March 16, 2023

Three Buckeyes to the Quarterfinals at NCAA Championships


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State had three wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals in their respective weight classes on the opening day of the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla. Sammy Sasso, Carson Kharchla and Kaleb Romero all won twice on Thursday to punch their tickets.

All nine Buckeyes are still alive headed to the second day of the championship. Ohio State totaled 14.5 points and is tied for eighth through day one.

Thursday Results

Ohio State Buckeyes

133 | Jesse Mendez

Round 1 – Jesse Mendez opened his day with a 12-4 major decision over Navy’s Brendan Ferretti. He scored a pair of takedowns in the first period to lead 4-2 after one and would push the lead to 7-2 after two. Following two more takedowns and riding time in the third, Mendez had a solid opening victory.

Round 2 – In his second round match, Mendez met fourth-seeded Michael McGee of Arizona State. Neither wrestler scored in the opening period and McGee would take a 5-1 lead after two following an escape and a pair of takedowns. In the third, Mendez got the early escape but was unable to get a takedown and would end up falling 6-2.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 19 seed Domenic Zaccone (Campbell)

Ohio State Buckeyes

141 | Dylan D’Emilio

Round 1 – Dylan D’Emilio started his day the same way Mendez did, with a 10-1 major decision over Navy’s Josh Koderhandt. Neither wrestler scored in the first period and D’Emilio would only lead 3-0 after the second. But a takedown and a four-point near fall gave the Buckeye a 9-1 advantage and the riding time point would provide the final margin.

Round 2 – D’Emilio took on Iowa’s top-seeded Real Woods. Woods had two takedowns in the opening period and held a 4-2 lead after the first. D’Emilio then had an escape to start the second and a quick takedown to grab a 5-4 lead. The score was even at 5-5 at the start of the third and after an early escape by Woods, D’Emilio appeared to have a late takedown that would have won the match. After a review, no takedown was awarded, and Woods would win the match 7-5 after earning the riding point.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 15 seed Tom Crook (Virginia Tech)

Ohio State Buckeyes

149 | Sammy Sasso

Round 1 – Sammy Sasso made it three major decisions to start the day for the Buckeyes as he dominated Anthony White of Rutgers 10-2. He had a pair of takedowns and an escape to lead 5-0 after two periods and would add two more takedowns in the third to win 10-2.

Round 2 – In the second round, Sasso took on No. 15 seed Colin Realbuto of Northern Iowa. The Buckeye captain had a pair of takedowns in the first and led 5-1 headed to the second. Each wrestler scored escape points at the start of the next two periods and Sasso would add another takedown and a riding point to avenge an earlier regular season loss with a 9-2 victory.

Quarterfinals – vs. No. 7 seed Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)

Ohio State Buckeyes

157 | Paddy Gallagher

Round 1 – Paddy Gallagher had a nice battled with Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys in his opening bout of the day. Neither wrestler got on the board in the first and Humphreys would only score an escape point in the second. Gallagher chose neutral to start the third and was unable to score the winning takedown as he would eventually fall 3-0.

Consolation Round 1 – Gallagher took on Andrew Clark of Rutgers in his second match on Thursday. Not a ton of scoring as each wrestler managed just one escape point through three periods. Gallagher got a big takedown to earn the 3-1 sudden victory win.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 22 seed Derek Holschlag (Northern Iowa)

Ohio State Buckeyes

165 | Carson Kharchla

Round 1 – Carson Kharchla started his championship against friend and drill partner Connor Brady of Virginia Tech. After a scoreless first period, Brady scored an escape point in the second to take a 1-0 lead after two. In the third, Kharchla had a big reversal to take a 2-1 lead and would hold that advantage the rest of the way for the narrow 2-1 victory.

Round 2 – Kharchla would punch his ticket to the quarterfinals with a terrific 8-3 victory over No. 10 seed Michael Caliendo III of North Dakota State. A pair of takedowns and an escape would have Kharchla in front 5-2 heading to the third period. Caliendo earned the escape point to start the third but another big takedown from Kharchla would secure him the 8-3 victory.

Quarterfinals – vs. No. 2 seed Keegan O`Toole (Missouri)

Ohio State Buckeyes

174 | Ethan Smith (OSU)

Round 1 – Ethan Smith won by decision over Stanford’s Tyler Eischens, 6-5, to improve to 20-6 on the season. Smith scored on a takedown in the first period, but trailed 3-2. He came back in the second with an escape and a takedown to take a 5-4 lead and then won it in the third by virtue of riding time and allowing only an Eischens escape.

Round 2 – Ethan was opposite Iowa’s Nelson Brands in the second round. Brands got a takedown in the first period and they would trade escape points for a 3-1 lead early in the third. Smith battled in the final period but was unable to get the tying takedown and would fall 3-1.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 21 Lennox Wolak (Colorado)

Ohio State Buckeyes

184 | Kaleb Romero

Round 1 – Kaleb Romero won his opening round match by major decision, 10-2, over Caleb Hopkins. Two takedowns in the first period staked him to a 4-1 lead that grew to 7-2 after the second with an escape and a takedown. He matched that with another escape and takedown in the third to move on with the win.

Round 2 – Romero set the tone early in his match with Missouri’s Colton Hawks, recording two first-period takedowns. He led 4-2 after the opening period and just two escapes were scored in the final two periods, sending Romero on to the quarterfinals with a 5-3 victory.

Quarterfinals – vs. No. 3 seed Aaron Brooks (Penn State)

Ohio State Buckeyes

197 | Gavin Hoffman

Round 1 – Gavin Hoffman lost to Tanner Sloan, from South Dakota State, by decision, 8-1. Sloan scored on a takedown in the first period and a reverse and a takedown in the second to build a 6-1 lead with Hoffman scoring on an escape. Hoffman added riding time and a penalty point in the third.

Consolation Round 1 – Hoffman stayed alive with a convincing 10-4 victory over Luke Stout of Princeton. Three takedowns in the first period staked Hoffman to a 6-3 lead. Stout cut the lead to 6-4 with an escape but Hoffman dominated the third period to win 10-4.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 9 seed Max Dean (Penn State)

Ohio State Buckeyes

HWT | Tate Orndorff (OSU)

Round 1 – Campbell’s Taye Ghadiali recorded a takedown at 1:30 of sudden victory-one to defeat Tate Orndorff, 3-1, in round one. Orndorff scored an escape in the second period and Ghadiali tied the score at 1-all with an escape in the third, setting up the sudden victory period.

Consolation Round 1 – Orndorff rebounded with a solid 6-3 victory over Minnesota’s Garrett Joles. An early takedown gave Orndorff a 2-1 lead after the first period. He then added an escape and another takedown in the second to lead 5-1. In the third, he survived a takedown by Joles but would also earn the riding point to claim a 6-3 victory.

Consolation Round 2 – vs. No. 32 seed Grady Griess (Navy)