For Nick Suriano and Richie Lewis, this was the big one: their chance to go to the finals on Sunday afternoon. At 125 it was Suriano vs. No 4 Ethan Lizak of Minnesota. And at 165, Lewis was taking on top seed and two-time NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez from Illinois.
There were also wrestlebacks and points to earn for the other five Knights still in the competition. The others were fighting for a shot at third place, but would need three wins to do it. And an opening bout loss, would end their tournament and a shot at the podium.
“It wasn’t our best day of wrestling, but we’re fortunate to get five through to nationals,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “This tournament will humble you, so we have to put tonight in the rear-view mirror and get ready for the national tournament.”
In the wrestlebacks, Scott DelVecchio still has a shot at third, winning twice last night. Eleazar DeLuca and John Van Brill both went 1-1 and will wrestle for seventh today.
Five Scarlet Knights have punched their tickets to nationals after Day One of the Big Ten Championships.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 4, 2018
We'll be back to work tomorrow at noon for Session III.#RUWR | #RelentlessPursuit pic.twitter.com/weDjFqBZi8
After two sessions Ohio State was in the lead for the team title with 137.5 points over Penn State with 124.
Suriano, the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class with an unblemished 21-0 record, medical forfeited his semifinal bout with No. 5 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota). Suriano will not compete during the remainder of the conference tournament and will now prep for a national title run later this month. Suriano will finish sixth at this year’s Big Ten Championships.
“It was our plan. We would have liked him to wrestle,” Goodale said. “If he was good after the first one, he would have kept wrestling. We’re not worried about a seed, obviously. Wherever he is put on the bracket, he feels like he can win. We want to make sure he’s 100 percent for the national tournament.”
In the other half of the bracket, Nathan Tomasello OSU dec Spencer Lee IOWA, 2-1 and will face Lizak for the title.
Stevan Micic MICH tech fall Jason Renteria NEB 19-3
Luke Pletcher OSU dec Mitch McKee, MINN SV-1 6-4
Joey McKenna OSU dec Nate Limmex PUR 6-1
Michael Carr ILL dec Nick Lee PSU 10-6
Zain Retherford PSU MD Ke-Shawn Hayes OSU 10-0
Brandon Sorensen IOWA dec Ryan Deakin NU 7-2
Micah Jordan OSU fall over Michael Kemerer IOWA 5:48
Alec Pantaleo MICH Med Forfeit over Jason Nolf PSU
In his semifinal bout with No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois, Richie Lewis was the first to score in the ranked vs. ranked matchup, bringing Martinez down to the mat in the opening 15 seconds of the match. Martinez hit a four-point near fall later in the period, but Lewis kept fighting, adding an escape and a takedown in the third period for the 8-5 result. Lewis can still finish as high as third in the tournament.
Vincenzo Joseph PSU dec Logan Massa MICH 5-4
Mark Hall PSU dec Johnny Sebastian NU 4-1
Myles Amine MICH fall over Bo Jordan OSU 5:30
Bo Nickal PSU fall over Emery Parker ILL 1:25
Myles Martin OSU dec Dom Abounader MICH 7-3
Kollin Moore OSU dec Kevin Beazley MICH 5-3
Shakur Rasheed PSU MD Christian Brunner PUR 10-2
Adam Coon MICH fall Sam Stoll IOWA 2:13
Kyle Snyder OSU MD Nick Nevills PSU 14-5
The Rutgers Wrestlebacks
First Bout: DelVecchio MD Colin Valdiviez, NU 10-1
Second Bout: DelVecchio dec Ben ThorntonPUR 9-6
NEXT BOUT: vs Mitch McKee MINN; DelVecchio has qualified for NCAA tournament
Well done, Scott! pic.twitter.com/bUGYYuvKB9— RVision (@RVisionRU) March 3, 2018
First Bout: DeLuca dec Eric Barone, ILL 4-1
Second Bout: Alfred Bannister MD dec DeLuca 5-4
NEXT BOUT: for seventh place vs Steve Bleise MINN; DeLuca has qualified for NCAA tournament
First Bout: John Van Brill dec Jake Tucker, MSU 5-2
Second Bout: Tyler Berger NEB dec Van Brill 5-1
NEXT BOUT: for seventh place vs Jake Short MINN; there are eight allocations and Van Brill will advance to NCAA tournament
First Bout: Dylan Lydy, PUR dec Joe Grello vs. 6-3 and is eliminated from competition. this weight has only seven allocations and Grello will not advance
First Bout: Mitch Bowman, Iowa dec Nick Gravina SV-1 6-4
Despite losing in the wrestlebacks, both No. 5 Nicholas Gravina (184) and Michael Van Brill (141) will also wrestle Sunday morning after exiting the wrestleback portion of the bracket. Their matches will go towards at-large bid criteria for nationals. Gravina, who owns a No. 9 ranking in the latest coaches panel rankings and is 15-5 this season, went 1-2 during Saturday’s action.
Busy Saturday for the Scarlet Knights.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 4, 2018
Day One Photo Gallery: https://t.co/nOnBYS47bm
: Rodney Sanford pic.twitter.com/c8VbbNxCqw
Team Scores after Session II
12 p.m. ET Session III
3 p.m. ET Session IV - Big Ten Championships on BTN