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Grappler Gold

UM's win over Beavers highlight opening weekend

By Associated Wrestling Press, 11/29/13, 10:15AM EST


Grajales downs #1 Sakaguchi

11/20 - Last weekend marked the first days of official team duals for Michigan's D1 programs and all four had strong starts to the open of their season.  Read below for a recap of each Michigan D1 school as well as a look at what Michigan natives were doing out-of-state.
University of Michigan
#20 UM 22, Northern Illinois 9
The Wolverines jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead with wins by #11 Conor Youtsey, 
Rossi Bruno, and Angelo Latora.  At 149, Lowell native Gabe Morse scored the 
biggest win of his young career, taking out #5 Eric Grajales 5-4.  #6 Dan Yates 
looked sharp in his return down to 165 pounds, pitching a 6-0 shutout.  4x State 
Champ Adam Coon made his debut for Michigan and was able to hang on in the 
second tiebreaker over Jared Torrence, getting his dual meet season off to a great 
Kent State 17, #20 UM 16
Kent State came into this dual with five NCAA qualifiers to Michigan’s four, so this 
wasn’t as big an upset as people might think.  That being said, KSU picked up huge 
wins over Grajales at 149 and #11 Max Huntley at 184, which hindered Michigan’s 
chances at picking up a win.  At 133, Bruno won by decision over NCAA qualifier 
Mack McGuire, 7-4.  Oxford native Ben Ralston scored a nice win at 174 over NCAA 
qualifier Caleb Marsh, 8-7.  
#20 UM 20, #12 Oregon State 12
What a difference one day makes.  Hours after falling to KSU, Michigan responded 
with a nice victory in front of a home crowd over the Beavers.  At 149, Grajales responded to his 0-2 performance at EMU by taking out #1 ranked and 2x All-American Scott Sakaguchi, 10-6.  Grajales and Sakaguchi wrestled twice last year, splitting those bouts.  Cliff Keen Arena almost witnessed a second #1 wrestler upset as Chris Heald fell just short at 197 to Taylor Meeks, 7-5.  Perhaps most notably in the dual, at Heavyweight, Adam Coon got some payback for his FILA Junior loss to fellow true freshman and Canada native Amarveer Dhesi.  A day after Dhesi knocked off #9 McClure, Coon won a dominating 7-2 match.
Central Michigan University
#24 CMU 27, Utah Valley 9
Central Michigan kicked of the 2013-14 dual season as they took on Utah Valley on Friday night. The Chips jumped out to a quick 15-3 and never looked back, winning eight of the ten bouts.  A big win came at 125, as highly touted freshman Corey Keener earned an 8-4 decision over #12 Jade Rauser, a returning NCAA qualifier.
#24 CMU 29, Drexel 10
The first of two duals at the inaugural EMU Duals pitted the 24th ranked Chippewas against a tough Drexel squad.  Again, CMU won eight of ten weights, and rolled to a victory.  After back-to-back 2 point decisions by Keener and Tyler Keselring, #16 Zach Horan scored a huge fall over Matt Cimato, a top-50 recruit from the class of 2012 in just 31 seconds.  NCAA qualifier Luke Smith made his season debut and looked sharp, as he won 11-4 over Austin Sommer.
#11 Oregon State 22, #24 CMU 13
Giving up six points at 184 via forfeit definitely didn’t help Central’s chances for an upset.   Keener, Keselring, and Horan helped build an early 10-0 lead, but the Beavers’ firepower was just too much.  Of the final four matches, three of them were won by one point, so CMU had a chance to win it late, but couldn’t quite close the door.  Although, it would have been interesting to see what the dual could have turned out like with NCAA qualifier Craig Kelliher in the lineup at 184.
Eastern Michigan University
EMU 45, Tiffin (OH) 4
The Eagles wrestled a Division 2 team in their first match of their home tournament and won nine of ten weights.  Shayne Wireman, Jake Byers, Nick Barber, Matt VanCuren, and Phillip Joseph each picked up falls during the rout of a clearly overmatched squad.
