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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    7 Big Stories from the Week in College Wrestling (1/30/2023)

    Indiana 174 lber DJ Washington (photo courtesy of SJanickiPhoto.com)

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the wrestling season flies by if you’re not cutting weight and going through rigorous workouts. You blink and it’s almost February. Excluding Appalachian State and Gardner-Webb, who will compete tonight, the next time anyone takes the mat in the DI ranks, it will be in February. That’s basically the homestretch of the regular season. The light at the end of the tunnel.

    We’ve spent months mocking coaches with the “All that matters is March” mindset and it’s almost March. January’s swan song of a weekend was a memorable one. It included the most anticipated dual of the season between top-ranked Penn State and number two Iowa. While the dual may have left something to be desired with the actual wrestling, almost 16,000 spectators crammed into the Bryce Jordan Center to watch the nation's top two teams collide.

    While Penn State and Iowa took center stage, there were plenty of other great duals around the country. As our mailbag specialist Jagger said, “There were tons of duals last night with crazy matches and now we want to change the rules because one of them was a little boring.”

    There was plenty of action Friday and all weekend for that matter, so let’s get to “7 Big Stories from the Week in College Wrestling.”

    Penn State/Iowa

    The big one is in the books and Penn State retained its top ranking after a 23-14 victory over their rivals from Iowa City. If you were late getting into the Bryce Jordan Center, as I and hundreds of others outside, you might have missed the biggest shocker of the evening. Third-year sophomore, Marco Vespa, sporting a 0-6 career record, got the call for Cael Sanderson’s team against three-time national champion Spencer Lee at 125 lbs. It wouldn’t be a shocker if you had heard the match started with a low attack to a takedown, followed by a cradle. However, it wasn’t the Hodge Trophy favorite, Lee, who got on the board first it was Vespa. Just seconds into the match Vespa had the stunned crowd on their feet hoping to see easily the biggest upset of the year.

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