After the prestigious Midlands tournament was cancelled, the inaugural MatMen Open took its place. The tournament took place at Now Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on December 29th and 30th. Numerous Michigan natives participated, with 4 reaching the podium.
Drew Mattin of Michigan finished 5-1 to take third at 133lbs. Mattin's most notable win came over NCAA qualifier Michael Colaiocco of Penn in a 10-3 decision. Mattin's only loss was in the semis to All American and eventual champ Lucas Byrd of Illinois.
Manny Rojas had an incredible run to a third place finish at 174lbs, making him the highest placing high schooler in the tournament. The Senior at Detroit Catholic Central wrestled unattached, making him eligible to compete in the college tournament. In his first match, Rojas used 7 takedowns to overcome a 6-0 deficit to beat Connor O'Neill of Rutgers 16-12. After an injury default in the next round, Rojas earned a last second takedown to beat NCAA qualifier Gerritt Nijenhuis of Purdue 8-6. Rojas would lose a close match in the semis to eventual champ Edmond Ruth, formerly of Lehigh, before picking up a pin against O'Neill and an 8-4 decision over Heller of Hofstra in the third place match. In all, Rojas placed above 4 ranked college wrestlers.
The match of the tournament came at 184lbs. Myles Amine of Michigan and Mark Hall (NCAA champ from Penn State, now coaching for Penn) were on a collision course to meet in the finals. Amine, a 4x All American and Olympic bronze medalist, used a fall and two decisions, including a 7-0 decision over All American Brit Wilson of Northern Illinois, to reach the finals. In the finals, Amine held Hall on his back from a scramble to earn a danger count and a takedown at the end of the first period. The two would trade escapes, and Amine picked up a riding time point to earn the 4-2 decision.
Also on the 184lb bracket was Neil Antrassian of Penn. Antrassian, a 2018 grad of Monroe High School, went 2-3 on the tournament to finish 8th. In his first match, Antrassian picked up a big win over NCAA qualifier Chris Weiler of Wisconsin. In the round of 12, Antrassian beat Dylan Connell of Illinois 8-5.
Trent Hillger, a Lake Fenton High School grad, had a dominant run for Wisconsin at heavyweight. Hillger earned major decisions in each of his first three matches to reach the finals. In the finals, Hillger met two time NCAA qualifier Ethan Laird of Rider. An escape and riding time point would be the difference for Hillger, as he earned a 2-0 decision and MatMen open championship.
Michigan State had an outstanding tournament at the Southern Scuffle, finishing in third behind Missouri and North Dakota State. In all, MSU had 4 placers, including a champion and another finalist.
At 133lbs, Rayvon Foley was dominant, picking up two techs and a major decision to reach the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, Foley beat Gaylord grad Dom Lajoie (Cornell) 9-3. In the semis, Foley beat Cullan Schriever 10-5. Schriever, a freshman at Iowa, was a Cadet and Junior freestyle national champion in high school and will look to have an impact in Iowa's lineup in the near future. In the finals, Foley used an escape and riding time to beat Nagao of Minnesota
At 157lbs, Chase Saldate had a nice run to the finals. He beat two very solid wrestlers in Brock Mauller (Missouri) and Joe Lee (Penn State). Mauller was an All American for Missouri in 2021, and Joe Lee was a national qualifier for the Nittany Lions. In the finals, Saldate dropped a 6-3 decision to #8 Jared Franek of North Dakota State.
Other placers for Michigan State included Layne Malczewski at 184lbs and Cam Caffey at 197lbs. Malczewski finished 5-2 on the tournament to take 5th. Caffey's only loss on his way to a third place finish was to eventual champ Michael Beard of Penn State. Caffey capped off the tournament with an 8-6 win over NCAA qualifier Tanner Sloan of South Dakota State.
Michigan state also had 3 sophomores reach the round of 12. Tristan Lujan at 125lbs, Eddie Homrock at 141lbs, and Caleb Fish at 165lbs all picked up some solid wins on the tournament before falling in the blood round. Most notably, Caleb Fish earned a 5-3 decision over 4x state champ Alex Facundo (now at Penn State).
