Maryland wrestling places fourth in Tiger Style Invite

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Sophomore Kal Miller secured his second consecutive first place finish in the 141-pound weight class at the Tiger Style Invite tournament, on a day where two veteran Terps wrestlers came in second in their respective weight classes and a true freshman earned a third place finish.

Miller won three bouts on his road to his second Tiger Style victory, one of them coming from a teammate withdrawing. Miller earned a 4-1 decision over Owen Uhls in the first round, but the final round required three overtime periods to decide. In the final fight, Miller defeated Missouri’s Josh Edmond, who had bounced true freshmen Clayton Gabrielson and Michael Pizzuto out of the main bracket earlier.

Redshirt sophomore Jaxon Smith only needed one victory to secure second place in the 197-pound bracket. His first of only two bouts came in the semifinals round, where he only needed 32 seconds to defeat SIU Edwardsville’s Nick Nosler by fall. It sent him to the final bout, where he lost to Little Rock’s Stephen Little in a 7-3 decision.

Sam Nevills, the heavyweight graduate student transfer, made his way into the final round after two technical falls and one five minute fall, with none of his matches hitting zeroes in the third period. However, he could not get any offense going in the final round, and fell 8-1 to Missouri’s Zach Elam.

True freshman Dario Lemus never lost a match he fought in, securing third place in the 141-pound bracket. After his first victory in the tournament, he was scheduled to fight Kal Miller in the semifinals but conceded. He then went on to win his next two bouts before defeating Michael Pizzuto to secure third place.

Redshirt sophomore Kevin Schork was unable to make it out of the first round with a win, suffering a 17-2 technical fall against Missouri’s 157-pound Brock Mauller. The match ended with more than a minute remaining in the second period.

Redshirt sophomore heavyweight Sam O’Brian’s run also ended in the first round, though he kept his match closer. O’Brian was down 3-2 going into the third period, but Linderwood’s David Hernandez secured a takedown to put the match out of reach, ending at 7-3.

133-pound redshirt sophomore Conner Quinn made it to the second round via bye, but his day ended there with a loss to Zeke Seltzer of Missouri. Quinn spent most of the match playing catch-up, but he was able to stave off the technical fall and the score stood at 17-4 after the third period. After securing a victory over Cal Poly’s Caleb Park in the third place bracket, Quinn finished in seventh place in the 133-pound weight class.

True freshman Clayton Gabrielson earned his first ever collegiate wrestling victory against Linderwood’s Ben Bohr, shutting him out 12-0 to secure the major decision. However, the 141-pound Terp was unable to ride the momentum into the second round, ending his day on the losing side of a 22-5 technical fall against Missouri’s Josh Edmond.

Redshirt senior Michael North, who last year placed second in the 157 pound bracket, could not hang on to a 5-4 lead against Missouri’s James Conway heading into the third, but lost it after getting taken down twice. In the third place bracket, North was unable to come back from an eight point first period from Cal Poly’s Legend Lamer.

Redshirt freshman Michael Pizzuto had a successful first tournament, winning his first two matches ever as a college athlete and securing a spot in the semifinal against Josh Edmond, who bounced Gabrielson out of the main bracket the round prior. Despite his strong showings in the first and second rounds, Edmond was too great a hurdle to overcome, and he lost by technical fall 20-5. Pizzuto’s day was not over, however, and he made it to the third place fight. Lemus defeated him 7-2, giving himself a fourth place finish.

125-pound redshirt sophomore Braxton Brown secured his first win of the 2023-2024 season with a 15-0 technical fall against Little Rock’s Reid Nelson. But it would be the only win he would get in the main bracket as Cal Poly’s Dom Mendez ran away with the fight in the third period of he and Brown’s semifinal matchup, racking up five takedowns to win 21-12. The score had been tied at five going into the third. Brown did not compete in the third place bracket.

Redshirt sophomore Gaven Bell never won a fight in the main 165 pound bracket, but he bounced back with a 12-0 defeat over true freshman and fellow Terp Ryan Money and a technical fall against Cal Poly’s Michael Goldfeder. However, Bell could not survive the first frame of his fight against Little Rock’s Bilal Bailey, who defeated Bell by fall.

Posted by W. Wade DeVinney