Time Not on Meredith's Side in NCAA Wrestling Title Match
CLEVELAND -- 73 seconds.
That's all that stood between Wyoming three-time All-American wrestler Bryce Meredith and a championship int he 141-pound class at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday.
It might have been 73 years.
True freshman Yianni Diakomihalis rallied for four points in the final 72 seconds to pull out a 7-4 decision and claim the national title for himself.
“Bryce wrestled very well,” UW head coach Mark Branch said. “For him to come back and secure a takedown against a guy that is very hard to takedown was incredibly impressive. He did some good things. Yianni (Diakomihalis) is so athletic and flexible that he can do a lot of crazy things. It was an exciting match for the fans but heartbreaking to say the least.”
Meredith entered the finals looking to avenge his only loss of the regular season in this year’s Cliff Keen Invite. The two traded shots, but Diakomihalis struck first with a takedown early in the second period. Meredith quickly escaped and the two took the 2-1 score in to the third. Meredith choose down to start, escaped then scored a takedown for a 4-2 lead with 73 seconds left. Cornell’s freshman then added an escape of his own. After a wild scramble, Diakomihalis secured a cradle for two and added two nearfall points. He would hold on for the 7-4 decision victory.
It was the second trip to the finals for the Cheyenne native. He also finished second as a sophomore in 2016. Meredith also became just the fourth wrestler in program history to accumulate three of more All-American honors in their careers. He now joins Ballinger (1958-60), Reese Andy (1994-96) and Joe LeBlanc (2009-12) in the exclusive club.
The final resume for Meredith at Wyoming is no doubt one for the record books. He leaves with 94 wins at Wyoming, and 109 overall in his career. He and fellow senior Archie Colgan (157 pounds) became the first Cowboys to earn Big 12 titles in Tulsa, Okla., a few weeks ago and he was joined by redshirt freshman Montorie Bridges as an All-American this season. It became the first time since 2013 and fourth of last eight seasons Wyoming had two All-Americans.
“He has nothing to be ashamed of as he’s obviously left la legacy on our program,” Branch added. “Win or lose he goes out there and competes, throws it all on the line. I’m proud of the work he has done for himself, his family and our program. He electrified college wrestling and is one of the superstars. It’s pretty cool to see one of his peers tell him he has changed the game. He has had that kind of impact on not only our program, but the sport.”
Wyoming closes the 2017-18 tied with North Carolina for 18th place in Cleveland, a fourth-place finish at Big 12s, two Big 12 champions, and two All-Americans. It was the 20th top-25 finish and third in a row for the Brown and Gold.
Results for Cowboy Wrestlers at the Championships
141 pounds: No. 1 Bryce Meredith - 4-1
Champ. Round 1: Meredith dec. Colton Schilling (Cal Poly), 5-1
Champ. Round 2: Meredith dec. Vincent Turk (Iowa), 5-2
Quarterfinals: Meredith fall Sa’Derian Perry (EMU), 1:36
Semifinals: Meredith dec. No. 4 Joey McKenna (OSU), 1-0
Finals: No. 3 Yianni Diakomihalis dec. Meredith, 7-4
NCAA Championship Results:
125: No. 3 Spencer Lee (Iowa) dec. No. 4 Nick Suriano (Rutgers), 5-1
133: No. 1 Seth Gross (SDSU) dec. No. 2 Stevan Micic (Michigan), 13-8
141: No. 3 Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. No. 1 Bryce Meredith, 7-4
149: No. 1 Zain Retherford (Penn State) dec. No. 15 Ronnie Perry (Lehigh), 6-2
157: No. 3 Jason Nolf (Penn State) dec. No. 1 Hayden Hidlay (NC State), 6-2
165: No. 3 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) dec. Isaiah Martinez (Illinois), 6-1
174: No. 1 Zahid Valencia (ASU) dec. Mark Hall (Penn State), 8-2
184: No. 1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) fall No. 2 Myles Martin (OSU), 2:29
197: No. 4 Michael Macchiavello (NC State) dec. No. 3 Jordan Haught (VaTech), 3-1
285: No. 1 Kyle Snyder (OSU) dec. No. 2 Adam Coon (Minn), 3-1
Final Team Standings:
1: Penn State -141.5 points
2: Ohio State - 133.5
3: Iowa - 97
4: Michigan - 80
4: NC State - 80
6: Missouri - 61.5
7: Cornell - 48
8: Virginia Tech - 47.5
8: Nebraska - 47
10: Arizona State - 43
T18: Wyoming - 27
T18: North Carolina -27
Total Tournament Attendance: 113,743