Sunday, December 10, 2023

North Central College Invitational Recap & Review


A great little NCAA Division III tournament that is often overlooked year in and year out is the North Central Invite. While not to the caliber of the Pete Willson Invite, it is a good little tournament that features top talent and great matches at each weight class. This year once again proved to be rather exciting. 

Christian Guzman Gets One For the Home Team

At the 59th North Central Invite, the Cardinals started things off right by keeping the 125 lbs title home with no contest over fellow teammate Ethan Spacht. So I guess you could call it a shared title, but either way, it belongs to the Cardinals. Guzman was 5th in last year's championships. 

Robbie Precin Continues to Win

He's not real flashy and he never racks up the score, but what he does do is win. I'm not exactly sure what his status is. When I wrote about the three time NCAA DIII finalist/two time DIII champ in my preseason previews, I was told by many that he was done. That '22-'23 was his final season.  Guess not?  One of the best DIII wrestlers of this generation, Precin's record just improved to 123-2 

That's not the only thing to talk about concerning 133 lbs however.  While Precin defeated Augustana's Trevor Boryla 5-1 in the finals, it was Boryla who pulled off a huge 18-10 major decision over 2023 DIII 4th place finisher Jaden Hinton of Baldwin Wallace in the semi-finals. That has to feel great for the Viking who hasn't seen the national tournament since 2021.  Hinton who was 2nd at last year's North Central Invite, battled back to finish 3rd. 

Another Title Kept Home For the Cardinals

Bradley Rosen won a rather competitive 141 lbs bracket this weekend. The big story here was freshman Jake Penzato of Aurora with a huge 6-2 upset over 2023 NCAA DIII champ (as well as last year's Norht Central champ) Sam Stuhl of Augsburg in the semi-finals. To illustrate just how insane this sport can be, Penzato was then tech'd 19-4 by Brody McGee of Wabash in the consolation semi-finals after dropping a 3-2 match to Sam Lorenz in the semi-finals.  Stuhl then defeated McGee 13-6 for 3rd place as Penzato took 5th.  Those kinda results can really mess with your head can't they?  Rosen defeated Lorenz 11-3 in the finals. 

Mike Petrella Wins One For Baldwin Wallace

The two time NCAA DIII finalist/NCAA DIII Champ Mike Petrella came in and took name after name in route to winning the 149 lbs crown. I thought that Wabash two time NCAA DIII qualifier Daniel Uribe might give him a match but it was all Petrella. An 18-2 technical fall for the Yellow Jacket. 

Javen Estrada Dominates His Way To Another Title 

Javen Estrada won a title here at 157 lbs just as easily as he did last year at 149.  I thought that Kaden Reetz might give him a tough match considering that Reetz defeated Tommy West 6-4 in the semi-finals. Estrada just lit him up, 19-0 technical fall. 

Cooper Willis Wins A Tough 165 lbs Bracket

165 lbs was a rather loaded bracket, featuring a good semi-final, a good final & a good consolation final. In the Semis Cooper Willis of Augsburg snuck past Will Esmoil of Coe 4-3 as Alex Villar of North Central scored a 10-5 decision over Andrew Supers of Baldwin Wallace. Esmoil then majored Supers 11-2 to capture the bronze as Willis majored Villar 11-3 to capture the gold. Depending on whose rankings you use, all four of these wrestlers are ranked within the top 25. 

Seth Goetzinger Wins An Even Tougher 174 lbs Bracket

174 lbs was a great bracket featuring a lot of great NCAA Division III action.  Seth Goetzinger who was 5th in last year's championships really stepped it up a notch by winning a title this year. A 7-3 decision over Ray Arebalo of Wabash in the semis, he then defeated Coe's L.J. Richardson 18-6 in the finals.  

The consolation bracket had a bit of a surprise.  Eddie Simes of UW-La Crosse pulled off a 7-3 decision over 2023 NCAA DIII qualifier Arebalo in the consolation semi-finals.  Pretty good win for the freshman. As Simes then dropped a 5-2 decision to Joey Petrella for 3rd place (who had dropped a 5-3 decision to Richardson in the semis) Arebalo came back to place 5th.   

Very competitive bracket. 

Bentley Schwanebeck Ostermann Wins Another Title at 184 lbs

I swear by the time I write Bentley Schwanebeck Ostermann for the last time, I'll have muscles built up in my forearms the size of Popeye. B.S.O. as I sometimes refer to him as has done yet again what he'll do many more times this season, he won a tournament title. A 3:50 fall over Peyton Geigner in the semi-finals, I gotta hand it to Jared Voss of Coe for keeping it to a decision in the finals. That's not an easy thing to do against a guy like Ostermann.  Geigner came back to beat Cole Cervantes 6-0 for 3rd, to help clear up the who is varsity concerning North Central.  Voss pinned Cervantes at 1:49 in the semi-finals. 

Another Champion Repeats for Augsburg

It was a hard fought 1-0 win over Ben Kawczynski of UW-La Crosse, but Parker Venz was able to capture another title at 197 for the Auggies in a battle between two talents who will both contend for NCAA DIII qualification at season's end. 

Tyler Kim Continues To Dominate the Field at HWT

The three time NCAA DIII All American who hopes to end his career as a national champion improved his season record to 16-0 here at the North Central Invite. 10 of those wins have come via fall, as he stuck Baldwin Wallace's Doug Byrne in the finals at the 4:51 mark.  Byrne himself picked up a big win via fall in the semi-finals when he pinned last year's North Central runner-up Robby Bates in 2:05.  Bates came back to finish 3rd.   All three of these talents are D3 All American caliber, as if me saying that isn't already painfully obvious. 

No comments:

Post a Comment