Photo: Tony Rotundo

#3 Ohio State vs #22 Northern Iowa Wrestling Collegiate Duals Preview


#3 Ohio State will take on #22 Northern Iowa in the final round of pool matches, before the championship rounds start on Tuesday afternoon. 

This will be Northern Iowa’s first top-25 ranked opponent they are set to face this season, and will have their hands full with the 4-0 Ohio Buckeyes.

Here is a breakdown and projection for each match on Monday afternoon.

125 – #11 Malik Heinselman vs. Kyle Golhoffer

Buckeyes #11 Malik Heinselman has impressed to start the 2022-2023 season, coming into the collegiate duals with a 14-2 record. At the Cliff Keen Invitational, Heinselman dropped his opening match to Cornell’s Brett Ungar, then won five consecutive matches until dropping another to Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor. Heinselman ended up with a fifth place medal, but showed grit during a long consolation run.  For Northern Iowa, Kyle Golhoffer (3-4) has wrestled in a lot of tight matches against ranked wrestlers, and can pose a problem to the majority of 125-pounders. Golhoffer proved that at the Cliff Keen Invitational, after dropping a close 4-2 bout against Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor, and a 6-4 loss to Michigan’s Kurt McHenry.

133 –  #14 Jesse Mendez/Nic Bouzakis vs. #10 Kyle Biscoglia

In a 133-pound weight class that was stacked at the Cliff Keene Invitational, Panthers’ #10 Kyle Biscoglia (10-2) placed third, and had eye-opening victories over Northwestern’s #12 Chris Cannon, and Michigan’s #6 Dylan Ragusin. Biscoglia has now cracked the top-10 at 133-pounds and is the first of two Panthers ranked within the top-10. After taking out Illinois #4 Lucas Byrd, Ohio State’s true freshman #14 Jesse Mendez is still in the top-15 with a 6-1 record. Mendez’s only loss on the year so far came to Virginia Tech’s #11 Sam Latona, which was a 3-2 decision for the Hokie. That hasn’t made an impact on Mendez though, who picked up two bonus wins over Columbia’s Angelo Rini and North Carolina’s Joey Melendez.

141 – #20 Dylan D’Emilio vs. #7 Cael Happel
Northern Iowa’s #7 Cael Happel is set to square off against Ohio State’s #20 Dylan D’Emilio once again, after the two just wrestled at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Happel got the victory over D’Emilio, however it was a razor thin match that resulted in a 4-2 win in sudden victory. It will be interesting to see how the second bout plays out, especially when the team score is on the line.

149 – #3 Sammy Sasso vs. #24 Colin Realbuto

Ohio State’s #3 Sammy Sasso (11-1) comes in hot after winning the gold at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Sasso had a tough route to the title, defeating Northwestern’s #6 Yahya Thomas and Arizona State’s #4 Kyle Parco. Sasso continued his dominance into the Kent State dual, beating the Golden Flashes Kody Komara by tech fall, 19-3. Northern Iowa’s #24 Colin Realbuto (7-3) is coming off a very impressive 2021-2022 season, as he placed third at the Big 12 tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament with a 18-12 record. Realbuto continues that into this year as he starts the season 7-3, and placed eighth at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

157 – Paddy Gallagher/Isaac Wilcox vs. Derek Holschlag

Gallagher has not been in the Ohio State lineup since their dual with Columbia on Nov. 18, and could be another chance for Isaac Wilcox to make the start. Wilcox is 7-3 to start his sophomore season, and most recently dropped a close match to Kenn State’s Keegan Knapp 6-3. Northern Iowa’s Derek Holschlag is 6-2 coming into the Collegiate Duals, and suffered both losses at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

165 – #7 Carson Karchla/Bryce Hepner vs. #12 Austin Yant
It is interesting to note that Ohio State’s #7 Carson Karchla (6-1) medically forfeited out of the Cliff Keen Invitational after his match with Kent State’s Enrique Munguia. Then just a week later at the OSU/Kent State dual, Karchla was absent again and the Buckeyes forfeited to Enrique Munguia at 165-pounds. Northern Iowa’s #12 Austin Yant has been perfect to start the year (7-0). Although Yant medically forfeited out of the Cliff Keen Invitational semifinals and placed sixth, it is unsure if Yant will be in the lineup for the Panthers. If Yant isn’t ready to go, look for the Panthers to send out Christian Minto or Cayd Lara.

174 – #7 Ethan Smith vs. #12 Lance Runyon

 Injuries have been hurting the Buckeyes early this season, but Ohio State’s #7 Ethan Smith (9-3) is back in the lineup for Ohio State. Although Smith wasn’t able to place at the Cliff Keen Invitational, he came back and picked up a tech fall over Kent State’s Michael Ferree. Panthers’ #12 Lance Runyon has yet to make his 2022-2023 season debut, however there is a chance he makes an appearance on Monday morning. If not, there is a good chance the Panthers will send out Jared Simma.

184 – #4 Kaleb Romero vs. #3 Parker Keckeisen

In a matchup that features two wrestlers in the top-5 at 184-pounds, Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen (6-1) will take on Ohio State’s #4 Kaleb Romero (12-2). Keckeisen comes in as Northern Iowa’s highest ranked wrestler, and has a 6-1 record. Keckeisen’s only loss came to NC State’s #2 Trent Hidlay in the finals at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Keckeisen continues to dominate despite his first loss of the year, and will be tested again with Romero. Romero is back for his final season as a Buckeye, and has impressed to start the season. Romero just placed fourth at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and dropped his only two matches of the year there. Both of his losses have come to wrestlers in the top-10, one being NC State’s #2 Trent Hidlay, and Virginia Tech’s #6 Hunter Bolen. Romero bounced back easily and earned a tech fall over Kent State’s Tyler Bates, and turns towards Keckeisen on Tuesday afternoon.

197 – #15 Gavin Hoffman vs. Wyatt Voelker

Ohio State’s #15 Gavin Hoffman (9-3) missed out on the podium at the Cliff Keen Invitational, yet picked his strong start back up over Kent State’s Ryan Boyle, where he was able to earn a tech fall for the Buckeyes. Northern Iowa’s Wyatt Voelker continues to make noise and is close to cracking the top-25 at 197-pounds. Voelker is 12-0 to start his season, and just won the UNI Open this past weekend.

285 – #13 Tate Orndorff/Mike Misita vs.  #11 Tyrell Gordon

 Northern Iowa’s #11 Tyrell Gordon comes into the duals with a 8-3 record, and placed fifth at the Cliff Keen Invitational. He is set to take on Buckeyes #13 Tate Orndorff, which could set up a top-15 matchup to end the dual at 285-pounds. Ohio State’s #13 Tate Orndorff (6-1) also medically forfeited out of the Cliff Keen Invitational, and has yet to make his return.

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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