NCAA Wrestling Tournament Brings Season to a Close

Finalists Compete for Individual and Team Titles


Twenty wrestlers duked it out on the mat to prove who is the best wrestler in america. On Saturday, Mar. 19 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, the finals began at 5 o’clock.

The wrestling started at 125 lbs. Pat Glory from Princeton took on Nick Suriano from the University of Michigan, who was seeded number one. During the match, Suriano gave up three cautions and two points for stalling, but he finished the match with a 5-3 victory.

In the 133 lb. weight class, returning national champion Roman Bravo-Young from Penn-State wrestled two-time NCAA finalist, and Oklahoma State University Cowboy, Daton Fix. Bravo-Young took down Fix early in the match, but Fix escaped. Fix then scored another point via escape, and Bravo-Young did the Same ending the match with a 3-2 victory leaving Bravo-Young with his second national championship. Bravo-Young said that he has nothing left to prove after winning back-to-back national championships.

The 141 lb. match was between the returning champion Nick Lee from Penn State and Kizhan Clarke from the University of North Carolina. Clarke scored first with a takedown in the first period, but was unable to score for the rest of the match, aside from a point granted for stalling. Lee, on the other hand scored nine points along with a point for riding time, making him a two-time national champion, with a final score of 10-3.

Surprisingly, the number ten seed, Ridge Lovett from University of Nebraska, made it to the finals with the number one seed Yianni Diakomihalis from Cornell, at 149 lbs. Lovett lasted all three periods, but Diakomihalis dominated the match with an 11-5 victory over Lovett, making him a three-time national champion.

157 pounder, Ryan Deakin from Northwestern University, wrestled Quincy Monday from Princeton. The wrestlers entered the second period with the match tied 2-2, but Deakin scored several points, including back points, and won the match 8-2.

165 lb. freshman Keegan  O’toole took on returning finalist Shane Griffith from Stanford. Griffith scored the first takedown and the match led into the third period tied at 4-4. O’toole scored a takedown in the third, so he let Griffith escape and waited out the final 30 seconds of the match, making him the 165 lbs. NCAA champ with a score of 6-5. O’toole said “I had to find a way, and that’s exactly what I did.” 

Former national champ Mekhi Lewis from Virginia Tech faced off against Carter Starocci from Penn State at 174 pounds. The match was scoreless in the first period and the second period ended tied 2-2. The match went to double overtime and Starocci took the win with a score of 6-5.

At 184 pounds, Aaron Brookes from Penn State took on Myles Amine from University of Michigan. Brookes scored a takedown in the first period, and in the second period he rode out Amine and drew a stall call. The match ended with a score of 5-3, and Aaron Brookes was the victor, making him the new national champ.

The 197 lb. matchup was between Max Dean from Penn State and Jacob Warner from the University of Iowa. The match was scoreless in the first period, but Warner scored an escape in the second, followed by an escape from Dean in the third. Dean then scored a take down, and although Warner escaped, he was unable to score again. With a score of 3-2, Max Dean was the fifth of five finalists, from Penn state to win a 2022 National Championship.

Heavyweights Cohlton Shultz from Arizona State University and Gable Steveson from Minnesota were the final match of the night. Steveson scored two takedowns in the first period and let Shultz up for an escape. Each wrestler scored an escape, but Steveson took the win with a final score of 6-2.

With all of the champions from Penn State, the team winner was obvious, and Penn State took home the 2022 NCAA team title, along with their five national champions.