Gabe Dean was named Outstanding Wrestler of the NWCA All-Star Classic (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens)
CLEVELAND -- The 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic, which serves as a kickoff to the collegiate wrestling season, came to the campus of Cleveland State University on Saturday night. The evening's feature bout was the last match, one between a pair of NCAA champions at 184 pounds.
Two-time champion Gabe Dean of Cornell was dominant throughout in a 13-4 major decision over Ohio State's Myles Martin, who was champion of the 174-pound weight class last year as a true freshman. Dean scored takedowns in each of the first two periods to take a 5-0 lead over Martin. Then, it was a third-period barrage for Dean with three takedowns catapulting him to that final margin.
Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers upended Wyoming's Bryce Meredith (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens)
With the exception of one third-period pin at 157 pounds, the other eight bouts of the main event were tightly contested, none having a margin of more than three points. Most notable of the bouts was the overtime affair at 141 pounds, where returning fourth-place finisher Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers upended Wyoming's Bryce Meredith 8-6.
Meredith opened the bout with a pair of first period takedowns to take a 4-1 lead late in the first period. Ashnault shrunk that to 4-3 with a reversal before the three minutes ended. After two periods, it was 6-5 Meredith as Ashnault scored a takedown sandwiched around two Meredith escapes. A third period escape for Ashnault forced the overtime. One in which Ashnault fended off a deep Meredith attack before scoring the takedown on the next sequence of action.
The previous bout was the other true barn-burner of the main event matches, as Zane Richards of Illinois out-lasted Eric Montoya of Nebraska at 133 pounds, a match between wrestlers that finished fourth and fifth last year at the NCAA tournament. Montoya opened the scoring with a takedown, before Richards would counter with two takedowns to end the first period with a 5-4 advantage.
Montoya would get an escape in the second period to level the bout. Richards would escape to start the third, and take a 6-5 lead, one that Montoya vanished with a takedown. Richards countered with an escape to tie the bout at 7-7, and then scored the match-winning takedown with about five seconds left.
Three other matches were decided on the basis of third period takedowns. The first of which came at 149 pounds, where Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State beat Missouri's Lavion Mayes 7-5. Mayes opened the match with takedowns in the first and second period to take a 4-1 lead, before Collica would counter with a takedown late in the second period and middle of the third period. The returning All-Americans are now 2-2 against each other since the start of the 2015-16 season.
Next was the bout at 165 pounds, where returning NCAA runner-up Isaac Jordan from Wisconsin upended Missouri's Daniel Lewis by a 5-3 score. Lewis scored the opening takedown of the match to hold a 2-0 advantage after the first period, and then made it 3-0 with an early second period escape. Jordan scored a very late second period takedown to cut the deficit to 3-2 headed into a third period in which he chose neutral. Jordan scored a takedown in the early half of the third period to go ahead 4-3, and would then add the riding time point for the final score.
Finally, there was the bout at 197 pounds between returning All-Americans. Brett Pfarr of Minnesota and Brett Harner of Princeton traded takedowns in a first period that ended 3-3. The wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods, before Pfarr earned a late-match takedown. The riding time point at match's end for Pfarr made it a 7-4 final score.
Another match that fit the night's them of comebacks from an early match deficit was the one at 157 pounds between Max Rohskopf of North Carolina State and Michigan's Brian Murphy, a 2015 All-American. Murphy scored a takedown in the first period, then added a reversal to the back for a 6-1 lead early in the second period.
Rohskopf earned a reversal right off that sequence, rode Murphy out for the second period, then added an early escape in the third period to cut the deficit to 6-4. During the early part of the third period, Murphy initiated a leg attack. The result of that was Rohskopf funking his way into a Brazilian jiu-jitsu type of leg-lock to trap Murphy on his back for the fall at the 5:43 mark.
The opening bout of the evening saw Nathan Kraisser of Campbell defeat Missouri's Barlow McGhee 3-2 at 125 pounds despite not scoring a single takedown. McGhee scored a takedown within the first ten seconds of the bout, while Kraisser would respond with escapes in the first and second period before holding McGhee down for the duration of the third period to get the riding-time point.
At 174 pounds, Zach Brunson of Illinois used a takedown and two-point near fall in the first period to take an early 4-0 lead against 2015 All-American Ethan Ramos of North Carolina. Ramos would level the match after two periods, keyed by a second period takedown. However, Brunson escaped at the start of the third period to hold on for a 5-4 victory.
Connor Medbery topped Ty Walz at heavyweight (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens)
Finally, it was 2015 All-American Connor Medbery of Wisconsin with a dominant second period to beat two-time All-American Ty Walz of Virginia Tech 5-2 at 285 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Medbery started the second period with an escape before earning two takedowns in that two-minute stanza to get all his scoring.
Results (Main Event):
125: No. 14 Nathan Kraisser (Campbell) dec. No. 6 Barlow McGhee (Missouri), 3-2
133: No. 2 Zane Richards (Illinois) dec. No. 4 Eric Montoya (Nebraska), 9-7
141: No. 4 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) dec. No. 2 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming), 8-6 SV1
149: No. 4 Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 3 Lavion Mayes (Missouri), 7-5
157: No. 5 Max Rohskopf (North Carolina State) pinned No. 4 Brian Murphy (Michigan), 5:43
165: No. 2 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) dec. No. 3 Daniel Lewis (Missouri), 5-3
174: No. 9 Zac Brunson (Illinois) dec. No. 5 Ethan Ramos (North Carolina), 5-4
197: No. 2 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) dec. No. 3 Brett Harner (Princeton) 7-4
285: No. 3 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) dec. No. 2 Ty Walz (Virginia Tech), 5-2
184: No. 1 Gabe Dean (Cornell) maj. dec. No. 2 Myles Martin (Ohio State), 13-4
Outstanding Wrestler: Gabe Dean (Cornell), 184 pounds
Results (Showcase Bouts):
133: Mitch Pawlak (Indiana Tech) maj. dec. Mitch Tikkanen (John Carroll), 8-0
149: Cobey Fehr (Notre Dame) dec. Isaac Collier (CWRU), 12-5
197: Evan Rosborogh (Lake Erie) dec. Tyler McClellan (Baldwin-Wallace), 11-4
197: Garrett Lineberger (Notre Dame) tech. fall Mason Litz (John Carroll), 17-0
141: No. 18 Ronnie Perry (Lock Haven) dec. Evan Cheek (Cleveland State), 8-2
Women: Haley Aguello (King College) dec. Becka Leathers (Oklahoma City), 7-4
HS 131: Matt Kazimir (St. Edward, Ohio) dec. Matt Fields (Walsh Jesuit, Ohio), 2-0
JH 70: Patrick Reinecke (Wickliffe M.S., Ohio) dec. Wyatt Richter (Brecksville M.S., Ohio), 6-4 OT
141: No. 10 George DiCamillo (Virginia) dec. No. 15 Brock Zacherl (Clarion), 4-3
157: No. 6 Richie Lewis (Rutgers) dec. No. 11 Joey Lavallee (Missouri), 2-0