NU had a big win Friday over Mich. MU was coming over an upset stomping #2 Iowa. They brought in 4 former All American transfers ( 2 from NWU, Stanford and Wisconsin). I had NU favored in 2, MU in 5 and 3 toss ups. Instead NU was 8 of 10. The was NU is wrestling we may be in line for a team trophy (top 3).
125# NU picked up Caleb Smith graduate transfer from Appalachian State. Smith was ranked 5 last year only to go 0-2 at the NCAA tournament. This year he’s been hot and cold but still top 10 ranked. Against MU smith beat #6 Michael DeAugustino, who transferred from NW this year. Smith will certainly qualify for the NCAAs and hopefully place this year.
133# FR Jeff Van Dee has been getting stronger. He’s been ranked in the mid 20s but also beat #4 Dylan Ragusin. This is a brutal weight but Van Dee looks really good and should earn some points at the NCAAs.
141# Brock Hardy, AA last year has been injured but came on strong against MU who beat the #1 ranked opponent from Iowa. Hardy should earn AA status again.
149# Former AA Ridge Lovett ranked #1 went up against former AA transfer from Wiscy (Austin Gomez) . I had this as a toss up as Gomez is 2-0 against Lovett lifetime, including a pin in 20 seconds at the B1G tournament in Lincoln 2 years ago. Gomez is the only active NCAA wrestler with a win over Lovett. Ridge won by 6.
157# 2 time AA Peyton Robb started the season at #2 but has fallen with losses due to injuries, now ranked 14. The MU opponent was 12 but hasn’t beaten Peyton. If you hadn’t heard Robb had a serious injury last year after the NCAA losing muscle from serious bruises. He could have lost his leg or life but recovered and started this season. Robb beat the MU opponent and hopefully will be an AA again.
165# FR Antrell Taylor has been working up the rankings, went up against a 3 time AA from MU winning a close match. I’ll be really excited to see Taylor the next 4 years. He has a chance at AA status but should score some good points for the team.
174# JR Bubba Wilson moved up from 165 after losing his starting spot. He’s ranked 20 and went up against #3 former NCAA champ from Stanford who moved to MU. This was a clcose match and I expect Wilson to qualify for the NCAA tournament again.
184# SO Lenny Pinto comes in ranked #3 and beat the MU wrestler. Pinto is a hot and cold wrestler but can be dominant at times. He’s someone I really enjoy watching and hope he can make AA this year. 184 has lost a lot of talent so he has an easier path than last year.
197# Silas Alred comes in ranked #13 but should move higher. He was B1G champ last year beating multiple AAs but fell one win short of AA status. Silas is a SO and has a chance at earning AA this year though 197 is brutal, two high AAs moved up from 184. The MU wrestler was far outclassed by Allred.
285# SO Nash Hutchemeyer went up against a AA transfer from NW, ranked #3. Nash lost by 8. Its not clear if Hutch or FR Harley Andrews will finish the season, but I expect it to be Hutch. NU hopes to qualify all 10 guys for the NCAA tournament and this weight is on the bubble.
The B1G is at the U of MD in March. The NCAA tournament is in Kansas City late March. I have tickets for the NCAA tournament and really hope to see a National Champ (Lovett) and a team trophy for NU