Preview: Maryland wrestling to take part in Tiger Style Invite

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland wrestling (1-0) will take part in its first non-dual meet of the season Saturday at the Tiger Style Invite.

Tiger Style is an invitational tournament which debuted last season. Missouri and five other schools sent multiple wrestlers for each weight class in a winner-moves-on format.

Maryland is sending only one 125 pound wrestler to Mizzou, that being No. 22 redshirt sophomore Braxton Brown. The 133 pound Terps will be graduate student King Sandoval and redshirt sophomore Conner Quinn, and at 141 pounds will be sophomore Kal Miller, freshman Dario Lemus, freshman Clayton Gabrielson and freshman Michael Pizzuto. 

The lone 149 pound wrestler representing Maryland will be redshirt sophomore Ethen Miller, and at 157 pounds is redshirt senior Michael North and redshirt sophomore Kevin Schork. At 165 pounds the Terps will send redshirt sophomores John Martin Best and Gaven Bell, as well as true freshman Ryan Money.

Last year, Kansas City natives Kal and Ethen Miller took first and third place respectively in their weight classes, Kal Miller doing so as a true freshman. Michael North, then a redshirt junior, and Jaxon Smith, who at the time was a redshirt freshman, placed second in their weight classes.

19 Terps will make the journey to the midwest, where head coach Alex Clemsen used to work as an associate head coach under current Mizzou head coach Brian Smith. He worked in Columbia, Missouri until 2019, when he was named Maryland’s seventh head wrestling coach replacing former Olympian Kerry McCoy.

Redshirt sophomore No. 15 Braxton Brown found himself on the wrong side of an upset in Maryland’s season opener against American University. Brown fell to No. 29 125 pounder Jack Maida in a 13-3 major decision. The major decision marked Brown’s second consecutive regular season loss to a wrestler ranked at least 14 below him. He ended the 2022-2023 regular season with a loss to No. 31 Nick Babin of Columbia University. Though Brown did not wrestle in the Tiger Style last season, he will make his debut this Saturday.

Two locks for Tiger Style are the Kansas City natives Kal and Ethen Miller. Through just two bouts, Kal Miller took first place in the 142 pound category, while Ethen Miller bounced back from a 7-4 decision loss to take third in the 149 pound class. The Miller brothers are both coming off of wins in the dual meet against American, each gaining major decisions against their opponent.

Four Terps will make their collegiate wrestling debuts this Saturday. True freshmen Ryan Money, Michael Pizzuto, Clayton Gabrielson and Dario Lemus are all on Maryland’s Tiger Style roster. Lemus fought Pizzuto in the Red v. Black scrimmage match in October and earned an 11-2 major decision, while Money lost his match 5-2 to true freshman AJ Rodrigues and Gabrielson did not wrestle.

Posted by W. Wade DeVinney