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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Facts, Trends, and Numbers post-2022 NCAA Championships

    Ryan Deakin of Northwestern (Photos courtesy of Sam JanickiPhoto.com)


    Champions

    Nick Suriano becomes the first wrestler to win national titles for multiple schools since Steve Mocco did so for Iowa (2003) and Oklahoma State (2005).

    Suriano is the first Wolverine to win a title since Kellen Russell won the second of his two titles in 2012. Like Suriano, Russell is from New Jersey, as well.

    The last New Jersey native to win a title at 125 lbs (Joe Dubuque - Indiana; 2005-06), was in his opponent's corner.

    Suriano and his opponent Patrick Glory (Princeton) are both from New Jersey. The last time two New Jersey natives met in an NCAA final was in 2003 with Steve Mocco (Iowa) and Kevin Hoy (Air Force).

    Glory was the first Princeton wrestler to make an NCAA final since Greg Parker did so in 2002. Later, Quincy Monday also earned a spot in the finals. It marked the first time Princeton had two finalists in the same season.

    Florida native Kizhan Clarke is the first wrestler from the Sunshine State to make the national finals since Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) in 2012.

    With Clarke making the finals in 2022 and Austin O'Connor winning the 2021 title, it marked the first time since 1995 and 1996 that North Carolina has had finalists in back-to-back years. (TJ Jaworsky - 1995, Justin Harty - 1996).

    Yianni Diakomihalis is only the second three-time NCAA Champion in Cornell wrestling history. Kyle Dake (2010-13) is the other.

    Ridge Lovett is the first Idaho native to make the NCAA finals since Clayton Foster (Oklahoma State) was a national runner-up in 2011.

    Ryan Deakin is the first Colorado native to win an NCAA title since Ben Cherrington (Boise State) in 2006. He's also the first national champion for Northwestern head coach Matt Storniolo.

    Missouri's Keegan O'Toole is the Tigers sixth national champion. All six have come under the tutelage of Brian Smith. Three have come from Wisconsin (O'Toole, along with his club coaches Ben and Max Askren).

    O'Toole is the first Wisconsin native to win a title since Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) won three between 2014-16.

    With O'Toole's victory, it marked the fifth straight tournament where a non-#1 seed has won the 165 lb weight class. That was after seven straight #1's won the previous seven tournaments.

    Mekhi Lewis is the first Virginia Tech wrestler to make multiple national finals. Lewis is responsible for half of the Hokies four total appearances.

    Shane Griffith became only the second Stanford wrestler to make multiple NCAA finals appearances. Nick Amuchastegui did so in 2011 and 2012.

    After going from 1988-2015 without a national champion. Maryland now has a pair of multiple-time champs since 2016; Kyle Snyder (2016-18) and Aaron Brooks (2021-22).

    Brooks' title at 184 lbs marks the seventh time since 2011 that a Penn State wrestler has won that weight class. Quentin Wright (2011), Ed Ruth (2013-14), Bo Nickal (2017-18), Aaron Brooks (2021-22).

    The Big Ten was responsible for eight of the ten NCAA champions this year. The last time a single conference had that many was 1986. (Brad Penrith - Iowa, Jim Jordan - Wisconsin, Kevin Dresser - Iowa, Jim Heffernan - Iowa, Jude Skove - Ohio State, Marty Kistler - Iowa, Duane Goldman - Iowa, Kirk Trost - Michigan).

    This year there were seven wrestlers that left as multi-time national champions (Suriano, RBY, Lee, Yianni, Starocci, Brooks, Steveson). The last time there were seven wrestlers who won for at least their second title was in 2005 (Travis Lee - Cornell, Teyon Ware - Oklahoma, Ryan Bertin - Michigan, Chris Pendleton - Oklahoma State, Greg Jones - West Virginia, Jake Rosholt - Oklahoma State, Steve Mocco - Oklahoma State).

    Conferences

    The Pac-12 finished the year with 13 All-Americans which was impressive enough as it was second only to the Big Ten. That means that exactly half of their 26 national qualifiers got on the podium. 13 is a conference record. The last time the league even had double digits was in 2011 with 11.

