Missouri Valley Invitational
Brody Gee had one of the best performances of the Missouri Valley Invite, winning the title at 125. His first big win came in the quarters when he pinned #12 Adonis Boyd before beating #4 Trevor Marsman, the returning national bronze medalist, in the semifinals. He capped his weekend with a dominant 17-6 major decision over Nick Rodriguez of Lourdes in the finals. Gee qualified for nationals last year as a freshman but failed to win a match. This season, however, he is now 21-0 vs. NAIA competition and is right there in the national title conversation.
Abel Nava was perhaps the most dominant champion of the weekend, winning the 174 title. He had a 100% bonus rate in his five matches with three techs, a pin, and a major decision. In the semis, he teched previous #6 in the nation Maximus Zamora and then majored #16 Daniil Gorshkov in the finals. Aside from his pins, he outscored his opponents 54-0! Not only was he putting up crazy points but the fact that he allowed zero as well is a sign of a well-rounded wrestler who really adds some star power to this weight. Nava made his season debut up at 184 at the National Duals, but his first competition at 174 went about as well as you could imagine.
NAIA Transfer Alert
Those were the most outstanding champions from Missouri Valley in our opinion, but a stellar performance from a third-placer is also very well worth noting. Texas Wesleyan just acquired a huge transfer in 133 Dominic Chavez, formerly of Presbyterian. Chavez faced all solid guys in his 6 matches of the weekend. First he teched Braden Ledford, who is ranked nationally in the coaches poll. Next he took out #7 Freddy Barajas, and then beat Kaden Ramos of Life in the quarters, a foe who would certainly be nationally ranked if not for the depth of his team. In the semis, he lost to Grand View’s #6 Jackson Cockrell. He bounced back nicely, beating #15 Jeremiah Steele by tech fall in the consi-semis. Finally, he took out the previous #4 Alex Pena 10-4 to earn third place.
Chavez was a 3x starter at D1 Presbyterian and notably beat Anthony Molton at conference last year, who had also beaten Matt Ramos, who ended up infamously stopping Spencer Lee from being a 4x NCAA champion. So by transitive properties, which always work perfectly in wrestling, Texas Wesleyan just got someone better than Spencer Lee. (Please note this is sarcasm. It just illustrates to the fact that Chavez is on a very high level and is a stellar addition to the Texas Wesleyan team)
D2 Transfer Alert
Northern State's Seth Brossard had perhaps the best NCAA D2 performance of the week. Over the week, Brossard and his team traveled to the Midwest Duals, which was hosted by the University of Nebraska-Kearney. One big upset would have been great, but Brossard decided to get two. Brossard started off pinning #9 Anthony Des Vigne (Central Oklahoma) and then turned around major decisioned #4 Trenton Munoz (Nebraska-Kearney).
Brossard transferred to Northern State this year from UW-La Crosse where he was a 2x D3 All-American, placing third last year. He is pursuing his graduate degree and is 3-0 after making his debut this past weekend. He is a perfect addition to Northern State, the current #11 dual team in the nation; poised for one of their best seasons in recent memory.
The Rise Of The Braves
It was an incredible weekend for the Ottawa Braves, having a total of six duals in one week and winning them all. The start of the week was a dual against Friends University, where the Ottawa girls won seven of the ten matches; all being falls, winning the dual 36-12. Then, they moved to Thursday night where they wrestled #15 Baker on senior night. They again took seven of the ten matches, with six of the matches being by either tech falls or pins. But the biggest win was by senior Olivia O’Donnell where she pinned #3 Katherine Heath in 1:08 in a crazy feet-to-back exchange. Ottawa won this dual 35-12 over #15 Baker. Lastly, they had the KCAC (and GPAC) Duals, hosted by York. Ottawa started off this event facing Midland and won 38-10, where #15 Peyton Hand pinned #13 Emily Paulino at 130. Ottawa faced York at the beginning of the season where they dominated them and did just that again winning nine of ten matches, once again all by either techs or falls. After winning their pool, Ottawa moved into the Championship pool where they faced Saint Mary and Hastings. They first faced Saint Mary and yet again dominated this dual, winning eight of ten matches either by forfeit, falls, or techs. In the championship finals, they took on Hastings. Both teams away big wins, but it was Ottawa who came out on top winning 32-16. Peyton Hand got her revenge over #12 Larissa Kaz who she lost to in the semifinals at the Bronco Open earlier this season.
Here are a few girls who went undefeated in all six duals for the Braves. At 123, Emma Truex pinned all her opponents. At 130, Madelynn Griffin pinned Midland in 0:21 seconds and then teched York. At 130, Peyton Hand was undefeated in tech and pinned each of her opponents. Randi Scoon, a graduate student, went undefeated at the duals, and remains undefeated on the year at 9-0. I don’t know what is in the water at this school or what their coaches are teaching them but everyone keeps a close eye on this Ottawa team. They have something special brewing.
Agatha Andrews Returns
The Ottawa Braves weren't the only team that had a few upsets at the KCAC duals. Senior Agatha Andrews of Jamestown had two big upsets over two top-10 wrestlers. Andrews has long been one of the best faces in college, but it’s been a few seasons since she’s been able to compete. Her team first faced Saint Mary, where Andrews pinned #4 Lessly Sandoval in 2:48. The dual between Saint Mary and Jamestown was a very close one, where Saint Mary won by two points over Jamestown. Then, Jamestown not only won the silver pool but Andrews pulled off another upset over #10 Shan Briggs (Avila) where she pinned her in 0:48 seconds. With these two big upsets over top-10 ranked wrestlers, The Open Mat now has her ranked #4 in the nation. Andrews’ return is big news for Jamestown.
Condit with a Big Pin
Junior, Cayden Condit had a big upset at the Missouri Baptist Open this past weekend by pinning All-American Jennifer Soto (McKendree) who is currently ranked #4 at The Open Mat. Condit was ranked #13 and this big win over Soto will help her move up the ladder in the rankings. Condit was runner-up at the Missouri Baptist Open, where she fell to Soto's teammate Cameron Guerin in the final. From placing 4th at the NCWWC National Championships her freshman year to not qualifying her sophomore year, Condit is out for blood this season to make it back to nationals and back on the podium.