Week 13: (1/25/24 - 1/31/24)
Another crazy, memorable weekend filled with some great wrestling across both the mens and women’s. We have seen some top wrestlers go down all over at the Warrior Open, the Pete Willson Invitational, and we saw amazing performances from multiple duals that we can’t wait to break down for you in this week's Wrestler of the Week! Let’s get started!
What was the Dual of the Week?
We are in the nitty-gritty of dual meeting season, and last week was perhaps the best week for intriguing dual matchups. Friday night saw two of the best duals go down.
In the Battle of the Burgs, it was a back-and-forth dual that came down to the last match, which came down to tiebreakers. Wartburg jumped out to a controlling 12-0 lead after the first three matches. It looked as though Wartburg would repeat their performance in the National Dual Finals which saw Wartburg win. Then Augsburg had some of their stronger guys hit the mat.
At 149, #4 Charlie Stuhl picked up a major decision over #6 Charlie Dojan, which put Auggie on the scoreboard 12-4. At 157 #4 Blake Jagodzinske decisioned Daniel Meeker, diminishing Wartburg’s lead to 5 points going into 165. In the turning point of the night, #3 Cooper Wills pinned #15 Nathan Fuller, putting them in the lead 13-12. The national champ and currently ranked #1 Zane Mulder put Wartburg back in the lead, 16-13 going into the final three weight classes. At this point, we were all on the edge of our seats as each team still had their big hitters coming up to bat. #1 Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann major decisioned #7 Kasey Ross, putting Auggie back in the lead 17-16. #1 Massoma Endende was able to pull off the win at 197 but was unable to major decision #4 Parker Venz; with this win Wartburg was in the lead 19-17. 285 was an amazing match, where it went into not one, but three overtimes. Mitchell Williamson of Wartburg gave #4 Tyler Kim had a run for his money, but Kim prevailed. The turning point of this match was during rideouts, where Kim got a quick escape and Williamson elected to go neutral instead of picking down. It wasn’t a bad choice, as Williamson was in deep on multiple shots, but Kim was able to scramble out of each. If you haven’t watched the end of this match, give it a watch because the outcome was so unexpected at the time. The Auggie’s won this dual 20-19 over the Knights to get the belt back for the first time since 2018.
Another candidate for dual of the week was the cross-division crossfire that was #2 DII Lander vs. #2 NAIA Life. Again, this dual came down to the final match of the night to decide the victor. Lander scored bonus in three of their four victories, including a major from James Joplin over Antonio Saldate at 125, a tech from former national champion Zeth Brower over Reese Jones, and a major from Anthony Yacovetti over #1 in the NAIA Demarco Lee. Life won back-to-back matches at 133 and 141; first a win from Thaddeus Long over Lander’s All-American Elijah Lusk, and then from Tyree Johnson over Isham Peace. At 157, national champion Brevin Balmeceda won a calculated 2-0 match for Life over Jack Tangen. After a win from Riley Smucker at 174 and a major from Kyle Homet at 184, the dual was tied heading into the feature matchup of the night: former national champion Zane Lanham vs. All-American Juan Edmond-Holmes. It was an interesting style clash and likely Lanham’s biggest challenge since moving up to 285 this year. A takedown in the second period was the difference maker as Lanham won 4-2 and gave Life the win 19-16. Lander had won this match the year prior, with Life earning their first victory this year. Both teams could end up national champions by the end of the year and it is always great when high-level teams from different divisions are willing to put it on the line for a dual like this. Let’s hope this is a rivalry dual that we keep seeing in the coming years.
Adonis is a Greek mythological figure renowned for achieving immortality after getting killed by a boar. Adonis Boyd of Cumberlands proved metaphorically immortal himself this weekend after avenging a big loss. Back at national duals at the start of January, Boyd was teched by Izaeah Beavers of Campbellsville. A tech fall is always a stab in the soul, and can often mortally wound one’s ego. Adonis Boyd came back from that death this weekend when their teams dualed again. In stunning fashion, he teched Beavers this time around in just under a minute and a half. A tech fall usually symbolizes complete dominance from someone on a higher level than the other. Now that each of Boyd and Beavers have tech falled each other, what is to make of their levels? They are Mid-South conference foes so we could see this match again in February. Not only did Adonis come back from his death at national duals, but so did his team Cumberlands. Campbellsville defeated Cumberlands the first time around at national duals, but Adonis’ revenge was a big reason they were able to flip the script and beat Campbellsville this time.
D3 Wrestler of the Week
Senior Rayshawn Dixon of Ferrum has been off to a great start representing the Panthers. Currently ranked #7 at 285, Dixon pulled off a major upset at the Pete Wilson Invitionational this past weekend where he pinned #1 Donovan King of Olivet in the finals in 1:31 seconds. During this tournament Dixon got two pins and one tech fall. Dixon is a 2x national qualifier, falling in the bloodround last year. To top it off, Dixon is undefeated this year at 24-0 with a 63% bonus rate..
D2 Wrestler of the Week
Our Division II wrestler of the week is Angel Flores of Adams State. Over the weekend Flores pulled off a major upset over #3 Dylan Lucas (Central Oklahoma) in their dual. Flores held Lucas scoreless over the match and almost got the major, winning 7-0 over the All-American. Flores has yet to qualify for nationals yet in his career out of the deep Super Region VI, but this appears to be his best season yet.
Siena Heights’ Bo Geibe, had a rocky start at the Warrior Duals with a loss to Gabrielle Holloway of St. Andrew’s but she didn’t let that impact the rest of her weekend. Well, perhaps it did impact her in a positive way at the Warrior Open the following day. Geibe started the tournament with a pin over Madelyn Wheaton of Alma but fell in the next match to Faith Marcharia of Missouri Baptist by fall. She stayed focused on earning the next best thing: 3rd place, and taking out two top-10 opponents on the way. The first wrestler she beat was #5 Shenita Lawson of Southern Oregon in the consolation semifinals match where she won 9-0. Then, in the 3rd place match she pinned #9, former Wrestler of the Week, Katelyn Lewis of Providence.