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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Quarterfinals Set at the 2024 NCAA DI National Championships

    Day one at the 2024 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, is in the books. Typically on Thursday upsets are the story and, there were definitely some of those; however, for the most part, the top seeds advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals. Instead of a number of Cinderella stories, we have plenty of Clashes of the Titans. 

    All ten number one seeds advance and nine of the ten number two seeds are in the championship bracket. No three or four seeds suffered any losses either. The lone second seed to lose on Thursday was Lehigh’s true freshman 125 lber Luke Stanich. He was upended in sudden victory by the #15 seed Caleb Smith of Nebraska. 

    As expected, 125 lbs is perhaps the most unpredictable bracket. While favorites like #1 Braeden Davis (Penn State), #3 Drake Ayala (Iowa), and #4 Matt Ramos (Purdue) are still in the hunt for a national title, there are three double-digit seeds in the quarters - #10 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin), #12 Anthony Noto (Lock Haven), and #15 Caleb Smith (Nebraska). Additionally, #8 Richie Figueroa (Arizona State) handed Big Ten runner-up #9 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) a sizable 16-5 major decision. 

    The table has been set for perhaps the most anticipated quarterfinal of the tournament as both #1 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech) and #9 Carter Starocci (Penn State) advanced at 174 lbs. Starocci suffered a knee injury in late February and did not wrestle in the Big Ten Championships (aside from two :01 defaults). In both of his matches today, Starocci gave up the first takedown but proceeded to win. In the Round of 16, Starocci scored five unanswered points to defeat #8 Adam Kemp (Cal Poly), 5-3. 

    On the team front, Penn State slightly pulled away from the rest of the field, as expected. The Nittany Lions won all eight of their Round of 16 matches and have two wrestlers alive in the consolations. Penn State has amassed 34.5 points and holds a ten-point lead with the big point rounds looming on Friday.

    The real interest, from the team race standpoint, is the chase for second place. Rivals Iowa and Iowa State head into day two with 24.5 points. Only six points separate the Iowa schools from eighth-place Cornell. 

    Iowa has four wrestlers on the championship side and five in the consolations. Iowa State has five in the quarterfinals and four in the consolation bracket. 

    Team Scores

    1st) Penn State  34.5

    2nd) Iowa   24.5

    2nd) Iowa State  24.5

    4th) Michigan  22

    4th) NC State  22

    6th) Nebraska  21

    7th) Ohio State  20.5

    8th) Cornell  18.5

    9th) Virginia Tech  16

    10th) Missouri  14


    Quarterfinal Matchups

    125 lbs

    Braeden Davis (PSU) vs. Richie Figueroa (ASU)

    Anthony Noto (LHU) vs. Matt Ramos (Pur)

    Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. Troy Spratley (OkSt)

    Eric Barnett (Wisc) vs. Caleb Smith (Neb)


    133 lbs

    Daton Fix (OkSt) vs. Evan Frost (ISU)

    Dylan Ragusin (Mich) vs. Dylan Shawver (Rut)

    Kai Orine (NC St) vs. Vito Arujau (Corn)

    Nasir Bailey (LR) vs. Ryan Crookham (Leh)


    141 lbs

    Jesse Mendez (tOSU) vs. Brock Hardy (Neb)

    Anthony Echemendia (ISU) vs. Ryan Jack (NC State)

    Real Woods (IA) vs. Lachlan McNeil (UNC)

    Vance Vombaur (Minn) vs. Beau Bartlett (PSU)


    149 lbs

    Ridge Lovett (Neb) vs. Casey Swiderski (ISU)

    Ty Watters (WVU) vs. Caleb Henson (VT)

    Jackson Arrington (NC State) vs. Austin Gomez (Mich)

    Chance Lamer (CP) vs Kyle Parco (ASU)


    157 lbs

    Levi Haines (PSU) vs. Peyton Robb (Neb)

    Bryce Andonian (VT) vs. Ed Scott (NC State)

    Meyer Shapiro (Corn) vs. Daniel Cardenas (Stan)

    Jared Franek (IA) vs. Jacori Teemer (ASU)


    165 lbs

    Keegan O'Toole (Mizz) vs. Antrell Taylor (Neb)

    Dean Hamiti (Wisc) vs. David Carr (ISU)

    Julian Ramirez (Corn) vs. Michael Caliendo (IA)

    Cam Amine (Mich) vs. Mitchell Mesenbrink (PSU)


    174 lbs

    Mekhi Lewis (VT) vs. Carter Starocci (PSU)

    Jared Simma (UNI) vs. Shane Griffith (Mich)

    Edmond Ruth (Ill) vs. Rocco Welsh (tOSU)

    Lennox Wolak (Col) vs. Cade DeVos (SDSU)


    184 lbs

    Parker Keckeisen (UNI) vs. David Key (Navy)

    Lenny Pinto (Neb) vs. Trey Munoz (OrSt)

    Dustin Plott (OkSt) vs. Bernie Truax (PSU)

    TJ Stewart (VT) vs. Isaiah Salazar (Minn)


    197 lbs

    Aaron Brooks (PSU) vs Stephen Buchanan (OU)

    Rocky Elam (Mizz) vs. Michael Beard (Leh)

    Tanner Sloan (SDSU) vs. Louie DePrez (Bing)

    Silas Allred (Neb) vs. Trent Hidlay (NC State)


    285 lbs

    Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) vs. Nick Feldman (tOSU)

    Nathan Taylor (Leh) vs. Cohlton Schultz (ASU)

    Wyatt Hendrickson (AFA) vs. Zach Elam (Mizz)

    Lucas Davison (Mich) vs. Yonger Bastida (ISU)


    Round of 16 Upsets

    125 lbs

    #10 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) dec #7 Jakob Camacho (NC State) 8-2

    #15 Caleb Smith (Nebraska) dec #2 Luke Stanich (Lehigh) 4-1SV


    141 lbs

    #9 Brock Hardy (Nebraska) dec #8 Sergio Lemley (Michigan) 10-4

    #26 Vance Vombaur (Minnesota) dec #23 Danny Fongaro (Indiana) 5-0


    157 lbs 

    #10 Jared Franek (Iowa) dec #7 Peyton Kellar (Ohio) 4-3

    #12 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech) dec #5 Ryder Downey (Northern Iowa) 9-6


    165 lbs 

    #10 Cam Amine (Michigan) dec #7 Izzak Olejnik (Oklahoma State) 4-1SV


    174 lbs

    #9 Carter Starocci (Penn State) dec #8 Adam Kemp (Cal Poly) 5-3

    #25 David Key (Navy) dec #24 Shane Liegal (Wisconsin) 4-2

    #28 Jared Simma (Northern Iowa) dec #21 Tyler Eischens (North Carolina) 6-5


    197 lbs

    #12 Rocky Elam (Mizzou) dec #5 Jacob Cardenas (Cornell) 4-0


    285 lbs 

    #10 Lucas Davison (Michigan) maj #7 Taye Ghadiali (Campbell) 8-0

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