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Wrestling: Ohio State Finishes Fourth At The Big Ten Championships

By March 7, 2022 (4:00 pm)Sports, Wrestling

Ohio State left Lincoln, Neb., without a team title. However, eight wrestlers punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships, indicating the Buckeyes’ season is far from over.

Six wrestlers in Sunday’s final session represented the Scarlet and Gray in either the championship or consolation brackets as Ohio State accumulated 91 1/2 points to finish fourth behind Michigan (143), Penn State (141 1/2) and Iowa (129 1/2).


Top-ranked Sammy Sasso made his third-consecutive appearance in the 149-pound title match — this time earning a matchup with No. 2 Austin Gomez of Wisconsin.

Sasso looked more confident against Gomez than he did in his decision over Max Murin in the semifinals. He earned the match’s first points with a takedown but let Gomez break free after a 25-second ride. In the second period, the Wisconsin wrestler broke free for an escape point and followed up with a two-point takedown. Sasso responded with two escapes to briefly tie the match a four-all.

Sasso desperately took shots, but Gomez’s power and strength proved too much for the Nazareth, Penn., native. With 90 seconds remaining, the officials awarded Gomez a crucial takedown, offering him a two-point advantage over Sasso, who escaped and cut the lead to 6-5. Gomez came out with the 149-pound title, leaving Sasso with his second runner-up finish in three seasons.


Malik Heinselman (125), Dylan D’Emilio (141) and Ethan Smith (171) fought their way through the consolation brackets to earn top-five finishes at the Big Ten Championships.

Heinselman defeated Nebraska’s Jerimiah Reno in the first round before losing a quarterfinal match to Purdue’s Devin Schroder, which sent him to the consolation bracket. The Castle Rock, Colo., native, beat Michigan State’s Tristan Lujan and Rutgers’ Dylan Shawver to reach the third session. Heinselman dropped a 3-2 decision to Northwestern’s Michael DeAugustino and earned a rematch with Schroder for fifth place. However, Schoder forfeited the match for medical purposes, offering Heinselman an uncontested top-five finish.

D’Emilio beat Northwestern’s Frankie Tal Shahar in the first round in a decision but lost a not-so-close 10-3 decision to No. 2-seeded Jaydin Eierman in the quarterfinals. In wrestlebacks, he defeated Dylan Duncan of Illinois and pinned Parker Filius of Purdue at 3:51. Minnesota’s Jakob Bergeland kept D’Emilio from reaching the third-place match and sent the Buckeye wrestler to face Rutgers’ Sebastian Rivera for fifth-place — a bout Rivera medically forfeited.

Despite a 10-pound increase in weight from last season, Smith looked dominant at the Big Ten Championships. His only loss came against Iowa’s Michael Kemerer, who defeated the Buckeye wrestler in a 5-4 decision. From there, Smith won four-consecutive matches to claim third at 174 pounds. He beat Wisconsin’s Andrew McNally in a 14-3 major decision, Maryland’s Dominic Solis in an 8-5 decision and Nebraska’s No. 3-seeded Mikey Labriola 4-2 in sudden victory. Smith earned a third-place matchup with Northwestern’s Troy Fisher, who medically forfeited.


Top-seeded Carson Kharchla dropped his third-place match at 165 pounds, as did Kaleb Romero at 184. Both wrestlers will earn high seeds at the NCAA Championships later in March.

Kharchla won only two bouts at the Big Ten Championships — a surprising total for the rising collegiate wrestling star. He defeated Nebraska’s Clayton Wilson in the quarterfinals, 7-2, but dropped his semifinals match to No. 4-seeded Cameron Amine of Michigan in a 3-1 sudden victory. In the wrestlebacks, Kharchla won an 11-5 decision over Northwestern’s David Ferrante before earning a third-place bout with Wisconsin’s Dean Himiti.

Like his semifinal match against Amine, Kharchla couldn’t defeat Hamiti in regulation, and the wrestlers went overtime. Hamiti gained the upper hand late in the first sudden victory and earned a two-point takedown to win the match, leaving Kharchla with a fourth-place finish at this first-career conference tournament.

Romero looked poised for a title run-in at 184 pounds, but the redshirt senior met eventual champion Myles Amine in the semifinals and lost the match, 4-2. Before that dual, Romero defeated Northwestern’s Jack Jessen in an 18-5 major decision and Wisconsin’s Christopher Weiler in a 10-2 major decision.

When Romero reached the consolation brackets, he beat Maryland’s Kyle Cochran in a 5-2 decision and earned a third-place bout with Zac Braunagel of Illinois. The two wrestlers were scoreless through the first period before Braunagel took the lead with an escape. Romero responded with an out in the third period but couldn’t capitalize on several striking opportunities in the closing moments. Braunagel earned a two-point takedown and handed Romero a fourth-place finish in sudden victory.


