The 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships concluded Saturday night in St. Louis. The Iowa Hawkeyes secured their first NCAA title since 2010. This title brings Iowa's total national championships to 24. Iowa's win also broke Penn State's streak of 4 straight NCAA Wrestling Championships.
If you are new to wrestling, here are some quick terms and rules you may need to know!
Takedown= 2 points
Reversal= 1 point
Riding time=1 point (Whenever a wrestler is controlling an opponent for over 1 minute at the end of the meet.)
Stalling=1 point (If the referee reaches the fifth count before the offensive wrestler moves his arm/hand back up above the buttocks of the defensive wrestler, or releases the hold)
1st Round (3 minutes)-Both wrestlers start in neutral
2nd round (2 minutes)- One wrestler is allowed to pick. They can elect to start in the up or down position, or they may elect for a neutral start
3rd round (2 minutes)- Whoever did not pick in round 2 picks here
Sudden victory- If the score is tied after the 3rd, a one minute sudden victory will occur.
On Saturday night, 10 individuals were crowned NCAA Individual Wrestling Champions. For the results and breakdown of each match, look below.
125 Spencer Lee (Iowa) def Brandon Courtney (ASU) 6-0
Courtney had one mission on his mind; knock off the 2x defending national champion. The match started off very fast. Both wrestlers were fighting for position and are two very aggressive wrestlers. Even with both individuals being very aggressive neither could get a takedown. Lee started the 2nd period with an easy escape and the 1-0 lead. After multiple unsuccessful takedown attempts, Lee was finally able to get the takedown to make it 3-0. After 3 cautions (falsestart) on Courtney, Lee was awarded another point to increase his lead to four. Courtney elected neutral to start the 3rd period. Lee wasted no time and secured his 2nd take down to increase his lead to six. In the end it was Lee who was too much to handle and took home his 3rd NCAA title.
133 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) def Daton Fix (OK State) 4-2
The match started with two very defensive wrestlers. Both of these individuals are meeting for the first time and used the early parts of the match to analyze and learn their opponent. Fix elected the bottom position in the 2nd period. Fix missed many opportunities for an escape or a reversal. Bravo-Young was very patient throughout the 2nd period, he accumulated two-minutes of riding time. However, the referee determined that he was patient for to long and he was called for a stall warning. Entering the 3rd period, it was a 0-0 score, and Bravo-Young picked the bottom and he quickly escaped for the 1-0 lead. Bravo-Young was called for two stalling penalties and Fix was awarded 2 points and took the lead. When the final buzzer sounded, Fix was up 2-1, but Bravo-Young used the strong 2nd period and secured 1 minute of riding time and 1 point. The match headed to sudden victory. Bravo-Young wasted no time and went on the attack quickly and after some failed takedowns, he was able to find the opening and secure the take down and the national championship.
141 Nick Lee (PSU) def Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) 4-2
A rematch of the Big Ten Championship, Lee is looking to avenge an early loss to Eierman. The match started off with each wrestler attempting to steal an early takedown, but neither wrestler was able to. An escape by Eierman early in the 2nd period secured the first points of the match. The remainder of the 2nd period was much like the first, many opportunities for a takedown for both wrestler but nothing. Lee elected neutral in the 3rd period and then immediately got the first takedown of the match to lead 2-1. Eierman was able to escape free with minimal riding time to even the score. Lee was able to secure a leg of Eierman in the final seconds, but could not get a hold of both legs and they headed to sudden victory. Lee wasted no time and got his second take down of the match and won Penn State's 2nd championship of the night.
149 Austin O'Connor (UNC) def Sammy Sasso (OSU) 3-2
The 149 matchup featured the Big Ten and the ACC champion. A very patient first period led to an exciting 2nd and 3rd. O'Connor selected down to start the 2nd period and was able to eventually escape to take a 1-0 lead. Only after Sasso accumulated over 1 minute of riding time. To stat the 3rd period, Sasso chose down and was able to gain a quick escape. However O'Connor wasted no time and was able to secure the takedown to re-take a 3-1 lead. Sasso got an easy escape to come within 1. As time expired the officials ruled Sasso's late attempt at a takedown was not in time. Ohio State immediately threw the challenge brick with hopes of flipping the call. The call on the mat was confirmed and O'Connor became the first wrestler since 1995 to win a NCAA Wrestling championship at North Carolina.
