This years National Collegiate Open will feature some of the best young college talent in the country. Each year the tournament has grown. We at TOM believe this is an important event that we hope evolves into a true â€œRedshirt and Non-starters Nationalsâ€.
College coaches should really get behind this event. Wrestling suffers from a lack of exposure. This event showcases some of the up and coming stars. This gives college wrestling fans the opportunity to see who the future All-Americans and NCAA champions will be.
In its first year, 2009, Steve Fittery was second and in 2010 David Taylor was a champion. Those two are now the top two ranked wrestlers in the country. In 2009 Robert Hamlin who is currently ranked fifth in the country took third here. Ed Ruth and Quentin Wright battled it out last year with Wright coming out on top.
Who knows what future stars will shine this year. Make sure you tune into all the action.
Following this event we will be updating our Non-starter rankings.
125 looks to be a deep weight class. Leading the way is Jesse Delgado of Cal Poly. So far this season he has put together a 12-1 record. He has earned some pretty impressive wins and his only loss is to Ryan Mango. Pushing him will be Jenkins Monzey of Maryland. Monzey has an impressive 20-8 record on the season. He has wins over some of the other wrestlers entered. Matt Fusco of Rutgers has a win over Monzey. Fusco has seen some pretty stiff competition and seen time in the starting line-up.
Ty Mitch of Virginia Tech is a solid wrestler and should be considered a contender. He has loss to a few of the guys above, but could reverse those results. Dominic Parisi of Appalachian State has a win over Mitch and has seen some top ranked kids. Look for him to make things difficult for others.
1. Jesse Delgado â€“ Cal Poly
2. Matt Fusco â€“ Rutgers
3. Jenkins Monzey â€“ Maryland
4. Dominic Parisi â€“ Appalachian State
This one is loaded and should provide the fans with some great match-ups. Steve Mitcheff of Kent State has to be considered a contender for sure. He has some nice wins but is coming up from 125 where he spent most of the season. Mitcheff does have a loss too Eric Dunnett of Old Dominion who is also coming up from 125. Dunnett has been very impressive with wins over two nationally ranked wrestlers. Aaron Schopp from Edinboro is coming off a tournament last week and has been opening some eyes all season. He should be right there in the end.
Sophomore Eric Spjut of Virginia Tech deserves some consideration for this top spot at this weight. He has posted a 20-5 record so far. Evan Kolb of Lock Haven has posted a 12-6 record versus some tough competition. We expect to see him made a run and mix things up. Finally do not over look Dustin Reed from Oklahoma. Reed has wrestled numerous top ranked wrestlers this year and held his own. He brings a 12-7 record into the tournament.
1. Aaron Schopp â€“ Edinboro
2. Eric Dunnett â€“ Old Dominion
3. Steve Mitcheff â€“ Kent State
4. Eric Spjut â€“ Virginia Tech
This weight will really give fans some excitement. Starting in the quarters we should start getting some real good match-ups. Some great young talent will be butting heads. Overall this weight will be difficult to predict a winner. We will look at some of the contenders. First off is Ryen Nieman of Indiana (16-2). Nieman has wrestled well this year and has won most matches by major or better. Nick Lester of Oklahoma (8-6) may have a deceiving record. Those losses all occurred at 149. He will be at 141 here and is coming off a good showing in his last open at this weight.
Marylandâ€™s Frank Goodwin has compiled an 11-1 record on the year and should be right in the hunt. Keep an eye out for Mitchell Port (13-4) of Edinboro. Port has some impressive wins this year but most of those came at 133. We are curious to see how he does up at 141 against a tough field. Rutgers senior William Ashnault has to be considered a serious threat at this weight. He is experienced and has a solid 10-4 record on the season. Maryland has another solid wrestler entered in this weight in Mark Hartenstine who has put up 30 wins this season. He did not have a great tournament last week in Edinboro, but we expect him to bounce back here.
Others to watch are Justin LaValle (Old Dominion), Gus Sako (Virginia), and Nick Hucke (Missouri).
1. Ryen Nieman â€“ Indiana
2. William Ashnault â€“ Rutgers
3. Mark Hartenstine â€“ Maryland
4. Frank Goodwin â€“ Maryland
149 is another weight that will provide some great match-ups this weekend. One person we know people will be watching is Dylan Alton of Penn State. Alton has posted a solid record and should be a top contender this weekend. Standing is his way is Anthony Salupo of Lehigh whom he has split matches with. Salupo has some nice wins to his credit this season.
Taylor Walsh of Indiana has done while nearing 20 wins on the season. But he does have a loss to Salupo. Jordan Beverly of Rutgers has not loss a match since moving up from 141. He could be a wild card in this tough weight. We would not be surprised to see Lehigh wrestler Kyle Rosser do well either. He does not have stellar record like some of the others here, but has faced some very tough competition all year long and has done well.
