#3 Ohio State gets back into action and will wrestle their first dual at the Journeymen Collegiate Duals against Lock Haven. The match will be held inside of the New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the dual is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST.
Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes are 4-0 to start their dual season, and most recently rolled over Kent State 32-9 last weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to that, Ohio State sent a number of their ranked wrestlers to compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational on Dec. 2, and placed eighth out of 34 teams. For Lock Haven, they come into the duals with a 1-2 record, however both losses have come to top-10 opponents in #1 Penn State, and #7 NC State.
125 – #11 Malik Heinselman vs. #22 Anthony Noto
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 the Bald Eagles, #22 Anthony Noto (10-1) has also been a big part of the team’s lineup. The returning NCAA Qualifier has looked sharp to start the year, and Noto’s only loss on the year so far has come to Air Force’s Tucker Owens. I expect this bout at 125-pounds to be close and could come down to a one-takedown match.
133 – #14 Jesse Mendez/Nic Bouzakis vs. Gable Strickland
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. For Lock Haven, Gable Strickland (11-4) has impressed to start the year. Strickland just won the George Mason Patriot Open this past weekend, winning twice by tech fall.
141 – #20 Dylan D’Emilio vs. Tyler Dilley/Ty Linsenbigler
Although Ohio State’s #20 Dylan D’Emilio comes in with a 6-4 record, D’Emilio is still respectively deserving of a top-20 ranking. At a super stacked 141-pound weight class at the Cliff Keen Invitational, D’Emilio placed eighth. D’Emilio’s only losses at the Cliff Keene Invitational came to Northern Iowa’s #7 Cael Happel, Navy’s #17 Josh Koderhandt, and Purdue’s #19 Parker Filius. D’Emilio picked up his most recent win against Kent State, and looks to be a solid option for the Buckeyes at 141-pounds. It’s not completely sure who Lock Haven will send out at 141-pounds, but Ty Linsenbigler has had previous experience this year with top-10 ranked opponents, so they may look to him to step up.
149 – #3 Sammy Sasso vs. Connor Eck/Nicholas Stonecheck
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. Although it’s not clear who Lock Haven plans to send out at 149-pounds, Nicholas Stonecheck (12-3) seems to be the option based on wrestling more this season and being in the dual lineup more often than Eck.
157 – Paddy Gallagher/Isaac Wilcox vs. Ashton Eyler
Lock Haven’s Ashton Eyler comes into the contest with a 12-5 record, as the 2021-2022 NCAA Qualifier has returned for his final year. Eyler most recently placed second at the George Mason Patriot Open, and has a winnable match against Ohio State. 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.
165 – #7 Carson Karchla/Bryce Hepner vs. Avery Bassett
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. Now a Bald Eagle, Avery Bassett transferred from George Mason this past summer. Bassett had a 24-9 record in his freshman year at George Mason, and now finds himself in the starting lineup for Lock Haven.
174 – #7 Ethan Smith vs. Tyler Stoltzfus
Lock Haven’s Tyler Stoltzfus has been on the mat a lot to start the season, and comes into the Collegiate duals with a 15-5 record. Stoltzfus just placed third at the George Mason Patriot Open, and it will be interesting to see him matchup against his first top-10 opponent this season in Ohio State’s #7 Ethan Smith (9-3). Injuries have been hurting the Buckeyes early this season, but Smith 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.
184 – #4 Kaleb Romero vs. Colin Fegley
#4 Kaleb Romero (12-2) 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 looks forward to getting another over Lock Haven’s Colin Fegley at 184-pounds. Fegley has a 6-5 record to start the year, and will look to keep the damage to a minimum for the Bald Eagles.
197 – #15 Gavin Hoffman vs. Brad Morrison
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. Hoffman will take on Lock Haven’s Brad Morrison (6-7), who is a true freshman. Morrison was a PIAA State runner-up, and finished high school with a 134-26 record.
285 – #13 Tate Orndorff/Mike Misita vs. #16 Isaac Reid/Ethan Miller
Although it doesn’t seem like either heavyweight is probable to step out onto the mat Monday afternoon, this sets up for a good heavyweight bout at 285-pounds. Ohio State’s #13 Tate Orndorff (6-1) also medically forfeited out of the Cliff Keen Invitational, and yet has to make his return. For the Bald Eagles, #16 Isaac Reid has yet to make his debut for the 2022-2023 season. If Reid is out, the Bald Eagles most recently sent out Ethan Miller in dual competition, so they could look to that again on Monday.