We had several guys choose to wrestle unattached this past weekend at 4 different tournaments. It is common for college wrestlers to attend open tournaments. As long as they do so on their own it is allowed per NCAA rules. I was pleased so many guys chose to take advantage of the opportunities to test their skills in competition.
On Friday, I was able to watch Sahid Kargbo compete at the NYAC International Tournament. This tournament is a qualifier for the Olympic trials. Sahid competed in the Greco-Roman competition. He finished 2-2 and learned that he is truly in the mix to make the Olympic team. He lost by decision to the USA representative at the last Olympic Games and to the #2 ranked USA wrestler in his weight class. His last loss was determined by a few calls by the official that I did not agree with and I did not respond in a manner I would have liked. I need to be thankful for the willingness of the official to help provide an opportunity for the athletes to compete.
On Saturday, we had two freshmen compete unattached at the Virginia Beach Nationals. Logan Harvich and Nevin O’Brien both won the tournament. Both won by fall in the finals. Nevin won 4 matches all by fall. It was a great start for them as college wrestlers.
On Saturday, we had a car full of guys compete at the Pembroke Classic Tournament. Once again, we had a true freshman win the tournament. Matt Raines was able to score the winning takedown in his finals bout with a few ticks left on the clock. Matt won 5 matches on the day. Ibrahim Bunduka lost his opening bout and stormed back to win 6 straight bouts (including a win over the guy he had lost to in his first match) to place 3rd. Luke Ludke finished the day with a 4-2 record and 5th place finish overall. Finally, Austin Harrison and Brenden May both won matches, but did not place.
On Sunday, we had other guys enter the Hokie Open and wrestle unattached. In the Freshman/Sophomore division, Matt Voss placed 5th (3-1 record including 2 pins) and Cameron Houston placed 4th. Konbeh Koroma won the 149lb open division. He was 5-0 on the day with all of his wins coming over other NCAA D1 competitors (Columbia, ODU, Stanford and 2 guys from West Virginia). There was lots of chatter about Konbeh’s performance. He impressed lots of people.
I followed all of the Open tournaments via web sites, texts and phone calls. It was tough not being able to cheer the guys as they competed, but it was great to be able to follow the matches in real time. Back in the day, I would hope to get results the following day or via Amateur Wrestling News about a month after the fact. I enjoyed technology advances this past weekend.
We are less than 2 weeks away from our official opener at the Navy Classic. This weekend a few guys have chosen to compete in an Open, while most guys will stay home to prepare for the season opener. It is an exciting time of the year.