick Suriano, the 2019 Big Ten and NCAA Champion at 133 pounds, won by fall in 2:40 in the semifinals over Purdue Boilermaker Devin Schroder. Suriano is competing on his third team, having previously competed for Penn State and Rutgers. Wisconsin’s returning All-American Eric Barnett won 3-0 over Michael DeAugustino from Northwestern. Barnett scored a first period

takedown, and then it was all mat wrestling from that point on, with Barnett riding out DeAugustino the remainder of the first period and entire second period and DeAugustino returning the favor in the final period.

Punching his ticket to return to the Big Ten finals, top seeded Roman Bravo-Young from Penn State won 4-0 over Dylan Ragusin from Michigan. Bravo-Young was the first Nittany Lion to make it to the finals in 2022, where he’ll take on Iowa’s Austin DeSanto. DeSanto scored a third period takedown to defeat Lucas Byrd from Illinois, 4-3. The finals match between Bravo-Young and DeSanto will be their seventh collegiate match, with DeSanto having won the first two and Bravo-Young having won the last four.

Top seeded and reigning 141 pound Big Ten champion Nick Lee from Penn State made easy work of Minnesota’s Jakob Bergeland, winning by technical fall 16-1. Lee set himself up for another battle with Jaydin Eierman from Iowa, who won by forfeit over two-time Big Ten champion Sebastian Rivera from Rutgers. Eierman defeated Lee at the 2021 Big Ten championships, only to be bested two weeks later at the NCAA championships.

Wisconsin’s Austin Gomez started the semifinals at 149 pound off with a bang, as he pinned Ridge Lovett from Nebraska in 20 seconds. Gomez scored with a throw and almost immediately adjusted for the fall – the fastest semifinals pin in Big Ten Championships history. In the finals, Gomez will take on top-seeded Sammy Sasso from Ohio State. Sasso won 3-1 over fourth seeded Max Murin from Iowa.

At 157, Will Lewan scored an overtime takedown to beat tenth-seeded Brady Berge from Penn State. Lewan was the second Michigan wrestler of the session to advance to the finals. The third seeded Wolverine will take on Northwestern’s two-time reigning Big Ten champion Ryan Deakin. Deakin narrowly defeated Peyton Robb from Nebraska, 5-3, to advance to the finals.

165 pounds featured the top four seeded wrestlers in the semifinals, and Michigan’s Cameron Amine defeated Ohio State’s top-seeded Carson Kharchla 3-1 in overtime. In going back-to-back with overtime victories in the semifinals, Michigan placed its third wrestler in the finals. The three-time reigning Big Ten champion Alex Marinelli from Iowa became the third Hawkeye to earn a spot in the finals with his 3-2 victory over Dean Hamiti from Wisconsin. Marinelli is looking to join 16 other previous four-time Big Ten champions.

Michigan continued its semifinals run at 174 pounds, as second seeded Logan Massa defeated home crowd favorite Mikey Labriola in an action packed 6-5 match. Labriola scored the first takedown, but Massa kept up the leg attacks and eventually took the lead in the third period and held on to win. Massa will take on returning NCAA champion and number one seed Carter Starocci from Penn State, who received a forfeit from 2021 Big Ten champion Michael Kemerer of Iowa to advance to the finals.

The two top seeded wrestlers at 184 pounds also advanced to the finals with semifinals decisions. Aaron Brooks, the top seed, defeated Nebraska’s Taylor Venz 7-2. The Penn State wrestler will be seeking his third consecutive Big Ten title. Brooks will take on Michigan’s Myles Amine, who defeated Kaleb Romero from Ohio State 4-2. Amine, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, is in his fourth Big Ten final after taking first place here at 197 pounds last year and second at 174 pounds in 2019 and 2020.

At 197 pounds, Nebraska’s top seeded Eric Schultz brought thousands of Huskers fans to their feet when he defeated fellow Illinois native Patrick Brucki from Michigan 3-2. In stopping the streak of Michigan wrestlers in the finals, Schultz became the lone Big Red wrestler to make the finals. Second seeded Max Dean from Penn State controlled much of his match against Michigan State’s Christian Caffey on his way to a 5-2 win.

Fans were treated to great action at 285 pounds, as Gable Steveson defeated Mason Parris 14-6 on the strength of 7 takedowns. Steveson, the Minnesota standout, continues his incredible run since 2020, already having won two Big Ten champions, and NCAA title and an Olympic gold medal. With a takedown late in the third period to force overtime, and then an early take down in overtime, Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi knocked off Greg Kerkvliet from Penn State 6-4.

Session 3 of the 2022 Big Ten Wrestling Championships will begin at 11:00 AM Central Time, with the consolation semifinals and 7th place matches taking place.

After those initial matches, an Olympic medal ceremony will take place for 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Tervel Dlagnev. The ceremony will take place at 3:05 PM.

