RAC, Piscataway-The Scarklets Knights enters Sunday wrestling match against OSU after finishing second with 109.5 points at the 55th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships last weekend.
Sophomore Nick Suriano captured RU first-ever individual title at the Midlands, as Scott Delvecchio (3rd, 133 pounds) John Van Brill (3rd, 157 pounds), Richie Lewis ( 3rd, 165 pounds) and Nicholas Gravina (6th, 184 pounds) all medaled at the event to help the Scarlet Knights secure its highest-ever finish at the tournament.
NO.2 Ohio State beat No.17 Rutgers 29-11 in a B10 Conference match before a loud crowd of 5,109 at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.
OSU set the tone early by winning the first four matches putting on a take-down clinic and a riding time exhibition to build an early lead of 19-0.
“That’s a really, really good team. I’ve been watching college wrestling for a long time. I think of the teams from Iowa in the ’80’s. Top to bottom and maybe I’ll be saying the same thing come January 28 when we wrestle Penn State in front of what will be a capacity crowd at the RAC, but that’s Ohio State one of the best wrestling teams I’ve really ever seen from top to bottom with a top 10 guy at every single weight class.” Rutgers’coach Scott Goodale said.
After the Buckeyes won each of the first four matches with two pins, one major decision and one decision, undefeated Nick Suriano scored a 24-9 technical fall against Braken Mead at 125 pounds with ease. Suriano was a take-down tactician in his bout against the freshman.
After Suriano match the crowd started to shout “Where’s Tomasello?”
Senior Nathan Tomasello, the 2015 national champion at 125 pounds is ranked No. 1 in the weight class while Nick Suriano is No. 2 and remains underfeated. Tomasello was scratched from the bout due to a previous knee and ankle injury.
“I’m here. I’ve never ducked anyone. I’m here doing what I do. For me, it’s take everyone the same way. Go out, light it up, move my feet, feel the good energy and just attack. It doesn’t matter who it is. You know what I want: A NCAA title.” Rutgers Nick Suriano said.
Scarlet Knight senior 149-pounder Eleazar DeLuca registered a text book-come-from-behind 12-7 win over No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes 12-7 and redshirt senior 165-pounder Richie Lewis defeated Te’Shan Campbell, who is ranked in the 7-11 range, 5-2, in the final bout of the match. Both wrestlers hit key moves in the latter stages of their bout.
“There’s little battles in these type of matches that you have to win. Good for those guys (DeLuca and Lewis).” Scott Goodale said.
The final minute of DeLuca match got the crowd of more than 5,000 in an uproar which could be heard on all over the campus.
DeLuca threw Hayes on his back twice in the final minute of the bout, including one in the final few second of the contest.
Hayes was leading 7-6 with the riding time point when DeLuca caught Ke-Shawn with a wizard move that put him on his back for the second time and sealed the match him.
“It (the throw) was there because I made it there. I put myself in that position to throw. That’s what I do.” Rutgers Scott DelVecchio said.
The bout started right in Ohio State’s strength at 174 instead of the traditional start at 125 pounds. A start at 125 would have given the Scarlet Knights an early advantage with their spark plug Suriano leading the charge.
Ohio State four upperweights are ranked in the top three with two ranked No. 1, including two-time defending national heavyweight champion and Olympic and World gold medalist Kyle Snyder.
“We don’t like to draw the starting weight. They wanted a draw for the starting weight.” Scott Goodale said.
Kyle Snyder pinned Razohnn Gross in 1:59 and the crowd gave Gross a round of applause for hanging in there with Snyder and wanted to give respect to Snyder’s national accolades.
Myles Martin pinned Jordan Pagano with a near side cradle 27 seconds into their 184 pounds bout.
The talk of day was National Championship implication between Nick Suriano and Nathan Tomasello. Right now it is just that talk, but one thing I do know comes March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio Suriano will be ready.