The CKLV tournament was full of exciting matches throughout with some stunning upsets and dominant performances. We will be recapping the entire tournament weight by weight.
Pat Glory dominated, there is not much to say about this. He won 13-0 in the finals over Devin Schroder of Purdue and really was not tested once. This was the expected final and it happened and Glory did what he had to do in his first real showing this season.
Dylan Ragusin of Michigan ended up coming out on top of this bracket as he was able to top Northwestern’s Chris Cannon in the finals 9-5. This bracket had a few questions coming into it even though we had Ragusin as our projected winner and the main one was would the weight change be too much against a top 10 guy like Cannon. The match was very evenly matched in the beginning but as the match progressed Ragusin was able to take the match into his own hands. He will definitely be a threat for the podium in March if he can keep this up.
This bracket turned out very interesting. Clay Carlson of South Dakota State was the winner of the bracket where he pinned Andrew Alirez in the finals with just around 5 seconds left in the match. The semifinals that we had defining the champion was between Alirez and Chad Red. Once Alirez came out on top I think we wrote him off to be the champion. Carlson was very impressive as he was trailing late in the match and was able to make a very good third period comeback to clinch the CKLV title.
Yianni Diakomihalis was the winner as we feel most people projected. However, that is not the biggest story of the tournament at this weight. Ridge Lovett of Nebraska seems to have elevated himself to a new level. He took the 2x NCAA Champion to overtime where he ended up falling 6-4. He also had a very dominant 9-2 win over Jaden Abas of Stanford which may show that he definitely has upset potential come the post season and will 100% be a man to watch. He was also the man who we said was the dark horse at 149 pounds.
Ryan Deakin, we didn’t really have any doubt here that he was the favorite to win this. He dominated Quincy Monday who was our dark horse this season 8-3 in the finals to claim his 2nd CKLV title. A big story at this tournament was Quincy Monday vs Peyton Robb. Both of these guys have been wrestling out of their minds lately with Robb taking out Austin O’Connor and going to sudden victory with National Champion David Carr. Monday on the other side of things showed his true athletic potential with a dominant performance again Iowa’s Kaleb Young where he won 9-5. This match seemed to be a toss up but Monday shut those talks down really quick, he essentially looked like a bigger Roman Bravo-Young out there the way he was moving his legs were practically untouchable. He took out Robb 11-6 in an action filled bout.
By far the most fun weight class of the tournament. Evan Wick of Cal Poly ended up putting up a dominant and controlled 6-2 win over National Champion Shane Griffith. Wick was the projected winner so that is somewhat misleading since he has not wrestled since 2019. Going all the way back to the quarterfinals Julian Ramirez vs Carson Kharchla seemed to be a huge matchup but Kharchla dominated thoroughly with a 15-7 major decision which turned many heads. Mainly coming into his semifinal match with Shane Griffith. Karchla ended up falling 5-4 to the National Champion and the difference was the ability to get up from the bottom position with Griffith essentially riding him at will. This will be a really fun weight to follow this season.
Labriola vs Smith was the finals as expected and we had Labriola winning. It was a tightly contested match. Labriola was down late but ended up forcing sudden victory where he was able to clutch the win 7-5. This match really has no indications on the postseason this could go either way. It still seems like Starocci and Kemerer have solidified themselves as the top 2 in this weight and everyone else is gunning for third.
This was a somewhat interesting weight. Most people including us had Taylor Venz and Kaleb Romero meeting in the finals, however we had Venz winning that match by a couple points. Romero looked fantastic moving up to 184 pounds. He seemed physically dominant and was able to produce a high output of attacks as well and who knows maybe another threat at the 184 weight class which is very tight at the top. For Venz this is just a learning experience, he has taken some bad losses in his career and it will all depend on how he makes adjustments here on out.
At 197 pounds the top two seeds went down. Pat Brucki and Jake Woodley ended up dropping matches and did not make the finals. The finals was Eric Schultz and Stephen Buchanan which was an interesting match. Buchanan ended up winning this match and he was relatively unknown last season. He has made very big strides of improvement and it could be very interesting with his strength and athletic ability to see how he fares with the rest of the big dogs at this weight class.
Gary Traub, wow the gas tank is back. He took out three top 20 opponents to win a CKLV title as the 10 seed coming into this. He took out Wyoming’s Brian Andrews in sudden victory in the quarterfinals 3-1 and he did the exact same thing to Nebraska’s Christian Lance in the semifinals. Traub ended up winning by injury default in the finals over Harvard’s Yaraslau Slavikouski. Lance dominated Tate Orndorff 10-4 in the third place bout while Lucas Davison took 5th pinning AJ Nevills. Brain Andrews had to unfortunately forfeit out of the tournament due to an injury (do not know how severe). Traub as well as Lance have broken into the top ten on our rankings for the first time ever!