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Wrestling: Husker Commit Makes Statement Against No. 2 Recruit

Harley Andrews moves up recruiting rankings with big win; Nebraska native Kael Lauridsen earns double gold at Cadet Pan-American Championships

Nebraska Head Wrestling Coach Mark Manning
Jon Johnston / CORN NATION

Nebraska’s only got two commits for its 2022 class, but the biggest among them keeps moving up the rankings.

A Husker commit from Tuttle, Oklahoma, Harley Andrews competed for Team Kong United at the NHSCA National Duals at the end of May. The future Husker competed at 220 pounds in folkstyle after winning his second-straight Oklahoma state title this spring.

As a team, Andrews helped lead Team Kong United to the team championship with an 11-0 record. In the first day’s pool play, Andrews beat Bradley Leon by pinfall in one minute, two seconds. His other two matches he won via forfeit.

On Day 2, Harley won his first match by pinfall in under a minute before moving up to 285 pounds to beat Caleb Mussmon by pinfall in 1:12.

Then in Day 3’s championship bracket, Andrews won his first two matches by pinfall.

But it was in the semifinal round that Andrews faced off against Noah Pettigrew. Coming into the tournament, Pettigrew was ranked No. 2 in the country at 220 while Andrews was ranked No. 5.

This match pitted two contrasting styles against each other. Andrews, a long and lanky future heavyweight, took on the short and stocky Pettigrew. Andrews got on the board first with a low single-leg takedown before conceding an escape to go up 2-1.

In the second, Pettigrew evened things up with an escape before Andrews plucked another low ankle shot to go up 4-2 before riding out the period.

Andrews chose bottom position to start the third, but Pettigrew conceded the escape point to start at neutral, giving Andrews the 5-2 lead. Pettigrew cut the lead to one with a takedown before cutting Andrews loose for another escape. Up 6-4, Andrews shot in on another low single before riding the period out for the controlling 8-4 win.

Since the win, Andrews is now ranked No. 3 at 220 pounds by FloWrestling while Pettigrew fell to No. 4.

Bennington’s Lauridsen Dominates Pan-Ams

Two-time Nebraska state champion Kael Lauridsen of Bennington was dominant on the international scene at the Cadet Pan-American Championships last week in Oaxtepec, Mexico.

The junior-to-be figures to be a priority target for the Huskers and would be a big-time recruit at the lighter weights. Lauridsen competed for Team USA’s cadet squad in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Competing in freestyle at 55kg, Lauridsen wasted little time asserting his dominance over the field in a round-robin format. Lauridsen won his first match 12-1 before downing his next three opponents 10-0 by tech fall to claim the gold medal.

In Greco-Roman, Lauridsen again competed at 55kg and again navigated the field for another gold medal. Lauridsen won his first match 8-0 by tech fall before pinning Panama’s Ronaldo Montoya Castillo. He then beat Ecuador’s Patrick Rodriguez Quinto 12-4 and Mexico’s Diego Terriquez Ibarra 12-8.

The Nebraska native will be courted by many of the big boys in the wrestling world, so the Huskers will have to fend them off in their own backyard of they hope to keep this blue-chipper close to home.