Session 4 will begin at 3:30 PM Central Time, and will include all 1st, 3rd and 5th place matches, along with awards presentations for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Wrestler of the Year, Coach of the Year, Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships, and 2022 Big Ten team champions.

Additional Notes from Session 2

In the first match of session 2 at 125 pounds, Minnesota’s Patrick McKee and Penn State’s Drew Hildebrandt. In a rematch of the 3rd place match from the 2021 NCAA Championships, McKee was again victorious to assure himself a placement in the tournament. Though the transfer of Hildebrant from Central Michigan looked to impact the team race at this tournament, that did not come to fruition with the number two seed being eliminated. McKee won his next match, too, so he will take on Shroeder in the consolation semifinals.

Michigan’s three-time All-American at 133 pounds, Stevan Micic, earned a hard-fought 6-5 win over Indiana’s Cayden Rooks to get into the top 8. Micic wasn’t done winning, however, as he knocked off Frankie Tal-Shahar from Northwestern to earn a place in the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning.

Another three-time All-American, Chad Red from Nebraska, was defeated in overtime by Purdue’s Parker Filius 10-6, thus Red was eliminated from the tournament at 141. This was Filius’s second win in the tournament over a three-time All-American, as he had previously defeated Micic.

Returning All-American Yahya Thomas from Northwestern did not place at 149 pounds, as he lost two close matches to Murin and Michigan’s Kanen Storr.

Finalists by seed: #1 seed – 9, #2 seed – 8, #3 seed – 2, #4 seed – 1


At Lincoln, Neb.

Finals pairings (with seeds)

125 - No. 1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs. No. 3 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)

133 - No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)

141 - No. 1 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)

149 - No. 1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. No. 2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)

157 - No. 1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. No. 3 Will Lewan (Michigan)

165 - No. 4 Cameron Amine (Michigan) vs. No. 2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa)

174 - No. 1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Logan Massa (Michigan)

184 - No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Myles Amine (Michigan)

197 - No. 1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. No. 2 Max Dean (Penn State)

285 – No. 1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

Team Scores after Session 2 (number of finalists in parenthesis)

1. Michigan (5) – 116

2. Penn State (5) – 111.5

3. Iowa (4) – 109

4. Ohio State (1) – 72

5. Northwestern (1) – 70.5

6. Nebraska (1) – 65

7. Wisconsin (2) – 58.5

8. Minnesota (1) – 55.5

9. Rutgers – 37

10. Purdue – 34.5

11. Michigan State – 33

12. Illinois – 26.5

13. Maryland – 14.5

14. Indiana – 4

Semifinal results


Nick Suriano (Michigan) 10-0 won by fall over Devin Schroder (Purdue) 19-4 (Fall 2:40)

Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) 14-2 won by decision over Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) 9-3 (Dec 3-0)


Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) 16-0 won by decision over Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) 16-6 (Dec 4-0)

Austin DeSanto (Iowa) 12-2 won by decision over Lucas Byrd (Illinois) 20-2 (Dec 4-3)


Nick Lee (Penn State) 16-0 won by tech fall over Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota) 10-6 (TF-1.5 5:07 (16-1))

Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) 14-1 won by medical forfeit over Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) 20-1 (M. For.)


Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) 17-1 won by decision over Max Murin (Iowa) 10-3 (Dec 3-1)

Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) 17-2 won by fall over Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) 14-2 (Fall 0:20)


Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) 12-0 won by decision over Peyton Robb (Nebraska) 10-6 (Dec 5-3)

Will Lewan (Michigan) 13-2 won in sudden victory - 1 over Brady Berge (Penn State) 7-2 (SV-1 3-1)


Cameron Amine (Michigan) 12-2 won in sudden victory - 1 over Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) 16-2 (SV-1 3-1)

Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 16-1 won by decision over Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) 19-2 (Dec 3-2)


Carter Starocci (Penn State) 17-0 won by medical forfeit over Michael Kemerer (Iowa) 9-3 (M. For.)

Logan Massa (Michigan) 16-1 won by decision over Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) 14-3 (Dec 6-5)


Aaron Brooks (Penn State) 16-0 won by decision over Taylor Venz (Nebraska) 12-6 (Dec 7-2)

Myles Amine (Michigan) 15-1 won by decision over Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) 12-2 (Dec 4-2)


Eric Schultz (Nebraska) 12-0 won by decision over Patrick Brucki (Michigan) 15-5 (Dec 3-2)

Max Dean (Penn State) 17-1 won by decision over Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) 27-5 (Dec 5-2)


Gable Steveson (Minnesota) 12-0 won by major decision over Mason Parris (Michigan) 14-3 (MD 14-6)

Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) 15-2 won in sudden victory - 1 over Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) 16-2 (SV-1 6-4)