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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2022 Big Ten Championships Day One Recap

    174 lb Big Ten Semifinals with Logan Massa and Mikey Labriola (photos courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    Most pundits thought that the 2022 Big Ten Championships would be a two-horse race between top-ranked Penn State and #2 Iowa. Unfortunately, no one told #3 Michigan. After one day of action, the Wolverines lead the top-two teams in the nation and have five wrestlers in the finals. Michigan holds a 5.5 point lead over Penn State, who is just 2.5 points ahead of Iowa. Penn State also has five finalists, while Iowa has four.

    Michigan's finals run started with Nick Suriano in the opening bout of tonight's semifinals. Suriano pinned two-time conference finalist Devin Schroder (Purdue) to move into his second Big Ten final. He previously won the tournament in 2019, while at Rutgers, during his NCAA title-winning season. Suriano will take on the third seed, Eric Barnett (Wisconsin), who dispatched Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern), 3-0.

    Will Lewan, at 157 lbs, was Michigan's second finalist. He and Brady Berge (Penn State) engaged in a tactical affair with few committed attempts. It wasn't until sudden victory where Lewan was able to penetrate Berge's defense for the winning takedown, 3-1. Lewan's opponent will be Ryan Deakin (Northwestern), who is seeking his third Big Ten championship.

    The only weight where a number one seed failed to make the finals occurred at 165 lbs, when top-seeded Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) was clipped in sudden victory, 3-1, by Cam Amine (Michigan).

    A match later, the crowd at the Pinnacle Bank Arena was treated to perhaps the most entertaining bout of the day. Second-seeded Logan Massa (Michigan) and the third, Mikey Labriola (Nebraska), got into a shootout with plenty of offense, defense, scrambles, and everything in between. Massa was the last man standing in a 7-6 win. That sets the stage for a national #1 vs #2 match at 174 lbs, as Carter Starocci (Penn State) advanced to the finals after a medical forfeit by Michael Kemerer (Iowa).

    That is also the case at 184 lbs as #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) is slated to take on #2 Myles Amine (Michigan). The two met earlier this season in a hotly contested bout, won by Brooks, 3-1. Brooks handled longtime rival, Taylor Venz (Nebraska), while Amine got by a game Kaleb Romero (Ohio State).

    The other national #1 vs. #2 bout on tap for Sunday comes at 141 lbs with Nick Lee (Penn State) and Jaydin Eierman (Iowa). The two met in last year's final and Eierman prevailed; however, Lee turned the tables in the NCAA finals. Eierman was the recipient of a medical forfeit from Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers), while Lee turned in a technical fall against Jacob Bergeland (Minnesota).

    Penn State also has finalists at 133, with Roman Bravo-Young and Max Dean at 197. Bravo-Young also has a rematch of his 2021 Big Ten final with Austin DeSanto (Iowa). The mercurial Hawkeye survived a physical, back-and-forth affair with Lucas Byrd (Illinois) to advance. Dean gets the hometown favorite, Eric Schultz (Nebraska). The Cornhusker faithful saw three of their wrestlers fall in the semis, before Schultz broke through with a 3-2 win over Patrick Brucki (Michigan).

    This evening was a rare occasion where the fans stayed around to watch the big men and they were treated to a good one between Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) and Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State). Kerkvliet appeared to be in control with a 4-2 lead in the waning seconds. The Hawkeye initiated a scramble and managed to secure a reversal just a second before Kerkvliet would have locked up riding time. That sent the bout into sudden victory where Cassioppi took advantage and won, 6-4. Cassioppi will have his hands full in the title bout with Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson (Minnesota). Steveson faced his 2021 Big Ten and NCAA finals opponent, Mason Parris (Michigan), in the semis. The Gopher star kept his bonus point streak intact with a 14-6 major decision.

    The only championship bout that does not include the top-three teams occurs at 149 lbs, as Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) squares off with Austin Gomez (Wisconsin). Sasso used a third-period takedown to get by Max Murin (Iowa), 3-1. That was the opposite of Gomez's result. He silenced the home crowd by tossing Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) to his back in the opening seconds and locked up a fall with only :20 seconds elapsed.

    Team Scores

    1) Michigan 116
    2) Penn State 111.5
    3) Iowa 109
    4) Ohio State 72
    5) Northwestern 70.5
    6) Nebraska 65
    7) Wisconsin 58.5
    8) Minnesota 55.5
    9) Rutgers 37
    10) Purdue 34.5
    11) Michigan State 33
    12) Illinois 26.5
    13) Maryland 14.5
    14) Indiana 4

    125 Semi - Nick Suriano (Michigan) fall Devin Schroder (Purdue) 2:40
    125 Semi - Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) dec Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) 3-0

    125 lb Big Ten Final - #1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs. #3 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)

    133 Semi - Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) dec Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) 4-0
    133 Semi - Austin DeSanto (Iowa) dec Lucas Byrd (Illinois) 4-3

    133 lb Big Ten Final - #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. #2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)

    141 Semi - Nick Lee (Penn State) tech Jake Bergeland (Minnesota) 16-1
    141 Semi - Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) MedFFT Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern)

    141 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)

    149 Semi - Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) dec Max Murin (Iowa) 3-1
    149 Semi - Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) fall Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) :20

    149 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. #2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)

    157 Semi - Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) dec Peyton Robb (Nebraska) 5-3
    157 Semi - Will Lewan (Michigan) dec Brady Berge (Penn State) 3-1SV

    157 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. #3 Will Lewan (Michigan)

    165 Semi - Cameron Amine (Michigan) dec Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) 3-1
    165 Semi - Alex Marinelli (Iowa) dec Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) 3-2

    165 lbs Big Ten Final - #2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. #4 Cameron Amine (Michigan)

    174 Semi - Carter Starocci (Penn State) MedFFT Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
    174 Semi - Logan Massa (Michigan) dec Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) 6-5

    174 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. #2 Logan Massa (Michigan)

    184 Semi - Aaron Brooks (Penn State) dec Taylor Venz (Nebraska) 7-2
    184 Semi - Myles Amine (Michigan) dec Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) 4-2

    184 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. #2 Myles Amine (Michigan)

    197 Semi - Max Dean (Penn State) dec Cam Caffey (Michigan State) 7-2
    197 Semi - Eric Schultz (Nebraska) dec Patrick Brucki (Michigan) 3-2

    197 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. #2 Max Dean (Penn State)

    285 semi - Gable Steveson (Minnesota) maj Mason Parris (Michigan) 14-6
    285 semi - Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) dec Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) 6-4SV

    285 lbs Big Ten Final - #1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. #2 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

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