EMU 35, Gardner-Webb 3
Eastern continued to roll in their second dual of the day, again winning nine of ten weights against the Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb.  Mike Curby and Nick Whitenburg each had falls for the Eagles, and Vinnie Pizzuto added a tech fall.  Also noteworthy was UofM grad-turned-EMU grad student Brandon Zeerip making his debut for the Eagles, as he scored a 3-2 decision at 157.  
EMU 27, Drexel 6
With the first five matches of the dual all decided by two points or less, this one could have been a close dual.  Luckily for the eagles, they won all five of those matches.  #16 Whitenburg had a chance to knock off #12 Brandon Palik at 197, but fell short of the upset.  
EMU 26, Clarion 15
To close the day, the Eagles matched up with a Clarion squad to whom they lost last year.  This time the Eagles came out in top, thanks in part to huge wins at 133 and 141 by Vinnie Pizzuto and Nick Barber, respectively.  Pizzuto dominated #18 Sam Sherlock 10-1, while the St. Ed’s native, Barber, downed returning NCAA qualifier Tyler Bedelyon 10-5.  After surrendering falls at 149 and 157, EMU bounced back in the upper weights, taking four of five, including a fall by Whitenburg. 
Michigan State University
#11 OSU 29, MSU 9
Oregon State won seven of ten weights against the Spartans, including four with bonus points, and that proved to be the difference in this one.  At 157, NCAA qualifier Ryan Watts earned a huge win, as he knocked off returning All-American and #5 ranked RJ Pena, 5-4.  Garth Yenter (133) and John Rizqallah also added decisions for the Green and White.
MSU 21, Utah Valley 18
This one came down to the last match, as #9 Michael McClure toughed out a 3-2 victory at Heavyweight over NCAA qualifier Adam Fager.  Even though the Spartans gave up two falls early in the dual, they got huge help from the upper weights and took the final four to close out the match.  Nick Kaczanowski, Rizqallah, and Luke Jones all won to tie the match, and McClure closed it out for the win.  
MSU 26, Gardner-Webb 13
Again, the MSU upper weights came through in the clutch for the men of Sparta.  Down 13-8 after 165, Kevin Nash, Rizqallah, Nick McDiarmid, and McClure closed it out, with the final three wins coming with bonus points.  Yenter and Jones also picked up wins to keep them in the dual early.  
MSU 25, Drexel 9
State earned its third dual win of the day over a tough Drexel squad to end the day on a big positive note.  Yenter and Rizqallah each won, to close out perfect 4-0 days.  At 197, Nick McDiarmid picked up a huge upset over #12 Brandon Palik, winning 4-1.  Palik had previously beaten #16 Whitenburg and #17 Phil Wellington of Ohio University earlier in the day.  
EMU’s Shayne Wireman won this bracket, after placing 3rd at MSU last weekend.  In the quarterfinals, MSU freshman Mitch Rogaliner won by major decision over Michigan’s Sean Boyle, a returning NCAA qualifier.  Rogaliner fell to Derek Elmore of NIU in the semifinals, and Wireman defeated Elmore 4-0 in the finals.
St. Johns native Jacob Schmitt, wrestling for Northwestern, placed the highest of anyone with Michigan ties, as he placed third.  Schmitt lost a 4-0 decision to the eventual champion, before pinning Michigan’s George Fisher in the third-place bout.  MSU true freshman Javier Gasca placed 5th, also losing to the eventual champ, winning three of his four victories with bonus points.
Thin with Michigan natives, the highest to place here was Olivet’s Justin Holm, who placed 6th.  He knocked off MSU’s Kaelan Richards 4-2 in the wrestlebacks for his fourth consecutive win after losing first round.  UM’s Cameron Kennedy took 7th, defeating Richards 6-2 in that match.
