Mizzou NCAA Wrestling Recap and Thoughts

Overall: Mizzou finished in 6th place, just half a point back of fifth place Michigan. Mizzou had a really solid tournament and were probably slightly above expectations entering the weekend at most weights.

I was really impressed overall with Mizzou’s conditioning as well as their match strategy. Coach Smith did a great job of preparing his guys and overall the performance was incredible for such a young squad. Mizzou wrestled really well from top all weekend and had some great neutral offense as well.

Elam nearly had a magical run to placing and will likely improve greatly. Wisman, Flynn and Jacques could also certainly push to have better tournaments next season.

Erneste and Lewis will be missed greatly for their leadership and the hustle and fight they have shown throughout their careers.

With Eierman set to take an Olympic redshirt next season only Mauller returns of the four AA’s for next season, but the cupboard is far from empty.

Grant Leeth will likely return next season to bolster the squad with another former AA, as well as past NCAA qualifier Canten Marriott being a threat to claim the 174 spot.

Some young studs will have an opportunity as well. Next season should be an exciting season for the Mizzou faithful, as they potentially load up for big runs in 2021 and 2022. Thanks for reading! Have a good offseason!

125- Dack Punke (11-12), (0-2)

Results:

R1-Sean Russell (Minnesota) 28-6 won by major decision over Dack Punke (Missouri) 11-12 (MD 16-6)

WB32- Cole Verner (Wyoming) 23-15 won by decision over Dack Punke (Missouri) 11-12 (Dec 4-2)

Thoughts: Punke wrestled tough against Verner and gave himself a chance to win a match at this tournament. The bout did not go in his favor, but Punke showed a lot of heart and this experience will only further motivate him and help him to push forward as he competes for a spot at this weight going forward.

133-John Erneste (22-7), (6th)

Results:

R1-John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 won by major decision over Derek Spann (Buffalo) 21-6 (MD 8-0)

R2-John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 won by decision over DJ Fehlman (Lock Haven) 36-8 (Dec 4-0) Q-Daton Fix (Oklahoma State) 34-2 won by major decision over John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 (MD 11-3)

WB12-John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 won in sudden victory – 2 over Tariq Wilson (NC State) 17-5 (SV-2 9-7)

WB8-John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 won by major decision over Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) 25-7 (MD 10-0 CS-Stevan Micic (Michigan) 19-1 won by major decision over John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 (MD 17-4)

5th-Austin DeSanto (Iowa) 23-6 won by decision over John Erneste (Missouri) 22-7 (Dec 11-6)

Thoughts: Erneste had a really solid tournament. His win over Wilson who upset him last season on the way to a magical unseeded win to third was extremely gutsy. Erneste had a hard time with Wilson’s length and was losing the takedown battle throughout, but got a clutch four point nearfall and a big escape late to tie the bout and head to OT. In overtime Erneste was the aggressor and came close to a takedown a couple times, and finally got one with one second left in the second OT. It was an extremely gutsy match. Erneste then controlled RBY (Roman Bravo-Young in his consolation quarter match and scored an extra point for the team. Erneste was consistently good from top all tournament and he forced guys to wrestle to stay away from his top game. The last day did not go how Erneste wanted, but he was overlooked by a vast majority of the wrestling community heading into his final tournament and he went out on the podium in a historically stacked 133 lb weight class. Great tournament and career for Erneste as a Tiger. He maximized his talent and was always a pleasure to watch compete. Great performance for him here.

Jaydin Eierman (28-4), (3rd)

R1-Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 won by fall over Chris Debien (Chattanooga) 24-13 (Fall 4:41) R2-Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 won by decision over Cameron Kelly (Ohio) 20-5 (Dec 10-8)

Q- Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 won by decision over Kyle Shoop (Lock Haven) 35-8 (Dec 8-3) S-Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) 29-0 won by decision over Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 (Dec 6-5) CS-Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 won by decision over Mitch McKee (Minnesota) 24-8 (Dec 8-5)      3rd- Jaydin Eierman (Missouri) 28-4 won by decision over Dom Demas (Oklahoma) 34-9 (Dec 2-0)

Thoughts: Eierman wrestled a great tournament here. He was able to score bonus early and beat a very solid Kelly and then Shoop who is tremendously dangerous from the top position.