    The entire MAC conference came away with zero All-Americans for the first time since 2001.

    The ACC had three All-Americans at 174 lbs (Mekhi Lewis - 2nd, Hayden Hidlay - 3rd, Clay Lautt - 8th). This appears to be the first time the conference has ever put three wrestlers on the podium, in the same weight class, in the same year, ever.

    States

    Colorado's four All-Americans are the state's most since 2011.

    There were also a pair of NCAA finalists from Colorado (Deakin, Schultz). This feat hasn't been achieved for at least the last 40 years.

    North Carolina natives got on the podium twice in Detroit (Quincy Monday and Jonathan Millner). The last time multiple wrestlers from NC earned All-American honors was in 2012 with Darrius Little (NC State) and Austin Trotman (Appalachian State).

    Schools

    Penn State saw five Nittany Lion wrestlers come away with national titles Saturday night. That is a number only achieved five times ever. The most recent occurrence was by PSU's 2017 squad.

    Under Cael Sanderson, Penn State is now 32-14 in the NCAA finals.

    Penn State also extended its streak with at least one NCAA champion. The last year they didn't have one was 2010 (Sanderson's first season). They have had at last two every year since 2016.

    Michigan's runner-up finish tied for the best placement in school history. The last time the Wolverines finished second was in 2005. Their six All-Americans tied a program-high, set in 1965.

    Iowa continued their streak with having at least one finalist in every year since 1990.

    Arizona State finished in fourth for a second consecutive year. The last time the Sun Devils finished in the top ten in successive years was in 94-95 (8th 94; 4th 95). The last time they came away with team trophies in back-to-back years was 89-90 (Both years they were second).

    Northwestern must love the NCAA Tournament being held in Michigan. The Wildcats put four wrestlers onto the podium this weekend. The last time they hit that mark? 2007, when Auburn Hills, Michigan was the host.

    Northwestern also has had back-to-back top-ten finishes for the first time since 1989-90. (8th in 1989 and 4th in 1990).

    Oregon State placed four wrestlers on the podium for the first time since 1995. At that time, Glenn Nieradka, Babak Mohammadi, Chad Renner, and Les Gutches earned All-American honors.

    North Carolina had three All-Americans, which is the program's highest total since 1995, when TJ Jaworsky, Marc Taylor, Stan Banks, and Justin Harty AA'ed.

    CJ Composto was Penn's first All-American since Casey Kent in 2016. He's also the first for Roger Reina in his second go 'round as head coach for the Quakers.

    For the first time since 2011, Ohio State did not have an NCAA finalist.

    Jonathan Millner's sixth-place finish made him only the second two-time All-American in Appalachian State wrestling history. The only previous one was Mark Fee during the 2002-03 campaigns.

    Cal Poly had a pair of AA's with Evan Wick and Bernie Truax. The last time the Mustangs put multiple competitors onto the podium was in 2012 with Boris Novachkov (3rd) and Ryan DesRoches (8th).

    With Peyton Hall's eighth-place showing at 165 lbs, it marked the first time since 2006-07 that West Virginia had AA's in back-to-back seasons. (Brandon Rader was sixth both years).

    Oklahoma State's two All-Americans is the program's smallest number since 2009, when only Jared Rosholt AA'ed.

    Nebraska's fifth-place finish is the program's first top-five appearance since 2009.

    Seeds

    All of the 2021 NCAA Champions were either #1 or #2 seeds. The last time without a wrestler seeded third or lower, capturing a national title, was in 2013.

    The lowest-seeded All-American in 2022 was Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State), who was seeded 21st, but ended up making the semi and finishing sixth.

    This year we saw Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) make the 149 lb finals as the 10th seed, while Kizhan Clarke made it to the championship bout as the 15th seed. 2016 was the last time a pair of double-digit seeds wrestled for a title. Bryce Meredith (Wyoming - 14th) and Myles Martin (Ohio State - 11th) were the last two.

    Six Bergen Catholic (NJ) wrestlers entered this event and tallied up 45 points. That total would have been good enough for 12th place overall. The school also had two finalists with Nick Suriano and Shane Griffith.

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