For the second straight week, the finals at 149 pitted CMU’s Colin Heffernan and MSU’s Nick Trimble.  And for the second straight week, the St. Ed’s native took home the title, as he won another close decision over Trimble, 4-1.  Olivet’s Gage Pederson took 3rd, as he fell to Trimble 6-3 in the semis.  
UM’s Brian Murphy rolled through this bracket, taking home the title.  Allegan’s Matt Smith placed 4th, falling to Murphy 4-0 in the semis.  The 5th place match featured CMU’s Malcolm Martin and EMU’s Jimmy Klosz- a match Martin won 5-2.  
Taylor Massa, down from 174 a week ago, looked impressive taking home the title here.  He survived a scare from NIU’s Shaun’Qae McMurtry, a Nebraska transfer, in the quarters, as he squeaked out a 5-3 win.  Massa dominated OSU’s Seth Thomas in the finals 11-5.  EMU’s Dean Vettese fell to Massa first round and then won six straight in the consolation bracket, taking 5th place to follow up his title at MSU last weekend.  Vettese knocked off MSU’s Troy Lamson 5-3 in his final match.
Hesperia native Collin Zeerip took home the title here for Michigan.  Zeerip headlocked returning NCAA qualifier Hunter Gamble of Gardner-Webb in the finals and picked up a fall.  CMU true freshman Jordan Ellingwood fell just short to Zeerip in the semis, 4-3, and bounced back to take third.
Anthony Abro won three straight decisions, including one over Junior Freestyle Champ Mitch Sliga of Northwestern, to win the tournament for EMU.  Eric Ford of MSU fell to Abro in the semifinals 3-1 and fell to 3rd place for the day.  
Payne Hayden was the lone Michigan native to place in this bracket, taking second.  After 4-2 and 3-2 decisions, Hayden fell 6-3 to Paul Glover of Brockport State in the final match.
CMU’s Newton Smerchek finished second in this bracket, losing a tight 3-1 match to Ohio State’s Kosta Karageorge.  Chris Nash of MSU also lost to Karageorge, in the semis, 7-5 and placed third.  Dansville native Arthur Bunce, wrestling for Northern Illinois, won four of five matches to place fifth in this bracket.
Taylor Grenawalt (Brown/Haslett): Posted a 2-2 record at the East Stroudsburg Open, including a pair of pins
Galloway Thurston (Brown/St. Ignace): Lost two decisions, 6-3 and 2-1, at East Stroudsburg Open
Matt Frisch (Citadel/Oxford): Recorded major decision over Anderson college, 9-1
Corbin Boone (CSU/Holt): Lost 13-5 to #18 Conner Hartmann of Duke in lone match
Jackson Morse (Illinois/Lowell): Went 3-0 in duals, including two tech falls over Arizona State and Ouachita    Baptist, and a fall over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville
Lelund Weatherspoon (Iowa State/Napoleon): Went 2-0 in dual action, recording a tech fall over Midland College and a 9-4 decision over West Virginia.  Also placed 3rd at the Harold Nichols Open, with his lone loss coming in a tight 8-6 decision to #5 Logan Storley of Minnesota
Quean Smith (Iowa State/Highland Park): Posted a 1-2 record at the Harold Nichols Open
Tim Lambert (Nebraska/Forest Hills Eastern): Debuted for the Cornhuskers and picked up an 8-6 2OT win over Garrison White of Northwestern
Bob Coe (North Carolina/DCC): Went 3-2 at the Wolfpack Open, placing sixth
Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion (DCC): Won the title at the Wolfpack Open, going 5-0 and defeating teammate Jake Henderson 4-1 in the finals
Ken Bade (Pennsylvania/DCC): Went 3-1 at the East Stroudsburg Open
Thursday 11/21: Eastern Michigan @ Michigan State, 8:00 pm
Sunday 11/24: Stanford @ Michigan, 11:00 am
Sunday 11/24: Stanford @ Eastern Michigan, 2:30 am
Monday 11/25: Stanford @ Central Michigan, 4:30 am