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FLASH: Michigan leads Big Ten Championships after first session, one point up on Penn State and 13.5 points ahead of Iowa

by Tony Black, USA Wrestling

Patrick Brucki (Michigan) hits an ankle pick on Michial Foy (Minnesota) at 197 pounds. Photo by Sam Janicki.

LINCOLN, Neb. - The 2022 Big Ten Championships are underway in Lincoln, Nebraska, as the action-packed first session ended with Michigan holding a 68.5-67.5 lead over the nation’s top ranked Penn State. Led with a tournament most 8 wrestlers in the quarterfinals, Michigan ended the session by winning their last 13 matches.

The opening round of wrestling at 141 pounds featured two notable upsets, as Cayden Rooks from Indiana and Purdue’s Parker Filius both knocked off three-time All-Americans Chad Red and Stefan Micic, respectively. Rooks was a qualifier for the 2021 NCAAs but was seeded 13th seed, setting the table for the 9-8 upset of the Husker three-time All-American and former Big Ten runner-up. Filius, seeded 11th, knocked off sixth-seeded Micic, the Michigan wrestler who represented Serbia in the Olympics this past summer in Tokyo.

At 125 pounds, Michigan standout and 2019 NCAA champion Nick Suriano breezed into the semifinals by defeating Dylan Shawver of Rutgers. He’ll face 2020 and 2021 Big Ten runner up Devin Schroder from Purdue. In the bottom half of the bracket, Northwestern’s Michael DeAugustino knocked off second seeded Drew Hildebrandt from Penn State. DeAugustino will face returning All-American from Wisconsin, Eric Barnett in the semifinals, as Barnett won a thrilling 4-3 quarterfinals match against Drake Ayala.

In the first match up of the semifinals between the top two teams from the opening round, Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young and Michigan’s Dylan Ragusin are set to meet at 133. The first of Iowa’s semifinalists will take the mat at 133, as second-seeded Austin DeSanto will take on the lone Illinois semifinalist in Lucas Byrd.

Penn State’s Nick Lee, the top seeded wrestler at 141, was sharp in his quarterfinal match against Joseph Zargo as he won 16-0. Lee will face Jakob Bergeland from Minnesota, as Bergeland knocked of Cayden Rooks 8-3. In a match of former Big Ten champions, Jaydin Eierman, Iowa and Sebastian Rivera of Rutgers will face off in a battle of second and third seeds.

In yeomanlike fashion, top seeded Sammy Sasso from Ohio State advanced to the semis with a 6-3 decision. The Buckeye will take on Iowa’s Max Murin, the fourth-seeded wrestler who defeated Northwestern’s Yahya Thomas by way of a takedown in the final seconds, 6-5. Austin Gomez, Wisconsin, and Ridge Lovett, Nebraska, will meet in the other semifinals match at 149, in a match that is sure to feature fireworks.

At 157 pounds, Northwestern standout Ryan Deakin won by fall in the quarterfinals. Deakin is set to face Peyton Robb from Nebraska, who had the support of the home crowd during his two matches, including a 6-4 overtime victory over fourth-seed Kendall Coleman from Purdue. Michigan’s Will Lewan, the third seed, will take on Penn State’s Brady Berge, the 10th-seeded wrestler who knocked off the seventh and second seeded wrestlers in the first session.

The top four seeded wrestlers at 165 pounds all advanced to the semifinals, as top seeded Carson Kharchla from Ohio State and Michigan’s Cameron Amine won by decision and major decision, respectively, in the quarterfinals. The bottom of the bracket at 165 will pit Iowa’s Alex Marinelli against freshman Dean Hamiti from Wisconsin.

In a loaded 174 pound weight class, a rematch of the 2021 NCAA finals will take place as Carter Starocci, Penn State, and Michael Kemerer, Iowa, will square off. Starocci defeated Kemerer 2-1 in sudden victory during their match in January. Michigan’s Logan Massa and Mikey Labriola from Nebraska will face off in the other semifinal match.