In the semi-finals Eierman and Diakomihalis added another chapter to their storied rivalry and a somewhat questionable neutral danger call helped Yianni escape with a close win late. Eierman had to be gutted, but he came back and toughed out two tough matches with very dangerous throwers in McKee and Demas. Great composure and mat wrestling were trademarks for Eierman throughout the tournament here. It was not the result he wanted, but wrestling back to third showed a lot of leadership and mental toughness.Eierman has now finished fifth, fourth and third at this weight class the last three seasons. I hope we see him finish his career in 2021 with a national title. I am excited to see him rip up the freestyle circuit this next season.

Brock Mauller (33-5), (6th)

R1-Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 won by major decision over Matthew Zovistoski (Appalachian State) 26-15 (MD 10-2)

R2-Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 won by decision over Thomas Thorn (Minnesota) 21-12 (Dec 5-1) Q-Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) 25-5 won by decision over Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 (Dec 5-3) WB12-Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 won by fall over Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) 24-10 (Fall 7:57)           WB8-Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 won by decision over Jarrett Degen (Iowa State) 29-8 (Dec 10-7) CS-Austin O`Connor (North Carolina) 34-6 won by decision over Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 (Dec 4-3) 5th-Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) 25-5 won by decision over Brock Mauller (Missouri) 33-5 (Dec 10-6)

Thoughts: Mauller showed tantalizing flashes of potential throughout the tournament on his way to a sixth place finish. Mauller came out and wrestled great on day one before dropping a tough bout to Kolodzik. Kolodzik was able to really prevent funk situations and was too solid for Mauller to generate offense of his drag. Mauller came back and toughed out a big overtime fall against Thomsen. Mauller jumped out to an early lead and then pinned the past AA with his extremely heavy hips late. It was a huge win for the team and for Mauller. The match I was most impressed with was his next bout however as he evened up the series with Degen at 2 apiece. Mauller came out aggressively and really took the pace to Degen early and was able to withstand a late charge to win a very competitive bout in what in my opinion has become one of the better rivalries in college wrestling. Mauller’s last couple matches showed a couple freshman mistakes. He waited too long to pull the trigger against O’Connor, but got a late td to tie the match at 3 with two seconds left. O’Connor escaped off the restart and shocked Mauller. It was a tough bout. Kolodzik wrestled great in the fifth place bout and Mauller had a tough time generating offense. Mauller was incredibly impressive this season and has the skills to be a national champion in his career. Mauller will need to polish up his sense of urgency in neutral and add some other attacks he is confident on from his feet to take the next step in his progression. That said Mauller is at an extremely high level right now and no one can question his effort or heart, which he has in spades. He had himself a great tournament here and this experience will serve him well moving forward.

Jarrett Jacques (28-8), (1-2)

R1-Luke Weiland (Army West Point) 25-12 won by decision over Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) 28-8 (Dec 4-0)

WB32- Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) 28-8 won by decision over Alex Smythe (Buffalo) 15-9 (Dec 7-3)

WB24-Griffin Parriott (Purdue) 17-13 won by decision over Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) 28-8 (Dec 6-2)

Thoughts: Jacques in contrast to Mauller had the type of NCAAs you see from a lot of talented true freshman. He showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season and was coming in to this tournament fresh off the best win of his career over Larry Early of ODU. Jacques was aggressive throughout his bouts and showed a lot of offense on his feet, but he gave up some early takedowns that were hard to come back from and was ridden hard by both Weiland and Parriott. He was not tested on bottom a ton throughout the season and he really struggled there this weekend. That said Jacques gas tank looked as good the past few weeks as it did all season. He wrestled really hard and I believe that with another season to get stronger and a little more aggressiveness early in bouts he will be in the AA hunt the next couple seasons. Really bright future for Jacques here.

Connor Flynn (21-9), (1-2)

R1-Connor Flynn (Missouri) 21-9 won by decision over Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) 22-8 (Dec 5-4)

R2- Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) 27-2 won by decision over Connor Flynn (Missouri) 21-9 (Dec 8-4) WB24-Joseph Smith (Oklahoma State) 21-8 won by decision over Connor Flynn (Missouri) 21-9 (Dec 3-1)

Thoughts: NCAA brackets are weird sometimes. Flynn defeated Wolf in a tough bout in the first round and then Wolf wrestled all the way back to the R12. Flynn’s draw for winning was tougher and he lost a tough one to Joseph who finished second here this season after two titles and then lost an extremely close bout with past 2-time AA Smith. Flynn wrestled really hard and looked solid in every match I saw. I love watching Flynn compete, because he always gives his all. I hope Flynn can take the next step as a senior and threaten for a podium spot next season. He has the talent to be an All-American he just needs the confidence to pull the trigger a bit more.

