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Session Three Notes: Update on the six pairs of brothers, Stanford one year later, no freshman champs this year and more

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Trent Hidlay of NC State, half of a brother act, with his arm raised in victory. Photo by Mark Lundy

Oh, Brother!! Update on the six sets of brothers through Session III

With the Willits twins of Oregon State reaching the quarterfinals, as well as the Hidlay brothers of NC State, we decided to track the six sets of brothers in the tournament this session. Only one of the 12 wrestlers from this year’s brother acts was eliminated on Thursday. After session III, there are still seven of the 12 still competing. The Hidlay brothers are the only siblings to both reach the semifinals. The Elam brothers from Missouri are both alive in the consolations, as are the Willits brothers. The only other of the brothers that is still on the mat tonight is Lucas Davison of Northwestern, who is the consolations after losing to Olympic champion Gable Steveson in the quarterfinals. Here is the update on all six sets of brothers.

Hidlay brothers of NC State: Hayden (174) and Trent (184), Mifflin County HS, Pennsylvania
WIN Jay Nivison (Buffalo), pin 2:43
WIN Matt Finesilver (Duke), maj. dec. 13-5
WIN Michael Kemerer (Iowa), 11-3
WIN Max Lyon (Purdue), maj. de. 12-3
WIN Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota), 5-3
WIN Trey Munoz (Oregon State), 6-2

Willits twins of Oregon State: Grant (141) and Hunter (157), Pueblo County HS, Colorado
WIN Carter Young (Oklahoma State), 5- 3
WIN Allan Hart (Missouri), TB-1, 3-1
LOSS Nick Lee (Penn State), 3:45
WIN Brady Berge (Penn State), 2-1
WIN David Carr (Iowa State), TB-1, 2-1
LOSS Will Lewan (Michigan), 3-1

Davison brothers of Northwestern:Andrew (197) and Lucas (285). Chesterson HS, Indiana
LOSS Nino Bonaccorsi, Pitt, maj. dec. 9-0
LOSS: Tanner Sloan, SDSU, 5-0
WIN Sam Schuyler (Iowa State), 4-0
WIN Matt Stencel (Central Michigan), 9-2
LOSS Gable Steveson (Minnesota), 10-5

Elam brothers of Missouri: Rocky (197) and Zach (285), Staley HS, Missouri
WIN Michial Foy (Minnesota), 4-2
WIN Younger Bastida (Iowa State), 1-0
LOSS Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming), 4-0
WIN Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), 5-4
LOSS Gable Steveson (Minnesota), 23-8
WIN Taya Ghadiali (Campbell), pin 5:58
WIN Matt Stencel (Central Michigan), pin 0:32

Finesilver twins of Duke: Josh (149) and Matt (174), Cherry Creek HS, Colorado
WIN Yahya Thomas (Northwestern), 13-10
LOSS Austin Gomez (Wisconsin), maj. dec. 19-7
LOSS Colin Realbuto (UNI), 8-4
WIN Hayden Hastings (Wyoming), 5-3
LOSS Hayden Hidlay (NC State), maj. dec. 13-5
WIN Chris Foca (Cornell), 8-2
LOSS Peyton Mocco (Missouri), 2-1

Ogunsaya brothers: PJ of Army West Point (149) and Joshua of Columbia (165), Oak Park-River Forest HS, Illinois
LOSS Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State), 7-1
WIN Corbyn Munson (Central Michigan), 12-7
WIN Joshua Heil (Campbell), pin 6:56
LOSS Anthony Artalona (Penn), 2-1
LOSS Justin McCoy (Virginia), 6-1
WIN Evan Barczak (Drexel), SV-1 3-1
LOSS Julian Ramirez (Cornell), maj. dec 14-3

