Recap by Curt Heinrichs
Photo of Hunter Stieber credit to OhioStateBuckeyes.com
After Logan Stieber started off the Buckeye wrestling season off on the right foot at the NWCA All-Star Classic, his teammates picked up where he left off with a dominant performance at the Clarion Open on Sunday. Led by senior Nick Heflin, the Buckeyes won 4 individual titles and had several others place in the top 4 (the Clarion Open only awarded places to the top 4 wrestlers).
On the strength of a pin and a major decision, Heflin has proven that he will be just fine at 197 after an All-American finish at 174 last season. Heflin added a trio of minor decisions, including a 3-1 decision over Pitt’s Nick Bonnacorsi in the finals en route to the Clarion title.
Joining Heflin atop the podium was veteran Hunter Stieber, who was wrestling unattached (not representing Ohio State as he’ll likely redshirt this season). Stieber, who has
2 All-American finishes in his 2 years as a collegian, used 2 falls and a 13-0 major decision to get his season off to a great start. Stieber defeated Lehigh’s Mitch Minotti 5-2 in the finals to earn 1st place.
Making a splash in his first tournament in college, true freshman and prized recruit Nathan Tomasello showed that he can score big points in a hurry just like he did in high school. Tomasello notched a tech fall, a pin (in just 35 seconds), and a pair of major decisions to earn a berth in the finals. Once in the finals, Tomasello defeated Campbell’s Tyler Walker 11-7 to earn his first collegiate title while wrestling unattached (to maintain his redshirt).
Joining classmate Tomasello in wrestling unattached, Bo Jordan showed that he will also be a force once his redshirt season is spent. Jordan continued the success he enjoyed in high school by scoring bonus points in all of his matches with a pair of pins, a pair of tech falls (including one in the finals over fellow elite recruit Cody Wiercoch of Pitt), and a major decision. Though a team score wasn’t kept due to the immense number of unattached wrestlers, No other university earned as many titles at the Clarion Open this year as the Buckeyes.
A large number of Buckeyes wrestled at the event, some unattached. Open tournaments like the Clarion Open allow younger wrestlers to get valuable mat time and allow the coaching staff to make important lineup decisions and evaluate the team. The remaining Buckeyes’ efforts are as follows:
Nathan Tomasello- 1st Place.
Nick Roberts- 3rd place after advancing to the semifinals. Roberts will likely be the starter for the Buckeyes in the 125 lb class this season.
Josh Whitt-1-2 on the day
Matt Davis- 4 straight wins in the consolation bracket
Mike Manuche- lost in consolation quarterfinals. Added a pin to earn his way to the semifinals before losing in the semis.
Kyle Visconti- 0-2 on the day
Johnni DiJulius- 3rd place. DiJulius defeated Pitt’s Shelton Mack for 3rd place by a score of 3-2. DiJulius will likely be the starter for the Buckeyes at 133 lbs.
Blake Riley-Hawkins- 1-2on the day with a fall
Jarrod Boone- 2-2
Hunter Stieber- 1st place. Will be redshirting this season.
Jacob Donatelli- 0-2
Ian Paddock- lost in semifinals and then consolation semifinals. Will start for the Buckeyes at 149 lbs.
Justin Kresevic- advanced to consolation quarterfinals before being eliminated
Alex Gordon- Advanced to the championship semifinals before losing to teammate Randy Languis.
Randy Languis- 2nd place. Knocked off Ohioan David Habat by fall in the quarterfinals
Bo Jordan- 1st place. Will redshirt this season
Craig Thomas- won a consolation bout before being knocked out of the tournament by teammate Joe Grandominico.
Joe Grandominico- 2-2
Matthew O’Hara- Advanced to championship semifinals before losing to eventual champion.
Mark Martin- 3rd place- recorded a tech fall. Will start for the Buckeyes at 174 lbs.
Rasheed Flowers- 0-2
Jack Rozema- won a pair of decisions in the wrestlebacks
Kenny Courts- 2nd place with a pair of tech falls and a pin. Lost in the finals to Ohioan Max Thomusseit (high school teammate of Bo Jordan). Courts will start at 184 lbs this season.
Nick Heflin- 1st Place. Earned a pin in his 1st match at 197 lbs. Heflin has earned the nod to start for the Buckeyes at 197 lbs.
Ray Gordon- 0-2 for the tournament
Kosta Karageorge- earned a pair of falls
Nick Tavanello- 3rd place- won by a pair of falls and a major decision en route to 3rd place. Tavanello will be the starter for the Buckeyes at heavyweight.
The Buckeyes will next take the mat on Saturday at the Michigan State Open