Well, first off I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know I did and I certainly hope that you did too. It was a short week of collegiate wrestling but still an exciting one nonetheless.
What a great event the NWCA All-Star Classic was. Marquee matches that delivered some great wrestling action. Why this event didn't take place in front of an audience is something I'll never understand. It's one of the top wrestling extravaganzas of the season. This should be taking place in front of thousands if not 10's of thousands of fans. That aside, it was quite revealing.
Lucas Byrd of Illinois 3-2 over Michael McGee of Arizona State is further reminder to just how loaded the 133 lbs weight class is this year. While Roman Bravo Young of Penn State & Daton Fix of Oklahoma State seem be the permanent fixtures at the top with Vitali Arujau of Cornell currently looking for any kinks in the armor, the rest of the spots will be determined in an all our war.
Northern Colorado's Andrew Alirez's 4-2 victory over Cole Matthews of Pittsburgh helps to illustrate how wide open 141 lbs is this season. As the season progresses it'll prove itself to be one of the hardest weight classes to predict.
I'm curious how some fans are concluding that Jacob Warner of Iowa couldn't beat Rocky Elam or how he was severely outwrestled by Elam. A sudden victory match to me indicates that the match could have gone either way & Elam happened to get the final takedown. That's all. As loaded at 197 lbs is this year & as much parity and upsets seem to happen, anything is possible. However to start having doubts about Warner because of this particular match is quite laughable. He's made the award stand three times already. It's likely he will again. And yes, we'll take Vs Penn here in just a moment....
David Carr of Iowa State Vs Quincy Monday of Princeton was a treat for various reasons. Was hoping for a bit more scoring between the two, but when so much is on the line, cautiousness cannot be avoided. To know their fathers were duking it out years ago & now here they are doing the same thing. What a cool happening for the sport of wrestling.
Penn State's Greg Kerkvliet has finally figured out Iowa's Tony Cassioppi. I don't know what Cael Sanderson is doing in Happy Valley, but whatever it is, it seems to almost always work. He gets his guys to improve. I'm anxious to see Kerkvliet against Arizona State's Cohlton Schultz. That'll be fun.
That Austin Gomez of Wisconsin is something else isn't he? That loss to Paniro Johnson of Iowa State was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. It woke up the warrior inside of him & he's been a burning inferno ever since. A hard fought 10-9 victory over Ohio State's Sammy Sasso, where he just lit the Buckeye up in the third period.
Carter Starocci of Penn State remains one step ahead of Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech. In most circumstances, I would like to think Lewis may be closing the gap, but as I said before, things are different at Penn State. Cael Sanderson has something going on up there that is different from everywhere else. I'd like to see a little more back and forth between the two, but at this point it seems Starocci has Lewis' #.
Lastly I'll say I enjoyed the women's wrestling. In it's infancy, I'm still not familiar with all of our outstanding young female wrestlers. I'm enjoying learning about them and their credentials, accomplishments and backgrounds.
|Quakers Prove They Belong On Mat With Hawkeyes|
Granted Iowa was missing some starters, but it doesn't change the fact that Pennsylvania went out and competed hard against the black & gold. Cole Urbas put up an excellent fight against NCAA runner-up Jacob Warner. I wrote in my preview that Warner should be leery of Urbas' long arms & his knowledge of how to use them to his advantage. Two turns to come up short in an 11-10 match up. Michael Colaiocco looked extremely sharp against Cullen Schreiver in a 6-0 decision. Some may disagree with me, but I think he would've faired about the same against Brody Teske. I still say by year's end it could very well be Schriever who is the starter for Iowa. Doug Zapf put up a great fight against Max Murin in a battle of two of the best seniors yet to AA.
All in all, if we're being truthful and honest, had it not been for an error on Anthony Artalona's part, this dual would have ended 20-15 instead of 26-11. Take nothing away from Cole Seibrecht's 4:02 fall. You earn a fall, you deserve the recognition, but Artalona was on his way to a major.
Last thoughts on this dual is that I was surprised but happy to see Nelson Brands back. I was told by one Iowa fan that he would be at least another month. Another Iowa fan told me that we may not see him back at all this season. Not only was he back, but he looked really good. Nick Incontrera is no pushover & Brands looked smooth & solid in a 5-1 decision.
That's it for week 5. I could say more as always but with as much as we got going on in Week 6, I'm trying to prepare for that. Once again, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope it was a rewarding holiday for you.
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