Semifinalists, by conference
Big Ten – 18
Pac-12 – 8
ACC – 6
EIWA – 5
Big 12 – 3

A year ago, Stanford was on the chopping block. What a difference a year makes!!
On year ago, with the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Stanford wrestling was competing in its last tournament. The university had dropped wrestling, along with 10 other sports teams, and there did not seem to be any change in direction from the university administration. Wearing singlets without the Stanford name on them, led by an inspiring effort by Shane Griffith who became national champion, the world became more aware of the plight of the Stanford athletes. By mid-May 2021, Stanford reversed the decision and reinstated the 11 programs. This year, Stanford has a new head coach in Rob Koll, and brought five qualifiers to Detroit. Two of the Cardinal wrestlers have reached the semifinals, Griffith and Real Woods (141), and the team is 11th in the standings. Considering all the challenges last year, this is a great performance. All of the folks who bought Keep Stanford Wrestling shirts and made donations have a lot to be proud of.

There will not be any freshmen national champions this year
There are three wrestlers in the field who won an NCAA title as a freshman, all who are legitimate title contenders again. Top-seeded Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell (149), a two-time NCAA champion (2018, 2019), did not compete in 2020 with an Olympic redshirt then missed the 2021 season when the Ivy League did not have a season. Mehki Lewis of Virginia Tech (174) won as a freshman in 2019, and seeks his second title from a No. 2 seed. Carter Starocci of Penn State, No. 1 at 174, was a freshman champion in 2021. Two others who were freshman champions were expected this year. Three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee of Iowa (who won his first in 2018), started competing this season but was unable to continue the season due to injury. Oklahoma State’s AJ Ferrari, last year’s champion at 197, also could not complete the season due to injuries caused by an auto accident. Overall, there have been 34 wrestlers who have won a Div. I title as a freshman, yet only four wrestlers have cashed in as four-time NCAA champions: Pat Smith (Oklahoma State), Cael Sanderson (Iowa State), Kyle Dake (Cornell), Logan Stieber (Ohio State). The school with the most freshmen to win an NCAA title is Oklahoma State with five: Dick Hutton (1947), Pat Smith (1990), Mark Branch (1994), Jake Rosholt (2003) and Ferrari (2021). Freshmen were ineligible until 1969 (with the exception of 1947, first event after World War II). Of the 34 champions as freshmen, 20 were true freshmen and 14 were redshirt freshmen. But alas, none of the semifinalists are competing in their first year at the nationals, although Cohlton Schultz of Arizona State, who was fourth last year, is listed as a redshirt freshman and 2021 All-American Keegan O’Toole of Missouri is listed as a COVID freshman. (Historians had better not add Schultz or O’Toole to this list.

Wood, Stencel are five-time conference champions

We talked about possible five-time All-Americans caused due to the 2021 season not counting towards eligibility, but how about five-time conference champions? A pair of heavyweights earned that unique honor this year. Jordan Wood of Lehigh won his fifth EIWA title, while Matt Stencel of Central Michigan did the same in the MAC. Wood will be an All-American this year, after earning a spot in the semifinals. Stencel was eliminated in the second consolation round this afternoon.

Session III quarterfinals upsets – lower seed beats higher seed in match
197 - No. 21 Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) dec. No. 13 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma), 5-3
141 - No. 15 Kizhan Clarke (North Carolina) dec. No. 10 Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota), 3-0
149 - No. 11 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech) pin No. 3 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin), 6:30
149 - No. 10 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) pin No. 2 Tariq Wilson (NC State), 4:16
141 - No. 6 Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh) dec. No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers), 7-5
165 - No. 6 Cameron Amine (Michigan) dec. No. 3 Alex Marinelli (Iowa), SV-1 3-1
285 - No. 6 Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. No. 3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa), SV-1 3-1
197 - No. 6 Jacob Warner (Iowa) dec. No. 3 Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 2-0
133 - No. 5 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) maj. dec. No. 4 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech) , 9-0
157 - No. 5 Quincy Monday (Princeton) dec. No. 4 Ed Scott (NC State), 5-3
165 - No. 5 Shane Griffith (Stanford) dec. No. 4 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin), 10-4
184 - No. 5 Bernie Truax (Cal Poly) dec. No. 4 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa), 6-5
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