After an impressive weekend where he won the Cliff Keen Invitational at 174 pounds, Nebraska’s No. 5-ranked Mikey Labriola was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.
It’s Labriola’s second career weekly Big Ten award and the first one by a Husker since Taylor Venz won on Jan. 29, 2019.
Wrestling at CKLV, Mikey Labriola defeated No. 17 Aaron Olmos of Oregon State 18-1 by tech fall before picking up another ranked win over No. 19 Cade DeVos of South Dakota State 6-2 in the semis. In the final, Labriola took out Ohio State’s No. 6 Ethan Smith 7-5 in sudden victory.
Labriola’s win led the Huskers to their second-straight team title in Vegas.
What happened in Vegas ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/emq5BxZOkZ— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) December 6, 2021
Labriola also won the title at the Daktronics Open earlier this year and sits at 10-0 on the season. The junior holds a 77-21 career record.
Three Huskers Win at Doane Open
This past weekend while the starters were in Vegas, Nebraska took a large contingency to compete at the Doane Open in Crete, Neb. The Huskers had three first-place finishers in Boo Dryden (133 pounds), Blake Cushing (141) and Nathan Haas (184).
Also competing and placing were Dominick Serrano (3rd at 133), Nic Stoltenberg (3rd at 157) and Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (4th at 165). Also, Kevon Davenport (149), Elise Brown Ton (174), Brandyn Van Tassell (184), Zak Taylor (197) and Austin Emerson each finished sixth in their respective weight classes.
Also wrestling but not competing were Quinton Chavez (125), Daniel Monahan (141) and Joshua Licking (157).
Dryden, the junior transfer from Minnesota, and freshman Nathan Haas both remain undefeated on the year. Both guys earned individual titles at the Grand View Open in mid November in addition to their titles this weekend. Dryden is 9-0 on the year while Haas is 8-0.
Haas is in the midst of a redshirt season and looks to be the heir apparent to Taylor Venz at 184 pounds, while Dryden has proven to be Nebraska’s best option at 133 but has been wrestling unattached all year. Normally, that would indicate that he’s redshirting, but he’s listed as a redshirt junior. It’s possible he still has an available redshirt year that the Husker coaches are choosing to use this year. Based on how he’s wrestling compared to Nebraska’s current 133-pounders, Dryden gives the Huskers the best chance to win.
Cushing, a true freshman from Grand Island, Neb. who is in a redshirt year, has been impressive so far this season. He went 5-0 this weekend on the way to his individual title, improving to 9-4 on the year.
Two more impressive freshmen who are redshirting, Serrano who went 4-1 this weekend and holds an 11-5 record this year, and Stoltenberg who took third with a 5-1 record. Stoltenberg, the former Omaha Skutt standout, improved to 11-5 on the year.
Nebraska 165-pounder Jenkins-Harris continues a solid year as a true freshman who’s started a couple duals for the Huskers already. He went 4-2 this weekend and is 5-5 on the year. Another promising true freshman, Brown Ton is redshirting this season but is already 10-6 on the year wrestling unattached. The Texas native has been a bonus-point machine, as he already has five wins by pinfall and four by major decision.