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Top 10 College Wrestling Performances of the Week – Nov. 26th, 2018

bowman, mitch

photo courtesy of IAWrestle.com

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there was a very light slate of college wrestling this week. That doesn’t mean that there still were not some great performances that took place. Here are ten of the top performances of the week in college wrestling.

10) Laurence Kosoy (Columbia)

One of the few veterans in the Columbia starting lineup, Laurence Kosoy had a memorable Sunday at the Mat-Town Open in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. In his three matches Kosoy shut-out his first two opponents by a combined score of 22-0, then proceeded to rack up a fall in the championship bout at 165 lbs. Laurence’s finals opponent was a tough freshman Cam Coy (Virginia) that entered the match 5-2, though his only two previous defeats were to wrestlers ranked in the top ten. Kosoy was one of three Lion wrestlers that won their weight classes at the event. Last weekend, at Army West Point’s Black Knight Invitational Kosoy, took third place and is now riding a five-match winning streak.

9) Chip Ness (North Carolina)

Senior Chip Ness, the only returning All-American for the Tar Heels, helped set the pace for UNC in their 28-7 victory over in-state rival Appalachian State on Sunday. Ness took the mat against one of the Mountaineers best wrestlers, 2018 SoCon runner-up Alan Clothier. Their meeting at 184 lbs was the fifth match of the dual meet and Ness’ 10-2 major decision allowed North Carolina to jump out to an insurmountable 18-0 lead. The win against ASU comes a week after Chip and UNC took on another ASU, Arizona State University, and he fell to 2018 NCAA Champion Zahid Valencia, who bumped up from 174 lbs. Heading into Las Vegas, Ness is currently sporting a 5-2 record.

8) Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State)

A week ago, Kaid Brock fell to his long-time rival Mitch McKee (Minnesota) in the Cowboys first dual meet of the season. Brock got back on the winning track in a big way as he took down one of Wyoming’s top wrestlers, NCAA qualifier Sam Turner, 14-10. Last year Kaid was an All-American at 133 lbs, and Turner qualified for nationals at 149. This year they met in the middle at 141. Brock amassed five first period takedown on Turner, two of which came in the first 30 seconds of the bout. Kaid was then able to withstand a late charge from Turner and hang on to win by four points and give OSU a 3-0 lead in the first match of the dual meet.

7) Requir van der Merwe (Stanford)

On Tuesday, Stanford and Fresno State met in a one-of-a-kind event, a dual meet that was held on the flight deck of the USS Midway. The dual began at 174 lbs, and after seven matches Fresno State held a slim 15-12 lead over the Cardinal. Requir took the mat for Stanford at 149 pounds and was faced with a tall task, upsetting Khristian Olivas, one of two returning NCAA qualifiers for the Bulldogs. Trailing 4-2 in the third period, van der Merwe reversed Olivas to his back for a match-changing six points. Even though Olivas was able to log a reversal of his own, van der Merwe had already secured riding time and would go on to win 9-6 and tie the team score at 15. The Cardinal would take the final two bouts to win 22-15.

6) Kaleb Young (Iowa)

In a star-studded Iowa Hawkeye lineup, one that has yet to see it’s full potential, based on some minor injuries, Kaleb Young has been a pleasant surprise. Young racked up his second pin of the season in the Hawkeyes 26-6 win over fellow Big Ten conference opponent Purdue. The sophomore from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania dispatched of Griffin Parriott with a second-period fall. Last season, Young was 3-5 in dual competition for Iowa, while competing at 165 and 174 lbs. He has found a home at 157 lbs and takes a perfect 4-0 record into the Hawkeyes meeting with in-state rival Iowa State.

5) Mikey O’Brien (Kutztown)

Two of the top 20 DII teams in the country clashed when sixth-ranked Pitt-Johnstown went on the road an met 16th ranked Kutztown. The biggest upset of the evening saw Kutztown’s Mikey O’Brien upend fifth-ranked Devin Austin at 165 lbs, 4-3. At the time of the match, Golden Bears trailed Pitt-Johnstown 15-6. O’Brien’s win pulled Kutztown within six points of UPJ, though it would prove to be not enough. Pitt-Johnstown would hold on to win 23-15.

4) Tommy Thorn (Minnesota)

Tommy Thorn got off to a rough start to the 2018-19 season, his first at 149 lbs, losing at the Daktronics Open to Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State), then he took a second loss last weekend to freshman Kaden Gfeller (Oklahoma State). Fast forward to Sunday the 25th and Thorn was able to avenge one of those defeats when he came out on top of Pohlmeyer 10-6. In the rematch, Thorn had to dig out of an early hole, as he was put on his back for four points early on in the match. The Gopher never panicked and quickly earned a reversal and accumulated two and a half minutes of riding time and at a set of back points to lead 6-2 at the end of one period.

3) Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)

Last Sunday Daton Fix passed the first serious test of his collegiate career when he was able to earn a win over former NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak (Minnesota). A week later, Fix was faced with another All-American, this time sophomore Montorie Bridges (Wyoming). Heading into this year, there may have been some questions surrounding Fix and whether his mat wrestling would be up to par compared to the rest of the elite 133 lber. It was a fair enough thought based on his strong freestyle pedigree. Last week, he was able to get a reversal on the smothering Lizak, and this time around Daton rode out Bridges for the entire second period, then proceeded to escape from him in the third quickly. Fix would go on to win the mat 3-0 and put the finishing touches on OSU’s 27-6 victory.

2) Mitch Bowman (Iowa)

Much has been made about Iowa’s promising 197 lb redshirt freshman Jacob Warner. He has yet to take the mat for the Hawkeyes in 2018-19, but it has not been a problem with the recent performance of Mitch Bowman. An NCAA qualifier in 2017-18 for Iowa at 184 lbs, Bowman, weighed in at 184 pounds, yet was bumped up to 197, where he would face Purdue’s highest ranked wrestler, Christian Brunner, currently ninth in the nation. Brunner had just returned to the Boilermakers lineup after competing in the U23 World Championships. No matter, for Bowman though as he would come out on top 7-5, on the strength of two first-period takedowns.

1) Branson Ashworth (Wyoming)

TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week – November 26th, 2018

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