Daniel Lewis (28-3), (4th)

R1-Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 won by fall over Travis Stefanik (Princeton) 19-15 (Fall 1:13)

R2-Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 won by fall over Ryan Christensen (Wisconsin) 18-10 (Fall 2:42) Q-Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 won by fall over Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) 30-9 (Fall 4:29)

S-Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) 31-2 won by major decision over Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 (MD 11-3) CS-Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 won by decision over David McFadden (Virginia Tech) 24-4 (Dec 6-0) 3rd- Myles Amine (Michigan) 22-4 won by decision over Daniel Lewis (Missouri) 28-3 (Dec 4-3)

Thoughts: Daniel Lewis wrestled like a man possessed through the first three rounds here. He looked fantastic and his fall over Labriola was a big one for the the team. Lewis lost a tough match with Valencia, but came back on day two and blanked McFadden who had beaten him previously in their careers. Lewis lost a tough bout to Amine for third, but he ended his career as just the third four-time AA in the history of the University of Missouri wrestling program. Lewis also took home the Gorrarian award for the most falls in the least amount of time. Lewis wrestled tremendously and was a great ambassador and leader for this team for four seasons. I will miss watching him bundle guys up for cradles and the heavy hips he had that gave guys fits. It was not the finish to his career that Lewis wanted, but he scored a lot of team points and he wrestled at a really high level against an all-time great in Zahid Valencia.

Dylan Wisman (17-9), (1-2)

R1-Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) 31-9 won by decision over Dylan Wisman (Missouri) 17-9 (Dec 7-5)

WB32-Dylan Wisman (Missouri) 17-9 won by decision over Dom Ducharme (CSU Bakersfield) 23-14 (Dec 8-4)

WB24-Emery Parker (Illinois) 23-5 won in sudden victory – 1 over Dylan Wisman (Missouri) 17-9 (SV-1 8-6)

Thoughts: Wisman started his tournament with one of the more frustrating losses I have seen in awhile. He really controlled the positioning against Caffey for the majority of the bout, and he had several scoring chances. Late Wisman gave up a really frustrating point for three cautions and then a takedown in the closing seconds to lose a match that left me stunned. Wisman battled back and won his second match with good aggressive wrestling before wrestling one of the better matches of his season. Wisman had Parker on the ropes and gave him everything he wanted in what was a spectacular match. Parker would wrestle all the way back to fourth place. Wisman showed he had a ton of talent and I hope he can harness that talent and his typical frenetic pace to finish his career on the podium next March. Wisman can certainly be a top 8 guy at this weight next season.

 

Zach Elam (25-11), (3-2)

R1-Zach Elam (Missouri) 25-11 won in sudden victory – 1 over Matt Voss (George Mason) 32-8 (SV-1 3-1)

R2-Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 25-5 won by decision over Zach Elam (Missouri) 25-11 (Dec 3-0)

WB24-Zach Elam (Missouri) 25-11 won by fall over Jacob Aven (Purdue) 13-23 (Fall 4:22)

WB16-Zach Elam (Missouri) 25-11 won in tie breaker – 3 over Conan Jennings (Northwestern) 20-12 (TB-3 3-1) 

WB12-Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) 25-9 won by decision over Zach Elam (Missouri) 25-11 (Dec 1-0)

Thoughts: Zach Elam is a gamer. He really seems to up his level during tournaments and for an undersized true freshman heavyweight he showed a ton of heart and fight this weekend. I was extremely impressed with Elam. In his first match he hit a slick slide-by to best a very solid Voss in overtime. He fell to eventual fourth place finisher Wood before regrouping and pinning Aven who defeated him earlier this season. In his next bout Elam defeated Jennings who is one of the largest heavyweights in the country in an epic overtime bout that he nearly won several times before pulling it out. In the R12 Elam lost a close bout to Hillger 1-0, but he is right there at this weight class and after another season to put on muscle and work on his technique I think we see Elam finish on or near the podium each of the next three seasons. He has the potential to be a very special heavyweight.

 

 

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