157 David Carr (ISU) def Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider) 4-0
Carr entered the matchup with a 33 match win streak while Dellavecchia was making the first appearance in the championship match in Rider history. Dellavecchia was close to securing a takedown late in the first period, but was unable to secure Carr's second leg. Carr selected down to start the 2nd and was able to escape with minimal riding time damage and led 1-0. Carr wasted no time and immediately went on the attack with a quick take down to increase his lead to 3-0. Dellavecchia elected down to start the 3rd period with hopes of regaining some lost points. After a unsuccessful locked hands challenge by Rider and already having secured riding time; Carr went on to win the national championship 4-0.
165 Shane Griffith (Stanford) def Jake Wentzel (Pitt) 7-2
After a huge upset in the quarterfinals Griffith was able to secure a spot in tonights final. Griffith used his quick hands to get Wentzel wrapped around early and get a quick takedown. Wentzel wasted no time after the takedown to get back on his feet and get an escape to bring the score to 2-1. Wentzel elected to start the 2nd period in the bottom position. That turned out great as he was able to get on his feet within 2 seconds and leveled the score to 2-2. In the final period, Griffith elected for both wrestlers to start neutral. Griffith made an early attack on Wentzel, but his defense was to strong. Eventually Griffith was able to secure both legs and get the two-point takedown for a 4-2 lead. Wentzel was close to getting a reversal on multiple occasions. He needed to get his arm up around Griffith but was never able to gain control. Griffith was able to spin Wentzel onto his back and helped get a count for back points. The count resulted in 2 back points for Griffith. A late challenge by Pitt was unsuccessful and after 1 minute of riding time was secured Griffith won the bout 7-2.
174 Carter Starocci (PSU) def Michael Kemerer (Iowa) 3-1
Our second match-up of Penn State vs Iowa of the evening. Kemerer was able to get hold of Starocci's torso towards the end of the first period and after a stalemate call, his good positioning was lost and he was unable to secure any points. Starocci started the 2nd period by electing the bottom position. After 17 seconds he was able to get to his feet and get the 1 point escape. Both wrestlers attempted multiple takedowns but neither could gain control. Kemerer elected to start the 3rd period in the bottom position. Kemerer used an early escape to even the score. The score remained tied and we went to our 3rd overtime of the evening. Starocci wasted no time and secured a takedown within 3 seconds and won the match 3-1.
184 Aaron Brooks (PSU) def Trent Hidlay (N.C. State) 3-2
Another match-up of Big Ten champion vs ACC champion. The first period went scoreless however, Brooks was the primary aggressor and truly felt in control. Brooks elected down to start the second period. That turned out to be a great decision as he was able to secure a reversal and take a 2-0 lead. Hidlay was able to escape very quickly and cut the score to 2-1. The remainder of the period was very passive. Hidlay entered the 3rd period in the bottom position. After getting to his feet and securing the escape he evened the score to 2-2. Hidlay was called for stalling late in the 3rd to give Brooks a 3-2 lead. With his back up against the wall Hidlay made some very quick moves and secured Brooks leg but Brooks was able to get out of bounds and no points were scored. In the end Brooks held on for the 3-2 victory
197 A.J. Ferrari (OK State) def Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt) 4-2
After some upset victories Ferrari and Bonaccorsi made the championship match. Ferrari wasted no time and got a quick takedown and a 2-0 lead. After 1 minute Bonaccorsi was able to get to his feet and get an escape to make the score 2-1. Bonaccorsi elected to start in the bottom position for the 2nd period. The second period was extremely uneventful. Bonaccorsi was able to escape in the final seconds and evened the score to 2-2. Bonaccorsi elected to give Ferrari the 1 point escape to start the 3rd period and Ferrari took the 3-2 lead. With riding time confirmed Bonaccorsi needs 2 points to win the match. The 3rd period saw no take downs and true freshman A.J Ferrari won the match 4-2.
Heavyweight Gable Steveson (Minn) def Mason Parris (Mich) 8-4
It was an all Big Ten matchup in the heavyweight championship. Stevenson wasted no time and was able to secure the takedown. Parris also wasted no time and quickly got to his feet to make the score 2-1 for Stevenson. To start the 2nd period Stevenson elected the bottom position and he got an early escape to take a 3-1 lead. The 3rd period started with Parris electing the down position and Stevenson immediately getting to his feet to make the score 3-2. Stevenson was able to trip up Parris and get takedown to make the score 5-2. After a stall call on Parris the score was brought to 6-2. Parris got to his feet and registered an escape but was quickly taken down again to give Stevenson a 8-3 lead. With one final escape and one final push, Parris was unable to overcome the deficit.