Even in what was a relatively light week nationally, and a relatively tame one in terms of Fab 50 national ranking shake-ups, there was still tumult. It came on Sunday afternoon, and it came at the very top of the national rankings.
No. 2 Blair Academy (N.J.) 35, No. 1 Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 20
The match was supposed to be held at Blair Academy on Saturday evening, but was instead delayed due to the weather, and held on Sunday afternoon. The pre-match analysis suggested a very close dual meet that would hinge on a few key matches. What happened was that essentially all of the swing matches went in favor of Blair Academy, which led to the decisive score line.
As expected, the host Buccaneers had an advantage in the lower weights, they won five of the matches between 106 and 145. It included a win from Zach Sherman, which was something they had hoped for, though Wyoming Seminary thought they could defeat Sherman. In this dual meet, Blair Academy sent out Mike Madara at 120, and he lost to Jack Davis by 7-4 decision; however Jake Riegel, Wyoming Seminary's Powerade champion at 126, fell by 5-1 decision against Sherman.
Additional front half weight class victories for Blair Academy came via major decision from No. 15 Michael Colaiocco (106), technical fall for No. 16 Chris Cannon (113), 5-1 decision for No. 9 Requir van der Merwe (132), and 3-0 decision for Andrew Merola (145); van der Merwe beat two-time National Prep runner-up Trent Olson in his bout. Wins for the Blue Knights in the front half were earned by Davis and a major decision from Patrick Munn (138).
Trailing 18-7 at the halfway point, the nation's top ranked team tried to manufacture an extra win at 152 pounds by flipping their normal 152 and 160. Ironman placer Will Verallis, who has placed three times at National Preps, took to the mat at 152 pounds; however, he was upended 3-1 in overtime by Max Pickett, who did not wrestle for Blair until the Geary Invitational. Mason Manville, ranked No. 1 nationally at 152 pounds, then earned a 9-2 decision victory over No. 15 Ryan Karoly at 160. The dual meet score was 21-10 headed into the last five bouts.
Blair Academy extended the lead to 26-10 after a 15-0 technical fall for No. 4 Brandon Dallavia at 170 pounds. Wyoming Seminary tried their other lineup maneuver in the next two bouts to make a comeback possible. The first prong of it worked with No. 12 (at 195) Christian Dietrich getting a 10-2 major decision at 182. However, the second prong fell on its face when No. 1 (at 182) Nick Reenan fell by 3-1 decision to No. 3 Chase Singletary at 195. Blair Academy's 29-14 lead at that point mathematicaly clinched the dual meet.
The teams traded pins in the last two weight classes, Wyoming Seminary got theirs at 220 from No. 14 Will Hilliard, who pinned Nick Mosco in 3:11; for Blair it was Neil Putnam with a pin at 285 in 1:20.
Check out the updated Fab 50 rankings on Wednesday morning, along with an article providing perspective on how the nation's top three teams will be ordered.
Mt. Carmel outlasts two other Fab 50 teams to win Chicago Catholic League title
The Chicago Catholic League re-emerged as a dominant force in Illinois wrestling with its conference tournament being held at the De La Salle Institute on Saturday. This is due to the injection of No. 19 Marmion Academy and No. 40 Montini Catholic into the conference this year, along with the resurgence of No. 14 Mt. Carmel as a national power. Each of the three Fab 50 teams saw three of their individuals win CCL titles. Even without state placer Kaleb Guzior (120) in the lineup, the Caravan placed twelve wrestlers to win the tournament with 241.5 points; Marmion Academy was second with 217 points, placing eleven despite the absence of nationally ranked Sean McKenna (106); while Montini Catholic was third, placing ten and scoring 205 points.
Marmion Academy had a tournament high eight finalists, while Mt. Carmel and Montini each had seven. The seven finalists for the Caravan came from 152 through 285, while the Broncos' finalists were from 106 to 145.
