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The Path to a Title for the 2019 NCAA Champions

Diakomihalis, Yianni

photo courtesy of Cam Kramer

Let’s take a look back to March and the NCAA Championships. Ten champions were crowned and each of them had different paths to their national titles. Some went through the entire season without a blemish on their record while others had peaked at the end of the year. Here are the latest ten national champions and some of the stats associated with their title runs. 

125 – Spencer Lee (Iowa)

23-3 Record; Big Ten runner-up; Midlands runner-up

Nine match winning streak to start the season was his longest. 

Four wins against 2019 All-Americans; Jack Mueller; Virginia (2nd), Nick Piccininni; Oklahoma State (5th), Patrick Glory; Princeton x2 (6th)

Four more wins against All-Americans from previous years that did not AA in 2019. Sean Russell; Minnesota x3, Zeke Moisey (Nebraska)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Losses to Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern) x2, Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State)

Four major decisions; Seven tech falls; Eight falls

Bonus points in 19 of 23 wins

Road to NCAA title: #30 Bryce West (Northern Illinois) 18-0; #14 Sean Fausz (NC State)  12-3; #6 Sean Russell (Minnesota) Fall 5:59; #2 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) 11-4; #5 Jack Mueller (Virginia)  5-0

133 – Nick Suriano (Rutgers)

29-3 Record: Big Ten champion; Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational champion

Fourteen match winning streak to start the season was his longest. 

Seven wins against 2019 All-Americans; Daton Fix; Oklahoma State (2nd), Stevan Micic; Michigan (3rd), Luke Pletcher; Ohio State (4th), Austin DeSanto; Iowa (5th), John Erneste; Missouri (6th), Ethan Lizak; Minnesota x2 (7th)

15 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Losses to Daton Fix (Oklahoma State), Stevan Micic (Michigan), Austin DeSanto

Ten major decisions; Four tech falls; Six falls

Bonus points in 20 of 29 wins

Road to NCAA title: #30 Dylan Duncan (Illinois)  12-3; #14 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech) 7-2; #6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) Fall 4:24; #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan) 3-2; #1 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)  4-2SV

141 – Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell)

29-0 Record; EIWA champion

Seven wins against 2019 All-American; Joey McKenna; Ohio State x2 (2nd), Jaydin Eierman; Missouri x2 (3rd), Dom Demas; Oklahoma (4th), Kyle Shoop; Lock Haven (7th), Chad Red; Nebraska (8th)

14 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Five major decisions; Five tech falls; Seven Falls

Bonus points in 17 of 29 wins

Road to NCAA title: #33 Peter Lipari (Rutgers) 10-5; #16 Chad Red (Nebraska)  7-3; #9 Dom Demas (Oklahoma) 5-1; #5 Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 6-5; #2 Joey McKenna (Ohio State)  6-4SV

149 – Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)

32-0 Record; Big Ten champion, Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational champion

Eight wins against 2019 All-Americans; Micah Jordan; Ohio State x3 (2nd), Mitch Finesilver; Duke (4th), Matt Kolodzik; Princeton x2 (5th), Jarrett Degen; Iowa State (7th), Patricio Lugo; Iowa (8th)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Seven major decisions; Four tech falls; Eight falls

Bonus points in 19 of 32 wins

Road to NCAA title: #33 Malik Amine (Michigan) 10-2; #16 Davion Jeffries (Oklahoma) 7-1; #8 Jarrett Degen (Iowa State) 10-3; #5 Matt Kolodzik (Princeton)  2-0; #2 Micah Jordan (Ohio State) 9-4

157 – Jason Nolf (Penn State)

31-0 Record; Big Ten champion, Southern Scuffle champion

Nine wins against 2019 All-Americans; Tyler Berger; Nebraska x3 (2nd), Alec Pantaleo; Michigan x2, Hayden Hidlay; NC State (4th), Ryan Deakin; Northwestern (6th), Christian Pagdilao; Arizona State x2 (7th)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Six major decisions; Five tech falls; 15 falls

Bonus points in 26 of 31 wins

Road to NCAA title: #33 Ben Anderson (Duke)  Fall :43; #16 John Van Brill (Rutgers) 19-4; #9 Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State)  23-6; #5 Hayden Hidlay (NC State) 3-2; #2 Tyler Berger (Nebraska) 10-2

165 – Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech)

28-2 Record; ACC champion; Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational runner-up

Finished the season on a 19-match winning streak. 

