Tuesday, February 7, 2023

JT#1's Notes, Thoughts & Observations for Week 15 of the '22-'23 Collegiate Wrestling Season

 We're winding down towards the last weeks of the regular season as we take a look at the happenings of week 15! 

Pikeville Crowns First Ever Cumberland Open Champion 

It's been a rough inaugural season for the Bears of Pikeville, but they had a reason to celebrate this weekend! Steve Lawrence, a senior out of Portage, Indiana claimed the 165 lbs Cumberland Open title, making him the first ever from Pikeville to win a championship. 

NCWA Represents at Cumberland Open 

The NCWA picked up a couple of bronze medals at the Cumberland Open as Florida's Riley Hackworth & Tennesee's Drew Welch both took 3rd at 174 & 184 lbs respectively. 

Freshman Dylan Marlow knocks off NAIA Qualifier to Win Dave Edmonds Invite 

It was a great weekend for Dickinson State's Dylan Marlow, as he hit a major decision on NAIA qualifier Tyler Okada of Waldorf in the semi-finals of the Dave Edmonds Invite. Winning 15-6, he went on to then defeat Steve Aranda of Midland in the finals. 

Former UNC Greensboro/Purdue Wrestler Ivan Loupanchanski Wins Greyhound Open 

After the Spartans dropped their wrestling program after the 2010-2011 season, I never thought I'd again see a former UNC-Greensboro wrestler at a collegiate wrestling tournament.  Nearly 10 years removed since he earned All American honors for Purdue, Loupanchanski looked anything but a decade off the mat. He won his Greyhound Open title with an impressive 15-7 major over NCAA DIII qualifier Daniel Uribe of Wabash. 

Doug Byrne Defeats 2022 All American to win John Summa Invite 

I said at the very beginning of the season that if 2020 NCAA DIII qualifier Doug Byrne was going to make it back to the national championships he was gonna have to step it up a notch. He's done just that again and again, week after week, all season. 23-1 on the year, he defeated NCAA DIII 7th place finisher Gable Crebs of Lycoming, 3-1 to win the John Summa Inviate. 

Hocus Pocus Alimagocus! Carter Urich is alive! 

Tournament after tournament, dual after dual, I've been completely lost as to where Carter Urich has been. 15 weeks into the season, I was at a point to where I was gonna sum up that wherever he was, he wasn't gonna be seen in the '22-'23 season. Then of course he shows up at the Messiah Open to take runner-up honors.  Not sure if he's sitting this year out, if he's been hurt all season or what the deal is. Was happy to see him back on the mat though. 

Jett Boots Avenges Two Losses to Win MIAA title 

After suffering two losses to the Bulldog, Trine's Jett Boots was finally able to figure out Adrian's Tanner Smith in a 10-5 decision to win the MIAA title at 141 lbs. 

You Stalled! I Stalled! You didn't Stall! I didn't Stall! Who Stalled!?!?! 

A lot of debate over who was the aggressor and who the staller as two NCAA title contenders went at it this weekend in Sammy Sasso of Ohio State Vs Yahya Thomas of Northwestern.  The match was ultimately decided in a tiebreaker where the Buckeye prevailed 2-1 t.b.  Even Thomas' father felt that the current rules of collegiate wrestling is what kept this match from being the classic that it could have been. Agree or disagree with him, it brings up a fair point. When it comes to excitement and action in collegiate wrestling, how much to current rules hold us back? 

Cael Valencia's Switch Permanently Set to On For the Rest of The Season???

I predicted he'd do this and most certainly he is. Wrestle like poo at the beginning & middle of the season and then start to pick it up towards the end.  Cael Valencia looked very good this weekend with two important in-conference dual victories. A 6-4 s.v. over Aaron Olmos of Oregon State & a 5-1 win over Triston Wills of Little Rock.  Back in November I was wondering if he'd even place at the PAC-12's. Now I'm considering the fact that he's a legit threat to win the tournament. 

A Glimpse of the Old Turley 

After earning All American honors in 2021, Jackson Turley suffered a season ending injury in 2022 & hasn't been the same sense.  It's been a challenging return, but this weekend he scored a nice 5-1 victory over NCAA qualifier Dominic Solis of Maryland. 


As always could say a lot more about the week.  I was vastly disappointed to see the attendance numbers so low for the Michigan Vs Oklahoma State dual in Arlington, Texas. It was depressing that the dual didn't draw more.  Catching glimpses of both Ohio State Vs Penn State & Iowa Vs Minnesota, I was expecting the Buckeyes to give the Nittany Lions a bit more of a fight than they did.  I knew the Golden Gophers despite not being a top 4 team at the time would hold their own against Iowa. If Brayton Lee were back to form & had they put out O'Reilly instead of Carlson, it might have been even closer. 

In some ways seems that the season just started & here we are nearly towards the end of it! 

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