The lone finals match involving two nationally ranked wrestlers came at 152 pounds, where No. 13 Jake Tucker (Mt. Carmel) beat No. 18 (at 160) Trace Carello (Marmion Academy) 3-1 in overtime. Other champions for the Caravan were David Riojas (170) and Matt Reyes (285); runners-up were Cameron Lopez (160), Johnny Drozd (182), Dru Worker (195), and Leo Ortiz (220).
The other loss for a nationally ranked wrestler in the finals came at 138 pounds, where A.J. Jaffe (Marmion Academy) upended No. 19 Will Lewan (Montini Catholic) 3-1. Other Cadets champions were Nate Jimenez (160) and No. 7 (at 182) Nathan Traxler (195); Traxler earned a 15-0 technical fall over 2014 state placer Worker in his finals bout. Runners-up for Marmion Academy were Trevor Chumbley (113); Anthony Cheloni (132), who lost 2-1 to the nation's seventh ranked wrestler in the final; Carello; Matt Ferraro (170); and Wes Kramer (285).
Champions for the Broncos were No. 14 Joey Melendez (106), No. 2 Real Woods (113), and No. 7 Dylan Duncan (132); runners-up included Nicky Amato (120), Jimmy Pawelski (126), Lewan (138), and Caleb Fortuna (145).
Rounding out the weight class champions were Josh Ramos (120) and Dominic Ferraro (220) for Providence Catholic, Jacob Silzer (126) and No. 3 Austin O'Connor (145) for St. Rita, and No. 13 Kyle Betourne (182) for Bishop McNamara.
Pomona with statement at Top of the Rockies Tournament
The state of Colorado is an emerging force within scholastic wrestling. The two Fab 50 teams in that state were both at the Top of the Rockies Tournament hosted by Centaurus, which is just outside of Boulder, this weekend. No. 44 Pomona upended No. 31 Pueblo County 209-181. The champions placed ten wrestlers, while the runners-up placed seven.
The lone champion for Pomona was Tomas Gutierrez (120). They had four runners-up: Colton Yapoujian (106), Theorius Robison (126), Jason Romero (145), and Brandon Micale (220). Other placers included Dayton Marvel (132) and Cameron Gonzlez (170) in third, Nolan Krone (160) in fourth, with Justin Pacheco (113) and Angelo Arellano (195) placing sixth.
Runners-up Pueblo County had a pair of champions in Grant (126) and Hunter (152) Willits. There were a trio of runners-up in Josiah Nava (113), Justin Davis (132), and No. 11 Chris Sandoval (138). Rounding out the placers were Nathan Bonham (106) in third and Dante Garcia (182) in sixth. The "in form" Sandoval was upset by No. 17 Ryan Deakin (Legacy) by an 8-6 score in the championship bout.
Other nationally ranked weight class champions included No. 19 Parker Simington (Thompson Valley) at 160 pounds, No. 7 Cohlton Schultz (Ponderosa) at 220, and No. 17 Toby McBride (Fort Morgan) at 285. The championship run of Andrew Lucero (Pueblo East) at 106 should also be noted, as he pinned notable freshman Mosha Schwartz (Ponderosa) in the semifinal before beating notable freshman Yapoujian 12-2 in the final.
No. 7 St. Edward (Ohio) upended a pair of nationally ranked teams on Saturday afternoon as the host team in a quad meet, one in which each squad won a state championship last season. The Eagles beat No. 48 Lowell (Mich.) 54-10, winning 12 of 14 weight classes; while winning nine bouts in a 51-25 victory over No. 24 Delta (Ohio). The other dual meet featuring nationally ranked teams saw Delta beat Lowell 40-31, as the Panthers won eight bouts. All three teams earned victories over Richmond (Mich.)
No. 32 West Des Moines Valley (Iowa) hung on to win the Ed Winger Invitational at Urbandale, Iowa by a single point over No. 30 Southeast Polk (Iowa). West Des Moines Valley placed eleven wrestlers, ten in the top five, on the way to 203 points; while the runner-up Rams placed twelve, but only nine within the top five. Narrowing the gap was the medal round, when the eventual champions were 4-7 (1-5 in championship bouts), with the runners-up going 7-5 including wins in all four championship bouts.