It’s Sunday morning and some may be getting ready to watch some football, but many of us here in Wisconsin have watched our season go down the drain. Instead I am getting ready to watch the Garden State Grapple! Our #10 Wisconsin Badgers have two duals today; first against #13 Princeton at 1pm CT and second against Penn at 3pm CT. (If you look at team dual rankings Penn is ranked #14.)
As a dual team the Badgers are currently ranked #9 and as Princeton is not ranked. So this dual should be a smooth win for the Badgers. However there is a couple of highlights to this dual. At 157 pounds senior and currently 4-0 #16 Garrett Model will be squaring off against #1 Quincy Monday. This will surely be the biggest test of the season for Model. Monday has excellent defense so it will take some very clean attacks by Model if he wants to finish a takedown.
Another match to keep yours eyes on is again at 197 with #24 Braxton Amos as he will square off with #22 Luke Stout. Both of these wrestlers are sophomores so it would not be surprising to see them wrestle each other again in their careers. However, this time, Amos needs this victory. This match will tell us Wisconsin fans a lot of where Amos stands in the national rankings. He has had close matches with top guys in the country, but we should be expecting him to get it done here.
In our second dual of the of the day #10 Wisconsini will take on unranked Penn. Penn has a great dual team so this match will take a complete effort by our Badgers. The Badgers will be favored at 125 with #6 Barnett taking on #23 Ryan Miller. Look for Barnett to get rolling early and put up a lot of points in this one. Then at 133 #16 Taylor Lamont will be taking on Penn’s #10 wrestler Michael Colaiocco. Colaiocco is very tough and Lamont will need to bring his A game today. Moving on #14 Zargo will be the favorite in his match.
That brings us to maybe the marquee match of the dual as #2 Austin Gomez will square off with #10 Doug Zapf. Gomez has been wrestling lights out lately and hopefully he continues that here, but Zapf is no slouch.
At 157 #16 Garret Model’s tough test continues as he will face #14 Anthony Artalona. Artalona is a wrestler who has spent time in the top 10 but is currently at 14. Surely a tough test for Model, but this could be his biggest win on the season. Model needs to have good positioning throughout the entirety of this match to get the job done.
At 165 I expect us to see #5 Dean Hamiti. Last time he wrestled at the NWCA All Star Classic I was convinced he hurt his ankle and looked off during that match. I stand by that thought, however my hope is that it was not too bad because he continued to wrestle. So, this weekend I expect Hamiti to win both his matches but I am eager to see if there looks like any lasting effects.
At 174 I believe we will see freshman James Rowely and at 184 I believe Tyler Dow. Both will have winnable matches for the Badgers. At 197 #24 Braxton Amos will wrestle Cole Urbas who just had a crazy 10-11 match where he lost to #2 Jacob Warner late. This match will be a battle and the mat wrestling could decide the winner. At HWT #11 Trent Hilger will face #24 Ben Goldin. Hilger is obviously the favorite and I hope to see him on his offense with an early takedown and for him to go to work on top after that.
THe Badgers are favorites in the dual, but there are a lot of competitive matchups so it should make for an exciting bout throughout the entire dual. My own brain tells me the Badgers will fly home this weekend with two more victories, making our dual meet record 5-1.