On top of the pair of duals that Nebraska split on Saturday at the Journeyman’s Wranglemania, the Huskers had a strong contingent wrestling in tournaments as well.
Both wrestling unattached for different reasons, Ridge Lovett and Kyle Burwick both traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to compete in the Cowboy Open on Saturday. The rest of Nebraska’s team stayed in Bethlehem, Pa. to compete in the Journeyman Collegiate Classic on Sunday.
The Journeyman Collegiate Classic is a round-robin format. There are multiple divisions (A, B, C, etc.) at each weight class with each division having two pools that all wrestle each other with the finishers facing the opposite pool’s equal finisher in the placement matches.
Stuck in a bad eligibility situation, sophomore Kyle Burwick has been forced to start his first season with the Huskers wrestling unattached because of issues with Wisconsin concerning his transfer. Apparently, Wisconsin didn’t notify Burwick of a new NCAA rule that if you don’t enter the transfer portal by May 1, you lose a year of eligibility. So, after Wisconsin brought in All-American transfer Taylor LaMont to start at 133, Burwick decided to wrestle elsewhere and ended up at Nebraska. Wisconsin has refused to grant Burwick’s release, for petty reasons one could only assume as there’s no reason for them to dig their heels in, so the wrestler with three years of eligibility may get one stripped away just because Wisconsin didn’t educate their student athletes on the new transfer rule. And the Badgers could rectify it all so quickly, they just refuse to.
So, on Saturday Burwick competed at the Cowboy Open and was impressive. He won his first match via pinfall in the first period before winning a 12-0 major decision. In the quarters, Burwick downed Chadron State’s Kobe Lepe 19-0 via tech fall in the second period. Burwick beat Jore Volk of Wyoming 9-1 via major decision in the semifinal round before downing Oregon State’s Damion Elliott 9-4 in the final, bringing home the Cowboy Open title.
Last year’s NCAA finalist, Ridge Lovett is electing this season to use his available redshirt to improve his game, especially from his feet. This weekend, the junior did what he is expected to do against lesser opposition. He dominated.
Lovett started with a pinfall win before an 11-2 major decision win in the quarters. In the semifinal round, Lovett picked apart Utah Valley’s Kyler Lake to the tune of a 22-4 tech fall in the second period. Then in the final, Lovett dominated Wyoming’s Chase Zollman via 18-0 tech fall early in the third period.
Journeymen Collegiate Classic
Jacob Van Dee
After starting his Husker career with a 7-3 upset win over No. 23 Jarrett Trombley on Saturday, Jacob Van Dee struggled a bit at the Collegiate Classic on Sunday.
Wrestling in the 125A division, Van Dee started with a pair of decision losses, one of them an 8-1 setback to former No. 1-overall recruit Richard Figueroa of Arizona State. Van Dee recovered for a 3-2 decision over Harvard’s Diego Sotelo to finish third.
After competing in Saturday’s dual and Sunday’s round robin, Van Dee now sits at 2-2 on the year.
Brock Hardy, a redshirt freshman, has had an up-and-down start to his career with the Huskers. He lost a decision to No. 16 Dylan Droegemueller of North Dakota State to start the year. Then on Saturday, Hardy split a pair of matches, downing Julian Sanchez of Army via 17-4 major decision before falling to No. 8 Ryan Jack of NC State 9-7.
On Sunday, Hardy competed in the 141A division and showed why head coach Mark Manning is so high on him.
In a five-man round robin, Hardy started with a first-period pin of Arizona State’s Cody Foote. He then won a 12-0 major decision before earning his biggest career win so far, a pin of No. 23 Jesse Vasquez of Arizona State. Hardy then beat Penn’s Carmen Ferrante 6-4 in sudden victory, securing his first-place finish.
With the tournament win, Hardy improves to 5-2 on the year.
A big-time recruit this past year out of Millard South in Omaha, Antrell Taylor is one of three true freshmen (Van Dee and Harley Andrews at heavyweight being the other two) who are traveling with the team in backup roles. Backing up All-American Peyton Robb, the plan is to redshirt Taylor but also take advantage of his availability in duals with this year’s new NCAA redshirt rules.
Wrestling in the 157A division, Taylor struggled a bit in his first action against Division I competition. He lost his first match 6-0 before getting pinned in 30 seconds by Penn’s Anthony Artalona. In the fifth-place match, Taylor picked up his first win in a Husker singlet with a 5-3 decision over Cael Berg of Harvard.
Wrestling in the 165B division, a four-man round robin, Jagger Condomitti started with a 5-3 decision loss to NC State’s Alex Faison. The Pennsylvania native then won two straight decisions to finish in second place.
With an 0-2 dual record coming into Sunday, Condomitti improved to 2-3 on the year while picking up his first wins in a Husker singlet.
The current leader in Nebraska’s competition for the 184 pound spot, Lenny Pinto may have separated himself from the pack just a little bit on Sunday.
The redshirt freshman competed in the 184B division, and after a medical forfeit “win”, Pinto earned his first collegiate win with a first-period pin of Harvard’s Peter Ferraro. He then beat NC State’s Dylan Fishback 4-2 in the 1st-place match.
After dropping a 7-6 decision in Nebraska’s dual against Army on Saturday and winning the title on Sunday, Pinto now sits at 2-1 on the year.
It was a difficult weekend for Nathan Haas, as he got his first match of the season against No. 3 Trent Hidlay in Nebraska’s dual against NC State on Saturday. Haas lost to Hidlay 24-9 via tech fall in that match.
On Sunday, Haas competed along with Pinto in the 184B division, with Haas in Pool A and Pinto in Pool B. Haas lost his first match 14-4 via major decision to Fishback of NC State. Haas then beat AJ Burkhart of Lehigh to finish pool play. Haas placed third due to his opponent medically forfeiting.
Haas has begun his season with a 1-2 record.
Nebraska’s No. 17 Silas Allred, Nebraska’s only ranked wrestler to compete on Sunday (No. 24 Liam Cronin, No. 3 Peyton Robb and No. 3 Mikey Labriola all sat out Sunday), did about all he could do in kind of an anticlimactic bracket.
After an initial bye in pool play, Allred got a “win” via medical forfeit in the second round. Then in the third round, Allred beat Army’s Danny Lawrence 12-2 by major decision. In the final, Allred again missed out on a match due to his opponent forfeiting.
Just a redshirt freshman, Allred is now 3-1 on the year.
Nebraska’s Cale Davidson had some trouble on Sunday in the 285A division. He lost his first two matches by decision, one of them a 5-2 setback against No. 5 Yaraslau Slavikouski of Harvard. Then Davidson fell via 12-2 major decision to NC State’s No. 19 Owen Trephan.
In the 7th-place match, Davidson avenged his 5-4 Saturday night dual loss to NC State’s Tyrie Houghton, this time beating him 7-4.
Davidson is now 2-5 on the year.
The true freshman, Harley Andrews put on a show in the 285B division on Sunday. In his first action as a Husker, Andrews wasted little time in winning his first two matches via pinfall. The first came against Buffalo’s Robbie Unruh in just 48 seconds, while the second was against Army’s Paul Robinson in 1:37.
Then in the 1st-place match, Andrews downed VMI’s Josh Evans via 6-2 decision to start his Husker career 3-0.