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Wrestling: Huskers Crown Three Champs at Daktronics Open

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No. 10 Nebraska saw many impressive performances from starters and backups alike

Nebraska’s Christian Lance (left), see her facing Olympic Champion Gable Steveson of Minnesota, stayed undefeated on the season with a first-place finish on Sunday.
Jon Johnston / Corn Nation

The No. 10 Nebraska wrestling team had some impressive performances this weekend at the Daktronics Open in Brookings, S.D. The Huskers competed against wrestlers from No. 11 Minnesota, No. 13 Iowa State, No. 16 Northern Iowa, South Dakota State and North Dakota State.

Nebraska had three champions, two runners-up and a third place finish to its name on Sunday.

The Huskers were led by its trio of champions in No. 5 Mikey Labriola, No. 13 Christian Lance and freshman Silas Allred.

Wrestling at 174 pounds, Labriola went 4-0 on the day to improve his season record to 5-0. Labriola won his first two matches by pinfall before downing Bailee O’Reilly 11-4 in the semifinal round. In the final, Labriola won a close 3-2 decision over Iowa State’s Joel Shapiro.

Lance also stayed undefeated on the season, going 4-0 on Sunday to improve to 6-0 on the year. Lance won two of his first three matches by major decision before bouncing Iowa State’s Sam Schuyler 9-5 in the finals.

In what may have been Nebraska’s most impressive performance, freshman Silas Allred took home gold at 197 pounds. After beating Northern Iowa’s Adam Ahrendsen 19-4 by tech fall, Allred beat the top-seeded Yonger Bastida of Iowa State via pinfall late in the third period. In the finals, Allred again won by pinfall, this time over 2-seed Nick Casperson of South Dakota State.

Allred was a pinning machine in high school, as he won 139 matches by fall, including all 39 of his matches his undefeated senior year. Looks like his bonus-point potential has translated to the next level.

Peyton Robb was one of five Huskers in the finals, and he came just seconds away from knocking off his second defending NCAA Champion in a week. After downing No. 2 Austin O’Connor of North Carolina last week, Robb advanced to Sunday’s final where he faced defending NCAA champ Derek Carr, the defending champ at 157 pounds. Robb won three matches to advance to the final against Carr, a match that Robb seemed to be in control of most of the time.

Robb held a 5-2 lead in the third period, but Carr used an escape and a takedown with three seconds left to push the match into sudden victory. In overtime, it was Carr who struck first, handing Robb his first loss of the season via 7-5 decision.

At 149 pounds, it was Jevon Parrish who made it to the finals for the Huskers. Parrish won three straight decisions before falling to Iowa State’s Jarrett Degen 13-2 by major decision. Parrish finished second and improved to 4-1 on the year.

Finishing third for Nebraska was No. 10 Taylor Venz at 184 pounds. Venz won by major decision and pinfall before falling to No. 21 Marcus Coleman of Iowa State. Coleman downed Venz 5-3 in the semifinal round. Venz then won both of his consolation matches by tech fall (16-1 and 17-0), pushing his season record to 7-1.

Nebraska had two more placers in Liam Cronin at 125 pounds and Dominick Serrano at 133. Cronin and Serrano both finished in sixth place. Cronin went 2-3 on the day, while Serrano earned wins over teammates Alex Thomsen (18-8 major decision) and Jordan Kelber (14-6 major decision) on his way to sixth place. Serrano is now 7-4 on the year after going 3-3 on Sunday.

Other Huskers who competed but did not place were Jeremiah Reno (1-2 at 125), Alex Thomsen (1-2 at 133), Jordan Kelber (2-2 at 133), Tucker Sjomeling (2-2 at 141), Blake Cushing (0-2 at 141), Ridge Lovett (2-2 at 149), Nic Stoltenberg (1-2 at 157), Bubba Wilson (2-2 at 165), Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (0-2 at 165), Elise Brown Ton (0-2 at 174), Brandyn Van Tassell (1-2 at 184), and Anthony Gaona (0-2 at 197).

Of note, No. 11 Ridge Lovett went 2-2 on the day, but his two “losses” were medical forfeits. I watched both of Lovett’s wins (7-5 decision then a 15-6 major decision) before forfeiting in the quarterfinal round and the consolation round. I didn’t see anything that would indicate Lovett was injured. So, despite being 5-2 on the year, he’s still undefeated in my opinion.

Up next for the Huskers is a road trip to compete at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas Dec. 3-4.