4-for-4 for New York. In the Friday quarterfinals, Columbia’s Steve Santos and the Cornell trio of Nahshon Garrett, Kyle Dake and Steve Bosak all punched their tickets to the semifinals while solidifying All-American status. They won’t be the only Empire State wrestlers in action in the evening, however, as the Big Red’s Mike Nevinger (141), Binghamton’s Donnie Vinson (149) and former Brockport standout Christian Boley (Maryland, 197) will compete in the Round of 12, looking to make the podium.
Donnie Vinson continued his run through the consolations, beginning the morning with a victory over Michigan State’s Dan Osterman before an impressive 12-0 major over Michigan’s Eric Grajales. 197-pounder Nate Schiedel also got off to a winning start on Friday when he handled UTC’s Nik Brown. In his second contest, he took an early lead against Iowa’s Nathan Burak, however, the Hawkeye followed by hitting a headlock and registering the fall.
133-pounder Derek Steeley was eliminated in the morning session with a loss to Maryland’s Geoff Alexander.
149: Donnie Vinson vs. Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) – Round of 12
John-Martin Cannon endured a significant injury in his first match of the tournament, a victory over 12th seeded Mathew Miller of Navy. He continued to battle, beginning his consolation action on Friday with a 3-2 tiebreaker win over Cal State Bakersfield’s Bryce Hammond. After finishing regulation knotted at 1 and a scoreless sudden victory period, Cannon notched a reversal to move ahead 3-1. Hammond later escaped, but it wasn’t enough.
Cannon next took the mat against Ohio’s Cody Walters. The Bobcat got on the board first with a first period takedown and the wrestlers later traded escapes, resulting in a 3-1 decision for Walters.
Steve Santos became the school’s first All-American since Matt Palmer in 2007 when he defeated Air Force’s Cole Von Ohlen in the quarterfinals. The Columbia senior avenged a loss to Von Ohlen at last year’s NCAAs.
The Ivy Leaguer took a 4-1 lead into the third period, where he brought his riding time advantage to over two minutes. However, late in the stanza, his opponent escaped and then picked up a takedown with less than 20 seconds to go to make it 4-4 on the scoreboard. Santos’s riding time was the difference in the 5-4 decision.
EIWA finalist Matt Bystol and senior Stephen West each collected a victory in their first trip to the NCAAs, before completing their seasons on Friday.
149: Steve Santos vs. Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State), Semifinals
The Big Red wrestlers combined for a 5-0 record during Session 3, including a sweep of quarterfinal matches by Nahshon Garrett, Kyle Dake and Steve Bosak. Garrett took on three-time NCAA finalist Matt McDonough of Iowa at 125 and fell behind 2-0 on a late first period takedown. However, he got a key escape with just seconds left in the period to trail 2-1 after the opening stanza. Garrett selected bottom and after McDonough notched just over a minute of riding time, the Cornell freshman got out to tie the score at 2. Going into the third, the Hawkeye chose down and Garrett put on a dominant performance from the top position, riding the two-time NCAA champion out and forcing overtime. (Garrett wound up with 58 seconds of riding time).
Garrett wasted little time in the sudden victory period, going on the offensive and earning the takedown to win a dramatic 4-2 match.
“I wasn’t nervous,” Garrett said. “I was much more excited than nervous. I didn’t think any of the pressure was on me. I just went out there and wrestled. I shot a couple of doubles earlier and got to his body. That last one [in sudden victory] was just a matter of strength and finishing. It was just an awesome experience.”
There was far less drama for Kyle Dake at 165, as he controlled his bout against Virginia’s Nick Sulzer from the opening whistle. Dake had his way in all three positions as he triumphed 13-0 in a match that was never in doubt. The win ensured that Dake will be a four-time All-American, although he’s shooting for loftier goals.
Steve Bosak made it two wins for the Big Red over the Hawkeyes on Friday morning when he defeated Ethen Lofthouse at 184. After a scoreless first, Lofthouse chose bottom and Bosak went to work, remaining in control for the entire two minutes. In the third, Bosak escaped quickly and added a takedown. With riding time tacked on at the end, the final score was 4-1.
Mike Nevinger made it three in a row in the wrestlebacks with a fall against Chris Mecate of Old Dominion in his opening action on Friday, followed by a 7-2 win over Missouri’s Nick Hucke later on. The latter win avenged a loss to the Tiger at the Grapple at the Garden.
125: Nahshon Garrett vs. Jesse Delgado (Illinois), Semifinals
165: Kyle Dake vs. Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma St), Semifinals
184: Steve Bosak vs. Ed Ruth (Penn St), Semifinals
141: Mike Nevinger vs. Mark Ballweg (Iowa), Round of 12
Steve Bonanno and Jamie Franco began Friday with victories in the wrestlebacks. Bonanno topped Cal State Bakersfield’s Tyler Iwamura 7-4 while Franco triumphed in overtime for the second straight time when he reversed North Carolina’s Joey Ward in the tiebreakers to win 3-1. Both completed their NCAA runs in the next round, however as Minnesota’s David Thorn topped Bonanno and Central Michigan’s Scotti Sentes defeated Franco at 133. Luke Vaith also completed his season on Friday, against Missouri’s Nick Hucke.
Additional New York Natives in the Field
Christian Boley of Maryland collected a pair of victories on Day 2 to earn a spot in Session 4 Friday evening. He first upended Arizona State’s Jake Meredith 6-3 before over Phil Wellington of Ohio.
Christian Boley (Maryland) vs. Blake Rosholt (Oklahoma St), Round of 12