Penn State's 2x national champion Roman Bravo-Young (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, yes, it's the holiday season, but in the wrestling world, it's holiday tournament season. In what has now become a tradition and a precursor to the individually bracketed tournaments between Christmas and New Year's, it's time for the Journeymen Collegiate Duals.
The inaugural Collegiate Duals took place in Destin, Florida in 2021 and this year's iteration will move to Mardi Gras country, New Orleans. This event will be the first DI collegiate competition in Louisiana since 1985! That's even before all of the sixth and seventh-year seniors were even born.
Like last year, 12 teams are participating and separated into a red pool and a blue pool. Two sets of three teams in each pool will wrestle each other on Monday. After Monday's action, the teams in the same pool, with matching records, will compete Tuesday in the placement matches. Then a champion from each pool will be crowned.
Teams have been sorted into their pools so as to not wrestle another team in their conference or on their 2022-23 dual schedule. This ends up featuring some matchups that we typically would not see during the regular season.
Below is a preview of the action in the Blue Pool. A preview of the Red Pool was posted yesterday.
10AM - #7 Iowa State vs. #25 Oregon State
125 - Corey Cabanban/Ethan Perryman (Iowa State) vs. #10 Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State)
133 - #21 Ramazan Attasauov (Iowa State) vs. #16 Jason Shaner (Oregon State)
141 - #11 Casey Swiderski (Iowa State) vs. #23 Cleveland Belton (Oregon State)
149 - #5 Paniro Johnson (Iowa State) vs. Noah Tolentino (Oregon State)
157 - Jason Kraisser/Isaac Judge (Iowa State) vs. Graham Gambrall/Isaiah Crosby (Oregon State)
165 - #3 David Carr (Iowa State) vs. #23 Matt Olguin (Oregon State)
174 - #21 Julien Broderson/Joel Devine/MJ Gaitan (Iowa State) vs. #28 Aaron Olmos (Oregon State)
184 - #4 Marcus Coleman (Iowa State) vs. #13 Trey Munoz (Oregon State)
197 - #2 Yonger Bastida (Iowa State) vs. #10 Tanner Harvey (Oregon State)
285 - #10 Sam Schuyler (Iowa State) vs. JJ Dixon (Oregon State)
Life in the blue pool gets kicked off with this top-25 clash between Iowa State and Oregon State. We saw a rather notable bout between these two schools at the 2022 NCAA Championships when Oregon State's Hunter Willits upset returning national champion David Carr and handed him his first loss since the 2019-20 season. There's no chance for a rematch since Willits is gone and Carr has moved up to 165 lbs. At that weight, he'll face Matt Olguin, who is coming off a third-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Last weekend, Olguin and the Beavers traveled east to dual Penn State. There he suffered a one-point loss to unbeaten freshman Alex Facundo. Carr is also undefeated and has reached the bonus-point threshold in four of six bouts.
184 and 197 lbs should feature two of the â€œmust-watchâ€ bouts of this dual meet. Both of the Cyclones returning AA's at these weights have yet to lose in 2022-23. At 184, Trey Munoz has likely had this date circled on his calendar since the schedules were released. Munoz was the sixth seed at the 2022 NCAA Championships and ran into Iowa State's Marcus Coleman in the bloodround. Coleman handed Munoz a 13-2 major decision and promptly ended his season. I'm sure payback is on Munoz's radar. 197 features Yonger Bastida who hung on to down 2022 NCAA runner-up Jacob Warner (Iowa) in the recent CyHawk dual. Bastida will have to contend with CKLV runner-up Tanner Harvey. Harvey was a national qualifier for American in 2019 and 2020 then transferred home to Corvallis for his final year of eligibility in 2021-22. That season was cut short before it started due to injury. Harvey seems to be making the most of his final year of eligibility. A match with Bastida would mark Harvey's fourth with a top-ten opponent already this season.
You would expect this dual to get started with a strong match at 125 lbs between the mercurial Kysen Terukina and 2022 All-American Brandon Kaylor; however, Terukina will not compete in New Orleans. Corey Cabanban and true freshman Ethan Perryman could share starting duties. That gives Oregon State the ability to jump out to a big lead seeing as they are a slight favorite at 133 with #16 Jason Shaner against #21 Ramazan Attasauov. Following that match is another test for true freshman #11 Casey Swiderski. He'll face Cleveland Belton who was 2-2 in Vegas, though he lost to the eventual third and fourth-place finishers.
It's not far-fetched to think Oregon State could take the first three bouts and then possibly a toss-up at 157 lbs. That would pressure the Cyclones talented upperweights to win and maybe require bonus points.
Pick: Iowa State (21-9)
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