1. Dylan Alton â€“ Penn State
2. Anthony Salupo â€“ Lehigh
3. Jordan Beverly â€“ Rutgers
4. Taylor Walsh â€“ Indiana
There are a lot of guys entered here and some guys who should do well. The favorite may be Hadley Harrison who is a 3-time NCAA qualifier. Taylor Knapp of Virginia Tech could challenge here as well. Troy Reaghard of Pitt has had a decent year, and may have a solid chance to make the top four here. Some other guys, to keep an eye on are; William Powell (Appalachian State), Anthony Volpe (Rutgers) and Jayk Cobbs (Old Dominion).
1. Hadley Harrison â€“ Clarion
2. Taylor Knapp â€“ Virginia Tech
3. Anthony Volpe â€“ Rutgers
4. William Powell â€“ Appalachian State
At 165 there are five guys we see as contenders. The first is Clarionâ€™s Bekzod Abdurahkmonov. He has been pretty good this season seeing a lot of action. He should be able to do well here. Nick Sulzer of Virginia not only has an impressive record but does own a win over a nationally ranked wrestler. This should be an interesting match, if these two meet up during the tournament.
Nick Visicaro of Rutgers may have his shot to take the title. He has a solid record this season and has seen some good competition. Missouriâ€™s Jordan Gagliano comes into the tournament with a 17-4 record. This will be a good test for him. Wrapping this weight up we leave you with Tyler Wilps of Pitt. Wilps has faced some solid wrestlers this year and may fit well with this group. Jesse Shanaman. He has posted a solid record this year and will be the man to catch at this weight
1. Nick Sulzer â€“ Virginia
2. Jordan Gagliano â€“ Missouri
3. Bekzod Abdurahkmonov â€“ Clarion
4. Jesse Shanaman â€“ Cornell
It was not too difficult to pick a front runner in this one. Scott Giffin of Penn is our favorite. He is nationally ranked and should be wrestling for the title when the dust settles. But, there are numerous guys in this field that may present a challenge. Cal Polyâ€™s Dominic Kastl has put together a real solid season and could prove to be a real test to our favorite. Patrick Wright of Missouri should also be right there in contention. Wright spent significant time in the Tigerâ€™s line-up this season. Virginia Tech sends Matt Epperly who has a ton of experience and has faced the nations best through out his career. Look for him to be right in the thick of things.
Several other wrestlers are hoping to make a statement as well. Another Missouri wrestler at this weight is Todd Porter. Also keep your eye on Tyler Beckwith of Binghamton and PJ Tasser of Pitt.
1. Scott Giffin â€“ Penn
2. Patrick Wright â€“ Missouri
3. Dominic Kastl â€“ Cal Poly
4. Matt Epperly â€“ Virginia Tech
This weight is somewhat wide open. On paper it looks like a two horse race. Kadeem Samuals and Kevin Bailey are both from Lehigh and both have had very good seasons so far. We would not be surprised to see these two meet in the finals. Ty Snook of Maryland has a 13-4 record on the season but has loss to Bailey. One other guy to consider here may be John Rizqallah of Michigan State. Rizqallah has compiled a solid 12-5 record.
In the end we expect to see the two from Lehigh square off.
1. Kevin Bailey â€“ Lehigh
2. Kadeem Samuals â€“ Lehigh
3. Ty Snook â€“ Maryland
4. John Rizqallah â€“ Michigan State
Matt Wilps who is redshirting this season has defeated numerous ranked this year while going 16-1. We expect him to be in the finals and most likely win them. Ryan Robinson of Missouri is listed with a 6-1 record. He is coming from a program that always has tough upper weights. Keep an eye on Robinson this weekend. Finally, we will be watching to see if Keith Witt of Kent State can get something going here. He stands at 15-9 on the season and may make a push here.
1. Matt Wilps â€“ Pitt
2. Ryan Robinson â€“ Missouri
3. Keith Witt â€“ Kent State
4. Steven Grazianoâ€“ Penn
Elijah Madison from Oklahoma is coming of a very good weekend at Edinboro last week where he placed ahead of many in this field. Madison will have to duplicate that performance again this weekend to win over a solid field. Edinboroâ€™s Michael Horton loss to Madison in the finals last week and will look to reverse that decision. Watch out for Michigan Stateâ€™s Michael McClure who has seen a lot of action this year and has faced some of the better heavyweights in the country. He has an 18-5 record and should be considered a threat to win this weight.
Derek Papagianopoulos of Virginia place third at the same tournament where he dropped a sudden victory match to Horton. Papagianopoulos has had a very good year and we would not be surprised to see him in the finals. Carl Buchholz of Rutgers has put together a solid record this season and should provide a challenge to the guys mentioned. Rounding this weight is Oney Snyder who has seen a lot of varsity action this year for top ranked Cornell.
1. Michael McClure â€“ Michigan State
2. Derek Papagianopoulos â€“ Virginia
3. Elijah Madison â€“ Oklahoma
4. Michael Horton â€“ Edinboro