Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wrestling Wreport

The Wrestling team begins their quest for individual national championships today at 11:00 AM at a three day event held at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit, MI. After their disastrous showing in the Big Ten Championship many of the wrestlers have put themselves behind the 8 ball. All in all, 7 wrestlers are advancing and only 4 will be seated.

Wt./Last Nat. Rank/Name

Tournament Seed

Overall/vs. NCAA

125 #18 Mark McKnight


21-9 / 8-8

133 #14 Jake Strayer


23-6 / 7-6

149 #12 Dan Vallimont

No. 12

19-10 / 5-9

157 Bubba Jenkins


22-10 / 1-9

174 #4 James Yonushonis

No. 4

29-4 / 7-4

197 #3 Philip Davis

No. 4

24-3 / 10-3

HWT #3 Aaron Anspach

No. 2

18-3 / 11-3

After finishing 2nd in the Big Ten's, Aaron Anspach gets the best seeding at #2 and deservedly so. I think Davis got a pretty generous seeding after finishing fourth against a field of Big Ten wrestlers that he had not previously lost to all season. The only real shocker in the bunch is Strayer's lack of seed; I don't understand it. Jake took fifth in what was arguably the toughest weight class in the Big Ten and he has proven through the season that he can hang with the big boys. Strayer majored then #16 Ricky Deubel of Edinboro, he beat #15 Mario Galanakis of Iowa, and was ranked as high as fourth. Vallimont gets the #12 seed with a 19-10 record while Strayer is unseeded with 4 fewer loses – something's just not adding up. Out of the group it would be unthinkable if Davis, Yonushonis, and Anspach didn't each finish in the top eight to become All-Americans. It's reasonable to believe maybe one of the others has a chance to finish in the top eight, Yonushonis did just that after starting unseeded last season, but I'm not counting on it. Vallimont and Jenkins are both freshmen wrestling in their first NCAA tournament and it can be an intimidating. The tournament can be heard live on WBLF 970 AM, and seen live extensively via the ESPN family of networks.

UPDATE: Penn State has 3 wrestlers into the quarterfinals: Strayer, Davis, and Anspach. Overall the guys have wrestled well with the lone exception of James Yonushonis who lost to an unseeded wrestler. It’s tough to see his dream of a national championship end like that but I’m still proud of what James has done for Penn State even if he doesn’t win another match. James never won a state championship in high school but managed to work himself into an All-American at PSU. Hopefully he can do it again this weekend. McKnight is wrestling up to his potential and lost a tough match to undefeated and No. 1 seed, Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma, 7-4. Hazewinkel has given up a TOTAL of 22 point s this season and McKnight took him down in the first period to lead after one. If McKnight continues to wrestle like that he will be an All-American. Anspach is eating people alive, just like a 2nd seed should. On the first day the team had ten wins four losses but five of those wins were major decisions and two were pins (Strayer & Davis).


Anonymous said...

7-0, 4 Majors, 1 Fall
The only ones not to get bonus points were the #1 seeds from the Big 10 tournament.

Galen said...

So far so good but tonight's session gets tough. Penn State sitting in 4th but it's early and that doesn't mean anything, yet. Yonushonis gets a big boost with #1 out in his weight class.

Go State!

Galen said...

ooppps, make that Davis with the #1 guy out. Yonushonis was the only disappointment as they wrestled hard in the second round. Not great but not bad, McKnight looks like the old McKnight and wrestled well as did Bubba.

Black Shoe Diaries said...

We're 7-0 and sitting in 4th place? I never understood wrestling. When this is all done, I would appreciate a post explaining how scoring works in wrestling. Individual and tournament. It would probably help me more enthusiastic about following the sport.

Galen said...


By 7-0 Anon was simply referring to the fact that all 7 wrestlers won. I will definitely put up a post explaining wrestling scoring & how national championships are won both individually and team-wise.

All you had to do was ask! Ask and you shall receive.