Also reaching the finals was Josh Edmond (Missouri, Detroit CC HS) at 149lbs. Edmond put together 4 straight wins to reach the finals, including a 9-3 win over NCAA qualifier Alex Madrigal in the semis. In the finals, Edmond lost an 11-10 barnburner to #7 Josh Finesilver of Duke. Edmond led for much of the match but could not secure a takedown in the 3rd period for the win.
#4 Michigan and #6 Arizona State were scheduled to meet Monday night in Austin, TX, at the FloWrestling headquarters. Unfortunately, the dual had to be modified after COVID safety guidelines and protocols sidelined 6 of the Arizona State starters.
With only four bouts, the dual fell below the match threshold for team scoring and a team result, but all individual matches were official and will count toward each wrestler's season record.
The Wolverines earned match wins from their two Tokyo Olympians, graduate students Stevan Micic and Myles Amine, at 141 and 184 pounds, respectively. Both made their season dual-meet debut.
#3 Micic earned an 8-6 decision over Julian Chlebove in his first collegiate bout since the 2019 NCAA Championships -- and his first up at 141 pounds. Micic finished on three takedowns, including two in the first period, to build an early lead, but Chlebove scrambled for a takedown midway through the third to wind down Micic's riding time and narrow the final score.
Amine, ranked second at 184 pounds, cruised to a 17-2 technical fall against Josh Nummer in the final bout of the evening. He scored four takedowns -- two apiece in the first and second periods -- and earned eight back points, ending the bout with a four-point leg turk at the 4:28 mark. Amine, who captured the Matmen Open title in his debut last week, improved to 5-0 on the season.
Arizona State claimed the event's first two matches. Fifth-year senior Jack Medley, ranked 19th by InterMat, dropped a 5-4 decision to fourth-ranked Brandon Courtney at 125 pounds. Courtney scored two takedowns in the first period, and though Medley pulled within one point with a late stall call in the third, he could not overcome the early deficit.
#8 Dylan Ragusin fell in the marquee match at 133 pounds, 10-0, to fourth-ranked Michael McGee. After a pair of early flurries in the first period, McGee controlled most of the bout with three takedowns and a pair of back points.
Michigan (3-0) will resume its dual-meet slate in two weeks, on Friday, Jan. 14, when it takes on rival Ohio State in Columbus.
125 - #7 Devin Schroder (Purdue, Grand Rapids CC HS)
125 - #19 Jack Medley (Michigan, Anchor Bay HS)
133 - #8 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)
133 - #11 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State, Ann Arbor Pioneer HS)
133 - #30 Dom Lajoie (Cornell, Gaylord HS)
141 - #3 Stevan Micic (Michigan)
141 - #11 Dresden Simon (CMU, Dansville HS)
149 - #17 Kanen Storr (Michigan, Leslie HS)
149 - #22 Josh Edmond (Missouri, Detroit CC HS)
149 - #28 Corbyn Munson (CMU, Chelsea HS)
157 - #15 Will Lewan (Michigan)
157 - #19 Johnny Lovett (CMU)
157 - #21 Chase Saldate (Michigan State)
165 - #10 Cam Amine (Michigan, Detroit CC HS)
174 - #6 Logan Massa (Michigan, St. Johns HS)
184 - #2 Myles Amine (Michigan, Detroit CC HS)
184 - #28 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State, Dakota HS)
197 - #3 Max Dean (Penn State, Lowell HS)
197 - #8 Patrick Brucki (Michigan)
197 - #20 Cam Caffey (Michigan State)
285 - #2 Mason Parris (Michigan)
285 - #5 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin, Lake Fenton HS)
285 - #9 Matt Stencel (CMU)
285 - #25 Taye Ghadiali (Campbell, Warren Fitz HS)
285 - #30 Riley Smith (Navy, Mason HS)