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Wrestling: Incoming Freshman McDanel Wins U20 US Open Title

Camden McDanel is now one step closer to earning a spot on the 2023 U20 World Team

Lenny Pinto vs Jon Halvorsen
Lenny Pinto went 3-2 at the U20 US Open this weekend.
Dylan Guenther / Corn Nation

Out of Nebraska’s eight participants at the US Open in the U20 division, one took home a coveted Stop Sign for winning his bracket while a few others placed.

Nebraska was led by incoming freshman Camden McDanel who won a US Open title, but the Huskers had some spectacular performances from guys like Antrell Taylor, Alan Koehler, Tyler Antoniak and Harley Andrews.

U20 Division

4-seed Camden McDanel

5-0, 1st place

Nebraska’s newest 197-pounder McDanel looked like a man on a mission this weekend.

McDanel won his first three matches 11-0 via tech in the first period before upsetting 1-seed Sawyer Bartelt 8-2 in the semis.

In the final, McDanel put together another 11-0 tech over Joey Braunagel in just 72 seconds.

McDanel went 5-0 to win the US Open, outscoring his opponents 52-2. He’ll get a bye into the best-of-three finals at the U20 World Team Trials next month as he looks to lock up a World Team spot.

10-seed Antrell Taylor

6-1, 2nd place

A redshirt this past year, Taylor made a dominant run through the US Open field. On Saturday, he went 6-0 with all wins via tech fall. Taylor outscored his opponents 71-5 going into Sunday’s final.

Those wins included a 12-1 win over 15-seed Max Petersen and a 12-1 win over 6-seed Paniro Johnson. One of the best in the country this past season at 149 pounds, Johnson fell to Taylor largely due to a takedown and a couple gut wrenches late in the first period.

In the final, Taylor took an early 2-1 lead, but it was all 1-seed Meyer Shapiro after that. Taylor fell to Shapiro 7-2, finishing as the runner-up.

3-seed Tyler Antoniak (Greco-Roman)

4-2, 5th Place

A former Nebraska state champion from Millard South, Antoniak was a 2020 16U Fargo champ in Greco before going on to win a U15 World Championship in Greco.

Greco competition started Thursday, with the 3-seed Antoniak winning his first three matches, including an 8-0 tech fall win over the 6-seed, before falling in the semis to 2-seed Richard Fedalen.

In the consolation semis, Antoniak fell to 5-seed Arvin Khosravy 5-3. Antoniak then downed Dylan Whitt 10-9 in the 5th-place match.

12-seed Harley Andrews

3-3, 6th place

Nebraska’s future heavyweight won his first three matches, including a 12-2 tech over 4-seed Tristan Ruhlman.

Then in the semis, Andrews lost a close match to 9-seed Bradley Hill 13-11. Andrews then fell to 14-seed Juan Mora 10-9 in the consolation semis before forfeiting in the 5th-place match.

With his 3-3 record, Andrews placed sixth.

10-seed Lenny Pinto

3-2, Did Not Place

Husker sophomore-to-be Pinto started strong with two wins via 10-0 tech fall. In his third match, Pinto faced 7-seed Seth Shumate. With matches ending in freestyle at a 10-point lead, Pinto found himself in an enormous hole when he fell behind 9-0.

Pinto fought the rest of the first period, closing the gap to 11-4. In the second period, Pinto used a big 4-point move, nearly pinning Shumate, as well as a last-second takedown to get the 12-11 win.

Moving onto the quarterfinals, Pinto faced 2-seed Brayden Thompson, one of the best incoming freshmen in the country — for Oklahoma State. Pinto fought well but fell in a 7-3 decision.

Dropping down to the consolations, Pinto lost to 9-seed Justin Rademacher 13-2 via tech fall.

Pinto finished with a 3-2 record and didn’t place.

3-seed Alan Koehler

4-2, Did not place

An incoming freshman for the Huskers, Koehler started the tournament on a mission.

Koehler won his first three matches via 10-0 tech fall in the first periods, his opening-round opponent lasted 33 seconds. Then came the Round of 16...

Facing 14-seed Isaiah Kainoa Medina, Koehler fell into an early hole, falling behind 8-0. With Medina turning Koehler for multiple exposures, Koehler was somehow able to reverse him on the clinching turn, earning a point and keeping the match alive.

Koehler wasted no time after that as he punished Medina to take a 13-8 lead into the break. Koehler then finished him off 20-10 with just over a minute left.

Moving onto the quarters, Koehler fell behind against Cael Nasdeo 7-2 but mounted a furious comeback that fell just short, dropping the match 9-8.

In his first consolation match, Koehler fell to 4-seed Nicolar Rivera 6-6 on criteria on a last-second exposure.

Koehler was one match short of placing with his 4-2 record.

Adam Thebeau

4-2, Did not place

Another Husker sophomore-to-be, Thebeau won his first match before falling to 2-seed Joshua Barr 10-0 in the first period. Thebeau then won three-straight matches, all 10-0 techs.

Thebeau fell in his next match via tech to 16-seed Lucas Condon.

Blake Cushing

4-2, Did not place

A sophomore next season, Cushing won his first match via tech before getting pinned in his second-round matchup. Cushing then won three-straight matches via tech fall on the back side of the bracket.

Cushing lost to Jack Gioffre via pinfall in the consolation bracket, ending his tournament.

Drew Cooper (both FS and Greco)

61kg in FS, 60kg in Greco-Roman

Cooper finished with a 3-2 record in Greco Thursday and Friday. He lost his first match to the 4-seed before rattling off three wins on the back side, only to fall in the Round of 12 just short of placing.

In freestyle, Cooper went 0-2 with his second match a 4-4 loss via criteria.