Seth Gross edged Thomas Gilman in the main event of WRTC Underground 2 (Photo/Stacy Schiesl Photography)
Another exciting of wrestling, featuring top senior-level and college athletes, produced an entertaining night of competition.
Wisconsin RTC Underground 2 was held on Wednesday and was broadcast live on Rokfin.
A full card of competition was contested, with competition for both men and women. An undercard of youth bouts was followed by the main card.
The main event featured a battle between world silver medalist Thomas Gilman and NCAA champion Seth Gross. The match ended up deadlocked 4-4 with Gross prevailing on criteria.
That was among many hard-fought, competitive matches on a fun night of wrestling.
Here is a recap of Wednesday night's event:
182: Graham Calhoun dec. Tanner Mendoza, 12-10
Calhoun charged out aggressively in a battle of top young wrestlers. Mendoza fought back before Calhoun took charge with a series of turns to lead 11-4 after a wild first period. Mendoza rattled off six straight points to close within 11-10, but Calhoun added a late point to win 12-10. It was an action-packed opening match between two guys who pushed the pace. It was a great way to open the evening.
150: Dresden Simon tech. Aiden Medora, 12-1
Medora powered in for the opening takedown to lead 2-0 in the first minute. Simon turned Medora to his back and then scored on a succession of turns to finish a quick 12-1 tech. That was an impressive showing by Simon in a dominating performance.
Katelynn Gunderson tech. Mateah Roehl, 15-4
Roehl came out with a pair of quick attacks to take a 4-0 lead. Gunderson came right back, hitting a four-point move to lead 5-4. Gunderson executed a four-point throw just before time ran out to lead 11-4 after one period. Gunderson shot in for a takedown and followed with a leg lace to win 15-4. It was a strong showing by Gunderson after she fell behind early in the bout.
150: Joey Bianchi dec. Joe Zargo, 12-4
Biachi and Zargo let it fly and battled in a high-scoring match. Bianchi went up 9-4 early in the second period with an aggressive attack. Bianchi added a pushout to lead 10-4 with a minute to go. Bianchi looked impressive with his re-shots. He added a late takedown on a counter in the final seconds to prevail 12-4. That was an entertaining match to watch.
197: Chris Weiler pinned Kobe Woods
This was an interesting match to watch between a pair of veteran college wrestlers. Weiler, who transferred from Lehigh to Wisconsin, battled a Wartburg College standout in Woods. Weiler struck first with an early pushout on a counter. Woods turned Weiler to his back briefly before Weiler came right back to lead 4-2. Weiler then locked up a cradle to record the fall midway through the first period. Weiler looked strong against a quality opponent.
135: Paul Bianchi dec. Kyle Burwick, 10-5
Bianchi struck first, scoring an early takedown. Bianchi is an impressive looking young wrestler. He finished a takedown off a single-leg shot late in the first period to lead 6-1. Burwick fired in strong right off the whistle to start the second period. He scored a takedown and turn to draw within 6-5. These matches continue to be excellent with plenty of action. Bianchi responded with a takedown to lead 8-4 with just over two minutes left. Bianchi continued to attack, converting a single into a takedown to lead 10-5 with a minute to go. Great showing by Bianchi. He's a tough wrestler. The Bianchi brothers went 2-0 on Wednesday.
130: Drew Hildebrandt dec. Eric Barnett, 10-4
This was another bout that fans were looking forward to with a pair of top-level lightweights. Hildebrandt has excelled at Central Michigan and he struck early for a takedown. Hildebrandt followed with another blast double to lead 4-0 at the break. Hildebrandt spun behind with a slick maneuver to lead 6-0 with two minutes left. Barnett came right back to score a takedown and turn near the edge to move within 6-4 with 1:25 left. This is another awesome bout to watch. The explosive Hildebrandt powered back with a leg attack to lead 8-4 with a minute left. Hildebrandt looked very sharp in earning a 10-4 victory over a tough foe.
145: Kylie Welker tech. Amor Tuttle, 10-0
Welker powered out to quick 4-0 lead with a takedown and turn against a strong young opponent in Tuttle. Welker is an excellent prospect and it showed. Welker spun behind for a takedown to lead 6-0. She followed with a gut-wrench and then another to earn a quick 10-0 win. It's going to be interesting to see how Welker fares moving forward. She's a gifted young wrestler.
132: Ronna Heaton dec. Koral Sugiyama, 10-7
This was another matchup that fans were interested in seeing. Heaton, a Cadet world champion, was headlocked early and trailed 4-0 against Sugiyama. Heaton came back with a single-leg attack and finish to draw within 5-3. Heaton followed with another textbook single and finish to even the match 5-5 after one period. Heaton took her first lead on a pushout early in the second period. She continued to attack, scoring a takedown to lead 8-5. This was another match where the athletes didn't hold back. Sugiyama came back with a pushout to draw within 8-6 with 30 seconds left. Heaton won a late scramble to earn a takedown for a 10-7 victory. That was a heck of a match between two good wrestlers.
173: Evan Wick tech. Kennedy Monday, 16-5
Monday fired in on a quick single to lead 1-0 on a stepout. Monday followed with a leg attack and takedown to take a 3-0 lead over Wick, a three-time All-American for Wisconsin. Down 5-0, Wick countered with a leg attack and turn to climb within a point of Monday. Wick continued the momentum, scoring a pair of takedowns to lead 8-5 early in the second period. Wick kept pouring it on, finishing with a turn to win 16-5. He scored 16 unanswered points after falling behind early. Wick continues to make improvements and looked superb against Monday.
114: Erin Golston dec. Maria Vidales, 7-1
Golston, a veteran on the Senior level, shot in to score a quick takedown. She followed by winning a scramble to earn a second TD and lead 4-0. Vidales stayed in the match and was within 4-1 early in the second period. Golston came back to take a 5-1 lead midway through the period before adding a late takedown to win 7-1. Golston prevailed over a worthy opponent in women's freestyle.
Seth Gross defends a shot from Thomas Gilman (Photo/Stacy Schiesl Photography)
132: Seth Gross dec. Thomas Gilman, 4-4
The featured match promised to be a great battle between two outstanding wrestlers. Gilman opened the scoring with a single and stepout to lead 1-0. Gilman was the aggressor and was in on a handful of shots, but only led 1-0 at the break. Gross countered a shot for a takedown to lead 2-1 with just over two minutes left. Gross countered a shot with a turn for exposure to lead 4-2. Gilman fired back with a single and stepout to draw within 4-3 with 1:09 left. Gilman tied it 4-4 on a pushout with 30 seconds left. Gross held criteria at this point. Gilman may have had a pushout with 12 seconds left, but it was not awarded and Gross prevailed 4-4 on criteria. The match was at 132 pounds, nearly seven pounds above the international weight class of 57 kilograms they would meet at in the Olympic Trials. It will be interesting to see what happens if they meet again in the spring.
I've watched a number of these events and this may have been the best that I have seen in terms of action. The wrestlers really got after it in every match and it was an enjoyable night of wrestling. Kudos to everyone involved who put this on. Great job by veteran Joe Miller on the broadcast. He did a great job keeping us informed and he is someone who is very knowledgeable about the sport.
Following the event, Wisconsin head wrestling coach Chris Bono tweeted that WRTC Underground 3 will take place Jan. 20.
Jan20th underground 3 ! Let's goâ€" Chris Bono (@ChrisBono) December 17, 2020
Craig Sesker has written about wrestling for more than three decades. He's covered three Olympic Games, written 10 books and is a two-time national wrestling writer of the year.