Returning NCAA champion at 184 pounds, Aaron Brooks from Penn State, pinned his Maryland opponent in the quarterfinals. In the semis, Brooks will face Nebraska’s fourth-seeded Taylor Venz, the only wrestler to have beaten the Nittany Lion superstar in his college career. Olympic bronze medalist Myles Amine from Michigan, the second seed, is set to wrestle Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero. Romero was dominant in the session, as he notched two major decisions.

The top three seeds at 197, Eric Schultz, Max Dean and Cameron Caffey, all advance to the semifinals with decisions in the quarterfinals. Fifth-seeded Patrick Brucki of Michigan knocked off Iowa’s Jacob Warner in the other quarterfinal match.

In a rematch of the 2021 Big Ten and NCAA finals, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson, wrestling at 285 pounds for Minnesota, will wrestle Michigan’s Mason Parris. Steveson won by technical fall over Tate Orndorff, while Parris erased an early deficit to defeat Northwestern’s Lucas Davison 7-2. In a much-anticipated rematch from January, second and third-seeded Tony Cassioppi, Iowa and Greg Kerkvliet, Penn State, will wrestle in the last semifinals match at 285.

Session 2 will begin at 5:30 PM Central Time, with semifinals set to begin at 7:30 PM.


At Lincoln, Neb.

Semifinal pairings


No. 1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs. No. 5 Devin Schroder (Purdue)

No. 3 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) vs. No. 7 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern)


No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)

No. 3 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) vs. No. 2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)


No. 1 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. No. 5 Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota)

No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) vs. No. 2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)


No. 1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. No. 4 Max Murin (Iowa)

No. 3 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) vs. No. 2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)


No. 1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. No. 5 Peyton Robb (Nebraska)

No. 3 Will Lewan (Michigan) vs. No. 10 Brady Berge (Penn State)


No. 1 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs. No. 4 Cameron Amine (Michigan)

No. 3 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) vs. No. 2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa)


No. 1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)

No. 3 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) vs. No. 2 Logan Massa (Michigan)


No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Taylor Venz (Nebraska)

No. 3 Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) vs. No. 2 Myles Amine (Michigan)


No. 1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. No. 5 Patrick Brucki (Michigan)

No. 3 Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) vs. No. 2 Max Dean (Penn State)


No. 1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. No. 4 Mason Parris (Michigan)

No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

Standings After Session One

1 Michigan 68.5

2 Penn State 67.5

3 Iowa 55.0

4 Nebraska 47.5

5 Wisconsin 36.5

6 Ohio State 33.0

7 Northwestern 27.5

8 Minnesota 21.5

9 Rutgers 18.5

10 Michigan State 17.0

11 Purdue 13.5

12 Illinois 12.0

13 Maryland 5.0

14 Indiana 4.0


Michigan (8)

Penn State (7)

Iowa (6)

Nebraska (5)

Wisconsin, Ohio State, Northwestern (3)

Minnesota (2)

Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois (1)

Quarterfinal results


Nick Suriano (Michigan) 9-0 won by major decision over Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) 16-6 (MD 18-6)

Devin Schroder (Purdue) 19-3 won by decision over Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) 13-4 (Dec 3-1)

Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) 13-2 won by decision over Drake Ayala (Iowa) 10-4 (Dec 4-3)

Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) 9-2 won in sudden victory - 1 over Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State) 8-2 (SV-1 5-3)


Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) 15-0 won by major decision over Matt Ramos (Purdue) 16-7 (MD 11-3)

Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) 16-5 won by decision over RayVon Foley (Michigan State) 26-3 (Dec 3-1)

Lucas Byrd (Illinois) 20-1 won by major decision over Brock Hudkins (Indiana) 11-3 (MD 10-2)

