COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nearly eight months after winning the NCAA championship at 125 pounds, Nathan Tomasello picked up right where he left off in beginning the 2015-16 campaign - literally. Tomasello, competing in the prestigious NWCA All-Star Classic, won by a 7-1 decision over the same opponent he defeated in the NCAA finals last year - Zeke Moisey of West Virginia - in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU.
The event, held at the Hank McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, Ga., on the campus of Georgia Tech, is an annual showcase of the nation's top college wrestling stars in a dual meet format that's kicked off the college wrestling season since 2004. It was previously a post-season or late-season event.
Tomasello controlled the match from the start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first period on the strength of a takedown (takedowns were worth three points today only). He also racked up 1:15 worth of riding time in the opening stanza.
In the second period, Tomasello allowed Moisey to escape, cutting the lead to 3-1, but he scored another three-point takedown at the end of the period for a 6-1 edge.
Sunday's match marked the fourth time Tomasello and Moisey have faced each other over the last 12 months. Tomasello has won all four matches:
11/2/14: Tomasello major dec. over Moisey 19-6
12/5/14: Tomasello dec. over Moisey 15-10
3/21/15: Tomasello dec. over Moisey 9-5
11/1/15: Tomasello dec. over Moisey 7-1
Tomasello is the consensus No. 1 ranked 125-pounder in the country. Moisey is ranked No. 3 by InterMat, No. 4 by FloWrestling, No. 3 by Amateur Wrestling News and No. 3 by The OpenMat.com.
Over the course of the event, Ohio State has been represented 20 times with Buckeye wrestlers going a combined 10-9. The first Ohio State wrestler to compete in the event was current Notre Dame College head coach Frank Romano, who wrestled at 118 pounds in 1970.
Tomasello and the rest of his Buckeye teammates will be in action against on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsilanti, Mich.