It’s been a typically wonderful and predictably wacky first 30 days in the college wrestling world. No in depth summaries, intellectual analysis or first hand fiery rhetoric here, just a bleacher buzzards excited ramblings and breathless anticipation for what comes next.
CKLV-the Song remains the same
The only thing gnarlier AND on point than the Bully Boy Conferences run through its dual schedule and its conference opposition in Las Vegas was the seed setters for the CKLV. A strong 32 out of 40 top seeds made the semis with a perfect 1-4 at both 157 and 165. The Children of The Corn, as is their want, rode roughshod over the field of play outdistancing Ohio State and Michigan as the Huskers took their 2nd straight CKLV crown. Knowledgeable and disgustingly fit wrestling expert Cody Goodwin of the Des Moines Register/Intermat laid out the logic for a Top four NCAA finish for Mark Mannings crew early in the preseason, just sayin. Nebraska and 2nd place Ohio State split finals at 174 and 184, but the two won’t be on the same mats again till the BIG 10 Tournament. Michigan took 3rd without 4 potential starters and 3 championship contenders, so MGoBlue has to be happy. Northwesterns 4th place slot was grabbed minus superstar freshman Carter Young who split Evanston for Stillwater and his homeboy Oklahoma State team in the preseason. The Wildcats Covid-19 line in the sand mandates cost them uber-coach/ recruiter Jimmy Kennedy and Young and….🦗. BIG kudos out to Lou Rosellis Sooners as well, as they competed without 3 starters, led after round 1, and finished just outside the Top 10. But the non BIG 10 story of the CKLV was the Top Four finish (tied with Northwestern) by Mark Branchs Wyoming Cowboys. The band of brothers #straightOuttaLaradise placed half their team on the podium and All American 197lb Stephen Buchanan did the darn thing. Buchanan won big, won little, and won the 197lb crown over a field full of All Americans and podium threats, the Cowboys first CKLV champ in 20 years. Serious bias towards Branchs bunch freely acknowledged here but it’s a straight up fact-Wyoming can and very well may get better, especially hvt. Brian Andrews, who defaulted out of his wrestle back match. Andrews fell to the Citadels defending SoCon champ Mike McAleavey. Big Mike and 157lb Dazjon Casto proved Bulldog proud with Casto finishing 1 point in 1 match away from placing and McAleavey taking 7th. Team wise 6-10 it went Purdue, Cornell, Princeton, Oregon State and Cal Poly.
Cougar Clash News and Notes
As expected Wisconsin walked away with the team title at the six squad event with Northern Illinois finishing second. The Badgers took nine starters and seven won titles with all nine placing. In a slight suprise freshman 165lb Dean Hamiti won, pinning NIU star Izzak Olejnik. At 174 favored Badger Andrew McNally, still ill, finished third. NIUs strong showing, unsurprisingly, was led by champs All American 184lb Brit Wilson and 174lb Mason Kaufman. The Huskies put 5 on the podium overall. Certainly the team suprise was the scrappy showing by Todd Beckermans Brown Bears. Nine top six finishes fed the Bears medal cravings and led by freshman Blake Saitos Gold Brown finished third. What can Brown do for themselves next? Stay tuned, this is a young and talented squad without superstars but with an edge to them. Little Rock was fourth, a half point ahead of host SIUE with SoCon squad Bellarmine 6th. Good showings overall and each squad is set for end of the month/first of the New Year tests at either the Midlands or the Southern Scuffle.
Who had a hot first 30
That would definitely be Rutgers, Utah Valley, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wyoming, and App State. They’ve all picked up boatloads of individual tournament titles, Top five team finishes, and beaucoup dual meet wins against two total losses. Some of this is the dual meet-light nature of the season, true, but they all look good from afar so far.
Small notes on the Big Boys
Penn State beat good teams Penn and Lehigh without a lot of their really good wrestlers wrestling. Those wrestlers will all probably be back soon. Soon Penn State will be winning more.
Iowa beat Iowa State. It was expected. Stars were missing in action, also expected. Iowa States 197lb Yonger Bastida defeated Iowa AA Jacob Warner. Unexpected, unless you know about Bastida, Coach Kevin Dresser and staff and Iowa State Olympic Sports strength and conditioning Coach Ben “Turbo” Durbo.
Virginia Tech lost a home match to Ohio State, then beat a tough Northern Iowa and #3 ranked Missouri by a combined 57-19. Unexpected. The loss and scores, not the wins.
See you sometime soon!