Well friends, we've successfully completed the first full month of the wrestling season, the Buckeyes are a perfect 4-0 and won the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational for the third-consecutive year. We find ourselves in the annual holiday lull for the Buckeye wrestling program; after Sunday's victory over a ranked Wisconsin team on the rise under first-year head coach Chris Bono, the team will be idle until the team hosts North Carolina State at St. John Arena Jan. 6, 2019.
In the meanwhile, here are some items of interest for wrestling fans:
Injury and Disappointment Drive Future Buckeye
Ohio State landed the commitment of the top recruit in the country when it signed Minnesota's Daniel Greg Kerkvliet. Already disappointed with a runner-up finish at the Cadet World Freestyle Championships in July, the high school superstar suffered a torn ACL earlier this year while training for the Junior World Championships in September.
Priorities changed quickly. At one time this fall, it was believed that Kerkvliet, a three-time state champion at Simley, was done with high school wrestling and would spend his senior season training at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs.
Now, he's working out in the Simley wrestling room, hoping to get back on the mat in January with a goal of leading the Spartans to their first state team title since he was a middle-schooler.
Although he isn't expected to compete until the calendar turns, the future Buckeye is training and preparing, not only for his final season at Simley, but for a bright future as a collegian and future star on the senior freestyle circuit – those freestyle aspirations being one of the prime reasons Kerkvliet ultimately settled on Ohio State as his future home.
Kerkvliet originally committed to wrestle at Minnesota, then changed his mind and committed to Oklahoma State last year. This summer, he reopened his recruitment and has since signed with Ohio State.
"One thing I realized in my visits is that every program is going to seem great," he said. "That's their job. As you learn, you figure out certain things. The thing I liked about Ohio State was that wrestling is a big part of the decision, but it's also personal. I had to find out what was best for me."
The full piece about the top pound-for-pound recruit in the Class of 2019. is definitely worth a read.
In a shocking turn of events, Buckeye legend and three-time world champion Kyle Snyder did not win the gold medal at the 2018 Men's Senior Freestyle World Championships, walking away with his first silver medal in four world-level finals. This week he was back at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to evaluate his performance at worlds, and to strategize for 2019.
In this interview with USA Wrestling, Snyder discusses his 2018 Worlds performance, the World Team evaluation process and his hopes to wrestle Abdulrashid Sadualev again at the 2019 Ivan Yarygin Memorial in Russia next month.
Ke-Shawn Hayes: Quiet, Consistent
Redshirt junior Ke-Shawn Hayes is one of the more interesting members of the Ohio State wrestling squad. Now wrestling in his third weight class in as many years, the Kansas City native continues his quest to make the All-American podium at the NCAA tournament.
A recent profile in The Lantern provides an excellent window into the mind of a pivotal member of the Buckeye lineup.
“It’s easy to go unnoticed with the talent on our team. I’ve done pretty well so far,” Hayes said. “With the injury I had my freshman year and I also wasn’t named an All-American last year, it especially seems easier to go unnoticed, but I’m just trying to get better every day and improve every time I step on the mats.”
After ending his redshirt freshman season in November after suffering a knee injury in 2016, Hayes bounced back in a huge way last season, recording an overall mark of 29-7 with eight technical falls, seven major decisions and a pin. He placed third in the Big Ten Championships that season, earning the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Championships.
Hayes drew the toughest bracket in the entire tournament last year, running into Penn State's two-time Hodge Trophy winner Zain Retherford in the championship bracket and then immediately facing No. 2 Brandon Sorensen in his first wrestleback match, ending his tournament just shy of placing. It was one of a handful of breaks that simply didn't go Ohio State's way, putting an upset of Penn State for the team title just out of reach.
Again, the full read is definitely worth your time.
Okay, that's all for now; until next time, happy reading!