2022 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
March 5-6, 2022; Pinnacle Bank Arena; Lincoln, Neb.
Ohio State – Full Results

125 lbs. / No. 4 seed Malik Heinselman / 5th Place
Round 1: Heinselman major decision over No. 13 Jerimiah Reno (Nebraska) 10-1
Quarterfinals: No. 5 Devin Schroder (Purdue) decision over Heinselman 3-1
Consolation Rd. 2: Heinselman major decision over No. 11 Tristan Lujan (Michigan State) 14-4
Consolation Rd. 3: Heinselman decision over No. 9 Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) 8-3
Consolation Semifinals: No. 7 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) decision over Heinselman 3-2
5th Place Match: Heinselman won by medical forfeit over No. 5 Devin Schroder (Purdue)

133 lbs. / No. 14 seed Dylan Koontz
Round 1: No. 3 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) decision over Koontz 6-2
Cons. Round 1: No. 11 Kyle Burwick (Wisconsin) technical fall over Koontz 19-0 (4:46)
Ninth Place Bracket: No. 10 Dominick Serrano (Nebraska) major decision over Koontz 14-4

141 lbs. / No. 7 seed Dylan D`Emilio / 5th Place
Round 1: D’Emilio decision over No. 10 Frankie Tal Shahar (Northwestern) 7-1
Quarterfinals: No. 2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) decision over D’Emilio 10-3
Consolation Rd. 2: D’Emilio decision over No. 9 Dylan Duncan (Illinois) 5-1
Consolation Rd. 3: D’Emilio fall over No. 11 Parker Filius (Purdue) (3:51)
Consolation Semifinals: No. 5 Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota) decision over D`Emilio 4-3
5th Place Match: D’Emilio won by medical forfeit over No. 3 Sabastian Rivera (Rutgers)

149 lbs. / No. 1 seed Sammy Sasso / 2nd Place
Quarterfinals: Sasso decision over No. 9 Graham Rooks (Indiana) 6-2
Semifinals: Sasso decision over No. 4 Max Murin (Iowa) 3-1
Finals: No. 2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) decision over Sasso 8-5

157 lbs. / No. 9 seed Bryce Hepner
Round 1: Hepner decision over No. 8 Robert Kanniard (Rutgers) 10-6
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) fall over Hepner (4:14)
Consolation Rd. 2: No. 7 Garrett Model (Wisconsin) fall over Hepner (3:16)

165 lbs. / No. 1 seed Carson Kharchla / 4th Place
Quarterfinals: Kharchla decision over No. 8 Clayton Wilson (Nebraska) 7-2
Semifinals: No. 4 Cameron Amine (Michigan) decision over Kharcha 3-1 (SV-1)
Consolation Semifinals: Kharchia decision over No. 11 David Ferrante (Northwestern) 11-5
3rd Place Match: Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) decision over Kharchla 4-3 (SV-1)

174 lbs. / No. 5 seed Ethan Smith / 3rd Place
Round 1: Smith decision over No. 12 Nick South (Indiana) 6-4
Quarterfinals: No. 4 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) decision over Smith 5-4
Consolation Rd. 2: Smith major decision over No. 11 Andrew McNally (Wisconsin) 14-3
Consolation Rd. 3: Smith decision over No. 9 Dominic Solis (Maryland) 8-5
Consolation Semifinals: Smith decision over No. 3 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) 4-2 (SV-1)
3rd Place Match: Smith won by medical forfeit over Troy Fisher (Northwestern)

184 lbs. / No. 3 seed Kaleb Romero / 4th Place
Round 1: Romero major decision over No. 14 Jack Jessen (Northwestern) 18-5
Quarterfinals: Romero major decision over No. 11 Christopher Weiler (Wisconsin) 10-1
Semifinals: No. 2 Myles Amine (Michigan) decision over Romero 4-2
Consolation Semifinals: Romero decision over No. 8 Kyle Cochran (Maryland) 5-2
3rd Place Match: Zac Braunagel (Illinois) decision over Romero 3-1 (SV-1)

197 lbs. / No. 9 seed Gavin Hoffman / 8th Place
Round 1: Hoffman decision over No. 8 Braxton Amos (Wisconsin) 7-5 (SV-1)
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) decision over Hoffman 3-1
Consolation Rd. 2: Hoffman decision over No. 10 Andrew Davison (Northwestern) 5-2
Consolation Rd. 3: No. 4 Jacob Warner (Iowa) decision over Hoffman 4-2
7th Place Match: No. 7 Greg Bulsak (Rutgers) decision over Hoffman 6-1

285 lbs. / No. 8 Tate Orndorff / 8th Place
Round 1: Orndorff decision over No. 9 Luke Luffman (Illinois) 3-2
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Gabe Steveson (Minnesota) technical fall over Orndorff 20-5
Consolation Rd. 2: Orndorff decision over No. 10 Jacob Bullock (Indiana) 7-4
Consolation Rd. 3: No. 5 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) fall over Orndorff (0:46)
7th Place Match: No. 6 Christian Lance (Nebraska) decision over Orndorff 3-2


1. Michigan – 143.0 points
2. Penn State – 141.5 points
3. Iowa – 129.5 points
4. Ohio State – 91.5 points
5. Northwestern – 90.5 points
6. Minnesota – 78.5 points
7. Nebraska – 75.5 points
8. Wisconsin – 68.0 points
9. Rutgers – 41.0 points
10. Purdue – 36.5 points
11. Illinois – 34.5 points
12. Michigan State – 33.0 points
13. Maryland – 15.5 points
14. Indiana – 4.0 points

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