Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
The first week of the 2019 NCAA season brought us high-level action from top teams, a glimpse at some up-and-coming schools, and exciting upsets including one over a #1-ranked wrestler.
Here are a few top stories from the weekend.
Wisconsin Tested but Remains Unbeaten, Seth Gross Maintains 100% Bonus Rate
The #4 Badgers won a trio of duals on Friday against Fresno State, Army, and Navy, but not without some challenges. Army made it a one-point match due in part to an overtime upset by PJ Ogunsanya over #11 Cole Martin. Read more about the Badgers' opening weekend in Nomad's Trophy Hunters article.
Also of note, Seth Gross started his Hodge campaign with a fall and two major decisions on the weekend.
Good Start for Gopher Freshmen
Minnesota fans have been excited for Pat McKee and Brayton Lee to get into the lineup at 125 and 149, respectively. McKee and Lee started their Gopher careers with wins on Friday night in their dual against Cal State Bakersfield.
Pat McKee showed off the dynamic style fans expect from him while Brayton Lee picked up a tight victory over his first ranked opponent of the year in #17 Russell Rohlfing. These victories contributed to a 28-9 Minnesota victory over Cal State Bakersfield.
Rutgers Rolls Out 6 Freshmen
The Scarlet Knights used six freshmen in Saturday's duals against LIU, Centenary, and Pitt-Johnstown. All eyes were on true freshmen Sammy Alvarez and JoJo Aragona. Alvarez picked up a win in the opening dual against LIU but fell at the hands of NCAA Division II champ Tyler Warner in the UPJ match.
JoJo Aragona looked dominant in his three matches on Saturday and may lead the NCAA in number and intensity of mat returns.
Northern Colorado Won Five Elite Cowboy Open Titles
Before this weekend, a lot of intrigue surrounded this year's Northern Colorado team, especially its most recent recruiting class. After one weekend, this team is already turning heads.
The Bears got titles from super freshmen Theorious Robison at 133 and Andrew Alirez at 149. In addition, Chris Sandoval at 141, Jimmy Fate at 157, and App State transfer Alan Clothier at 184 also won their brackets. Robison's title was the most impressive as he knocked off Wyoming All American Montorie Bridges in one of the most exciting matches of the weekend.
Pletcher Over #1 Demas Headlines MSU Open
Luke Pletcher looked outstanding at the MSU Open racking up four bonus-point wins in addition to an upset over top-ranked Dom Demas of Oklahoma. Pletcher was one of five Buckeyes to win an MSU Open title as described in Nomad's second Trophy Hunters article.
In addition to Pletcher, tOSU had champs in Sammy Sasso at 149, Carson Kharchla at 165, Kaleb Romero at 174, and Kollin Moore at 197. Sasso was especially impressive racking up three falls and two tech falls.
Pitt had two champs in 133-pounder Micky Phillippi and 184-pounder Nino Bonaccorsi. The remaining three MSU Open champions were Indiana 125-pounder Brock Hudkins, Purdue 157-pounder Kendall Coleman, and Michigan 285-pounder Mason Parris. Coleman shined brightest of that group knocking off #22 Will Lewan, #8 Anthony Artalona, and #6 Eric Barone en route to his title.
Zacherl Rolls Plus PSU Depth Insight at Clarion Open
Whenever there are Nittany Lions on the mat, people pay attention. The Clarion Open was no exception as it featured a hand-full of Penn State backups.
A trio of high profile PSU freshmen made the finals. Joe Lee dominated in his 165-pound final over Michael Bartolo of Clarion by major decision, and Carter Starocci pulled off a 2-0 win over Lock Haven's Jared Siegrist.
Michael Beard fell in the 197 finals by an 11-8 decision at the hands of #23 Greg Bulsak. With this win, Bulsak avenged his loss to Beard from last season.
The star of this tournament was Clarion's fourth-ranked 149-pounder Brock Zacherl who kept the helmet at home with a 7-6 win in the finals over Scott DuBois.
The 2019 Clarion Open Champion at 149 pounds, Brock Zacherl pic.twitter.com/71p9FCzHtv— Clarion U. Athletics (@ClarionEagles) November 3, 2019
Southeast Open Surprises
In a field that included three teams ranked in the top 20, Campbell won the contest for the most Southeast Open champs, taking home four weight class titles. Eighth-ranked Noah Gonser at 133 and 16th-ranked Josh Heil at 141 may not have surprised anyone, but Andrew Morgan's title at 184 was not as predictable.
The 165 title was decided in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament as #24 Quentin Perez held off North Carolina's Kennedy Monday.
One other interesting result was Virginia Tech true freshman Sam Latona's 125-pound finals win over #25 Fabian Gutierrez of Chattanooga. The win itself is not surprising as Latona was a highly touted recruit, but it might build momentum toward the possibility that he starts for the Hokies this year.