Austin DeSanto (Iowa) 11-2 won by decision over Chris Cannon (Northwestern) 12-4 (Dec 7-3)


Nick Lee (Penn State) 15-0 won by tech fall over Joseph Zargo (Wisconsin) 12-9 (TF-1.5 5:05 (16-0))

Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota) 10-5 won by decision over Cayden Rooks (Indiana) 12-10 (Dec 8-3)

Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) 20-0 won by major decision over Parker Filius (Purdue) 20-9 (MD 15-5)

Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) 13-1 won by decision over Dylan D`Emilio (Ohio State) 14-8 (Dec 10-3)


Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) 16-1 won by decision over Graham Rooks (Indiana) 11-11 (Dec 6-3)

Max Murin (Iowa) 10-2 won by decision over Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) 12-5 (Dec 6-5)

Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) 14-1 won by decision over Mike Van Brill (Rutgers) 18-3 (Dec 2-0)

Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) 16-2 won by major decision over Beau Bartlett (Penn State) 12-7 (MD 12-4)


Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) 11-0 won by fall over Bryce Hepner (Ohio State) 9-5 (Fall 4:14)

Peyton Robb (Nebraska) 10-5 won in sudden victory - 1 over Kendall Coleman (Purdue) 12-6 (SV-1 6-4)

Will Lewan (Michigan) 12-2 won by decision over Chase Saldate (Michigan State) 25-6 (Dec 3-1)

Brady Berge (Penn State) 7-1 won by decision over Kaleb Young (Iowa) 0-1 (Dec 5-3)


Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) 16-1 won by decision over Clayton Wilson (Nebraska) 8-8 (Dec 7-2)

Cameron Amine (Michigan) 11-2 won by major decision over Caleb Fish (Michigan State) 21-10 (MD 11-1)

Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) 19-1 won by tech fall over David Ferrante (Northwestern) 7-10 (TF-1.5 7:00 (18-3))

Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 15-1 won by decision over Creighton Edsell (Penn State) 11-4 (Dec 8-2)


Carter Starocci (Penn State) 16-0 won by fall over Dominic Solis (Maryland) 11-14 (Fall 2:18)

Michael Kemerer (Iowa) 9-2 won by decision over Ethan Smith (Ohio State) 12-5 (Dec 5-4)

Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) 14-2 won by injury default over Bailee O`Reilly (Minnesota) 12-6 (Inj. 3:27)

Logan Massa (Michigan) 15-1 won by decision over Troy Fisher (Northwestern) 13-8 (Dec 8-3)


Aaron Brooks (Penn State) 15-0 won by fall over Kyle Cochran (Maryland) 21-7 (Fall 1:41)

Taylor Venz (Nebraska) 12-5 won by decision over Abe Assad (Iowa) 9-6 (Dec 4-2)

Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) 12-1 won by major decision over Christopher Weiler (Wisconsin) 8-11 (MD 10-1)

Myles Amine (Michigan) 14-1 won by decision over Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota) 9-4 (Dec 9-3)


Eric Schultz (Nebraska) 11-0 won by decision over Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) 9-8 (Dec 3-1)

Patrick Brucki (Michigan) 15-4 won by decision over Jacob Warner (Iowa) 11-4 (Dec 3-1)

Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) 27-4 won by decision over Thomas Penola (Purdue) 19-6 (Dec 4-2)

Max Dean (Penn State) 16-1 won by decision over Greg Bulsak (Rutgers) 16-5 (Dec 6-2)


Gable Steveson (Minnesota) 11-0 won by tech fall over Tate Orndorff (Ohio State) 11-7 (TF-1.5 3:49 (20-5))

Mason Parris (Michigan) 14-2 won by decision over Lucas Davison (Northwestern) 18-5 (Dec 7-2)

Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) 16-1 won by decision over Christian Lance (Nebraska) 10-6 (Dec 7-1)

Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) 14-2 won by decision over Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) 15-5 (Dec 9-3)