Nebraska didn’t just take the mat for its big dual against Iowa, a 34-6 loss in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, this weekend.
The Huskers also sent four wrestlers from the Nebraska Wrestling Training Center to Nice, France to compete in the Henri Deglane in freestyle. Then, the Huskers sent 10 wrestlers to Minnesota to compete at the Worthington Open.
Nebraska sent former standouts Eric Schultz, Christian Lance and Collin Purinton to France. Also making the trip was junior Ridge Lovett who is currently redshirting after making it to the NCAA final at 149 pounds a year ago.
The 2022 All-American Schultz went 3-0 and won the gold medal at 92kg, including an 8-1 win over National Team member Jay Aiello. Schultz won his other two matches 10-0 and 16-2.
At 285 pounds, Lance won his first three matches, including a pinfall in the first round and an 11-0 tech fall in the quarters. Lance then beat Germany’s Gennadij Cudinovic 5-1 in the semis. In the final, Lance fell to Georgia’s Nika Berulava 6-4 to take the silver medal.
Lovett (65kg) and Purinton (74kg) both finished with bronze medals.
Lovett won his first match 15-4 via tech fall before falling to Kizhan Clark 4-1. Clark was also an NCAA finalist in 2022, at 141 pounds for North Carolina. Lovett then won a 5-3 decision and an 8-2 decision in the repechage rounds. In the bronze medal match, Lovett fell behind against Team USA’s Matt Kolodzik but stormed back in the final minute to earn the 15-12 win.
Purinton won his first two matches before falling to two-time national champ Vincenzo Joseph 16-6. Purinton then downed Josh Shields 14-10 in the bronze medal match.
Nebraska took ten of its freshmen and backups to wrestle at the Worthington Open over the weekend.
Five of the Huskers won their weight classes while four others placed.
Leading the Husker squad was sophomore Elise Brown Ton as well as true freshmen Harley Andrews, Antrell Taylor, Jacob Van Dee and Hayden Mills who all won titles.
Brown Ton went 4-0 at 174 pounds with an 11-9 win in the final against Minnesota’s Devin Wasley. He’s 18-2 on the year as Labriola’s backup and looks like the frontrunner right now for that starting spot next season.
At 285 pounds, Andrews went 4-0 with two major decisions, a 17-0 tech fall and a first-period pin in the final. The freshman heavyweight is 19-1 on the year and will likely be Nebraska’s starter next season.
Wrestling at 157, Taylor went 4-0 with a pair of majors before two decisions, including a 10-6 win over Blaine Brenner of Minnesota in the final. Taylor is 10-4 on the year as the backup to No. 1-ranked Peyton Robb.
The freshman Van Dee was dominant on the way to a title at 125 pounds. He won his first two matches via pinfall before a pair of tech falls, including a 16-0 win over Quincy Halverson of Minnesota in the final. Van Dee is 10-3 on the year and looks like he’ll be Nebraska’s starter at 125 next season after No. 3-ranked Liam Cronin graduates.
At 133 pounds, Nebraska’s Mills went 3-0 to finish first. He won his first match via 19-3 tech fall before winning a pair of decisions in the semifinal and final. Mills is now 15-8 on the year.
At 149 pounds, Nebraska’s newest addition Tyler Antoniak got his first action of the year in going 2-1 to finish as runner-up. He beat teammate Blake Cushing 9-5 in the quarterfinal round before winning a 6-0 decision in the semis. In the final, Antoniak lost a 14-4 major decision to Minnesota’s Drew Roberts.
Cushing’s only loss was to Antoniak as he went 4-1 to finish third. A redshirt freshman, Cushing is 14-4 on the year.
Quinton Chavez at 125 and Josh Licking at 157 both finished in fourth place. Chavez went 1-2 and is 11-10 on the year. Licking finished the tournament with a 2-1 record and is now 4-10 on the season. Chavez and Licking are both redshirt freshmen.
Cameron Graham also competed for Nebraska at 157. He lost his first-round match 14-8 before winning via pinfall in the consolations. In the consolation quarters, Graham was forced to injury default, going 1-2. He’s now 13-8 on the year.