Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan jump right into breaking down the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. It was no surprise to anyone the 125 lbs championship came down to Sebastian Rivera vs Spencer Lee. Rivera got the decision over Lee 6-4 in sudden victory. The defining moment of the match was in the 3rd period when Lee got a hands to the face call against him. This sparks a conversation debating the rule. Askren and Dernlan agree if you’re going to have the rule at least offer an initial warning before taking a point. This was Rivera’s second win over Lee this year after beating him at Midlands. Lee’s only other loss is to Nick Piccininni. Ronnie Bresser’s only loss is to Rivera. This leaves Lee at the No. 4 spot heading into the NCAA Championships. Askren and Dernlan look forward to a likely trilogy in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships.
133 lbs (5:07)
One of the biggest matchups in the tournament went down in the quarterfinals Luke Pletcher beating Roman Bravo-Young 8-5. This win would send Pletcher to the finals after Stevan Micic forfeits the semifinals due to injury. Getting into the other side of the bracket Dernlan talks about how Nick Suriano was on the offense during this tournament. This was one thing Askren and Dernlan talked about before the tournament that Suriano needed to go out and look to score his points and not only rely on his counter-offense style. In the exciting Semifinals, Suriano got his revenge on Austin DeSanto with dominant win 6-3. Suriano goes on to beat Pletcher in the finals 4-1 but Askren and Dernlan agree the score doesn’t show how much Suriano controlled the match. After dropping a tough Semifinal match, DeSanto goes on to wrestle RBY in the Semifinals of the wrestle backs and wins 12-8. He then loses the third-place match to Ethan Lizak.
141 lbs (16:20)
The biggest story out of this bracket was the No. 8 seed Chad Red beating the No. 1 seed Michael Carr and then Kanen Storr to get to the finals. On the other side of the bracket, Joey McKenna had to get past Nick Lee in their Semifinal match. McKenna got the decision over Lee 5-4. Dernlan talks about how fascinating it is to watch the adjustments wrestlers make during a rematch against someone they lost or struggled against. Lee did wrestle back and take third place.
149 lbs (20:31)
No. 1 and No. 2 faced off in the finals with Anthony Ashnault beating Micah Jordan 8-6. Even though it’s a tough battle every time, Askren doesn’t believe there is any self-doubt in Ashnault’s head when thinking about a future match against Jordan. Dernlan says it’s absolutely in his head if he can pull off three consecutive wins over Jordan with the third being the biggest match.
157 lbs (27:30)
Dernlan was impressed with Alec Pantaleo all weekend and surprised by Ryan Deakin’s performance. No surprise to most, Jason Nolf beat Tyler Berger 12-4 in the championship match. Askren speaks to how good Nolf is and how he is extremely hard to game plan against because he doesn’t have any big holes in his game.
165 lbs (31:49)
Another 1 vs 2 championship matchup went down at 165 lbs. This time No. 2 Alex Marinelli dominated No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph with a 9-3 victory. Askren and Dernlan can’t recall a time Joseph got dominated in this fashion. The last-minute tricks Joseph has pulled out in the past to come back and win like his inside/outside trip looked like acts of desperation against Marinelli. Askren talks about how Joseph is used to be the stronger opponent but you need to recognize when that’s not the case. Talking about Marinelli’s semifinal match against Evan Wick brings up the lack of stalling calls against Marinelli. Dernlan talks about how it’s hard to complain when the rule book allows for what Marinelli’s game plan consists of against Wick. He says if you’re Wick’s coaching staff you have to tell him to find a way to take Marinelli down and force him to make an adjustment.
174 lbs (42:00)
Mark Hall and Myles Amine faced off in the finals resulting in the same score as in February 3-2 Hall. Following through on a bet to raise money for THON a student-run philanthropy organization, Hall ended his post-match interview by playing the recorder. Some people watching may have heard boos but that was only because in the stadium they stopped showing the interview on the big screen and people wanted to watch Hall play.
184 lbs (44:35)
Myles Martin wins by default over Shakur Rasheed in the finals. This decision by Penn State makes things very messy for the seeding committee. Dernlan believes the strategy behind making it to the finals but not wrestling Martin is that if he lost he could fall to the No. 4 spot but by defaulting at worse if he falls to 3 and gives up the 2 spot. Rasheed is undefeated but he only has one win over a top 15 opponent.
197 lbs (48:00)
Bo Nickal won 10-3 over Kollin Moore. This is an improvement by Moore not getting pinned but Askren and Dernlan agree Moore doesn’t have the goods to beat Nickal.
Heavy Weight (48:59)
Props are given to Youssif Hemida for going through the gauntlet wrestling six matches to take 3rd. Undefeated Freshman Gable Steveson loses to Senior Anthony Cassar 4-3. Askren believed Steveson would go undefeated. Steveson got a takedown 3rd period and Askren thought it was a done deal.
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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.
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