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Rutgers Wrestling at No. 10 & ready for the season

It all starts this weekend on the west coast. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Roy DeBoer

You get a good feeling about your team when you move up in the rankings while sitting at home.

Well, in actuality, RU Wrestling wasn’t at home. While most of the team was at the East Stroudsburg Open, Anthony Ashnault and Richie Lewis were in Cleveland competing at the NWCA All Star Classic.

In an exciting OT thriller, Ashnault defeated NCAA runner up Bryce Meredith of Wyoming, 8-6, while Lewis won his exhibition against Missouri’s No. 11-ranked Joey Lavallee in a “showcase” match.

The East Stroudsburg Open was looked at by head coach Scott Goodale as an opportunity for individuals to step up and earn their spot in the lineup. In all, six Rutgers wrestlers won titles: as 125-pounder Brandon Paetzell, 133-pounder Tyson Dippery, 157-pounder Eleazar DeLuca, 174-pounder Phillip Bakuckas, 184-pounder Nicholas Gravina, and 197-pounder Kevin Mulligan all kicked off the season with championships. Dippery and redshirt junior Scott Delvecchio met in the finals with Dippery winning 1-0. Transfer DeLuca faced John van Brill in the finals, also taking a one point victory, 3-2. Bakuckas won his tile with a 4-0 win over redshirt sophomore Jordan Pagano.


With weekend competition complete, the various services have come out with their weight class rankings. As many as five Rutgers wrestlers were ranked by individual groups.

On the team level, eight other Big Ten schools are in the Top 25 of the NWCA rankings, including four others in the top ten.

Rankings for WIN Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News were not available when we posted.

Upsets: A look at the Big Ten, Princeton

Most teams were involved in open tournaments, so there are few if any team results. There were, though, a few upsets and FloWrestling identified the nine most significant from the past weekend’s competition. We look here at RU opponents.

At 184 pounds, Princeton’s Ian Baker pinned No. 11 Jack Dechow of Old Dominion at the Virginia Tech Open. RU’s Nick Gravina will likely face Baker at the Battle at the Birthplace on Nov. 19.

157 pounds saw Ohio State’s Jake Ryan (No. 10) beaten by redshirt freshman Caden McWhirter of Northern Illinois. Ryan was a 2015-16 NCAA qualifier and was sixth at the Big Ten Championships.

No. 8 Stevan Micic of Michigan took an Olympic redshirt last season. And opened this season at 133 with a loss to Brendan Fitzgerald of Ohio State.

Big Ten Wrestler of the Week

Connor Medbery

Wisconsin Heavyweight – Sr.

  • The No. 3 preseason ranked wrestler defeated second-ranked Ty Walz of Virginia Tech at the NWCA All-Star Classic
  • Won the match in a 5-2 decision without allowing a single offensive point
  • The three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career

Battle at the Birthplace

The first ever outdoor wrestling match at Rutgers is just over a week away. On Nov. 19, the two schools that began college football will take to the wrestling mat in the football stadium for an 11:00 am start. That night, RU hosts Penn State in football, same place. Some key info on the match is below via the links.

Season tickets were mailed out and I got mine the other day, including my #BATB tix. This is going to be a very cool - literally - match.