Four wins against 2019 All-Americans; Vincenzo Joseph; Penn State (2nd), Evan Wick; Wisconsin (4th); Alex Marinelli; Iowa (7th), Bryce Steiert; Northern Iowa (8th)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Losses to Connor Flynn (Missouri), Isaiah White (Nebraska)

Seven major decisions; Three tech falls; Two falls

Bonus points in 12 of 28 wins

Road to NCAA title: #25 Cam Coy (Virginia) Fall 6:49; #24 Cael McCormick (Army West Point)  4-1; #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) 3-1; #4 Evan Wick (Wisconsin) 5-2; #2 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State)  7-1

174 – Zahid Valencia (Arizona State)

31-2 Record; Pac-12 champion; Midlands champion

14-match winning streak in the post-Midlands was the longest of the year

Five wins against 2019 All-Americans; Mark Hall; Penn State (2nd), Myles Amine; Michigan (3rd), Daniel Lewis; Missouri (4th), Chip Ness; North Carolina (6th-184), Jordan Kutler; Lehigh (7th)

13 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Losses to Mark Hall (Penn State), Daniel Lewis (Missouri)

11 major decisions; Four tech falls; 11 falls

Bonus points in 26 of 31 wins

Road to NCAA title: #30 Dean Sherry (Rider)  11-2; #14 Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley) 16-5; #22 Ben Harvey (Army West Point)  Fall 2:12; #2 Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 11-3; #1 Mark Hall (Penn State) 4-3

184 – Drew Foster (Northern Iowa)

28-5 Record; Big 12 champion, Midlands champion

Finished the year on an eight-match winning streak

Six wins against 2019 All-Americans: Max Dean; Cornell (2nd), Chip Ness; North Carolina (6th), Dakota Geer; Oklahoma State (7th), Zack Zavatsky; Virginia Tech x3 (8th)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Losses to Taylor Venz (Nebraska) x2, Max Dean (Cornell), Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State), Sam Colbray (Iowa State)

8 major decisions, Three tech falls; Two falls

Bonus points in 13 of 28 wins

Road to NCAA title: #27 CJ LaFragola (Brown) 10-0; #11 Louie DePrez (Binghamton)  7-1; #3 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech) 6-2; #15 Chip Ness (North Carolina) 7-4; #5 Max Dean (Cornell)  6-4

197 – Bo Nickal (Penn State)

30-0 Record; Big Ten champion, Southern Scuffle champion

Five wins against 2019 All-Americans: Kollin Moore; Ohio State x3 (2nd), Patrick Brucki; Princeton (4th), Josh Hokit; Fresno State (5th)

17 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

6 major decisions, Three tech falls, 18 falls

Bonus points in 27 of 30 wins

Road to NCAA title: #32 Ethan Laird (Rider)  Fall 2:35; #16 Josh Hokit (Fresno State) Fall 2:28; #8 Nathan Traxler (Stanford)  14-4; #4 Patrick Brucki (Princeton) Fall 4:41; #2 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) 5-1

285 – Anthony Cassar (Penn State)

30-1 Record; Big Ten champion, Southern Scuffle runner-up

Finished the year on a 19-match winning streak

Six wins against 2019 All-Americans: Derek White; Oklahoma State (2nd), Gable Steveson; Minnesota x2 (3rd), Jordan Wood; Lehigh (4th); Trent Hillger; Wisconsin x2 (8th)

One more wins against All-Americans from previous years that did not AA in 2019. Teammate Nick Nevills. 

19 wins against 2019 National Qualifiers

Loss to Derek White (Oklahoma State)

15 major decisions, Two tech falls, Five falls

Bonus points in 22 of 30 wins

Road to NCAA title: #31 Antonio Pelusi (Franklin & Marshall)  Fall 4:20; #15 Tate Orndorff (Utah Valley) 10-2; #7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin)  4-0; #3 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) 4-3; #2 Derek White (Oklahoma State) 10-1

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