MADISON — The Wisconsin wrestling team put on an impressive display in its home opener, handling Kent State to the tune of a 42-6 final at the UW Field House Thursday night.
Below are a few knee-jerk reactions to some of the night’s highlights. A full match recap will follow late tonight/early Friday morning.
Barnett ignites crowd
In his first collegiate dual meet, true freshman Eric Barnett got the proceedings started with a bang as he scored a first-period pin against Kent State’s Tomas Gutierrez.
Barnett was the aggressor early, nearly scoring a takedown in the opening half of the first period. However, Gutierrez was able to scramble out of it and ultimately force a restart.
It was on that restart Barnett worked his way to the toss that ended in a fall.
The pin was the fourth of the season for the young 125-pounder and his first as an attached wrestler.
Martin overcomes slow start
No. 14 Cole Martin got off to a sluggish start in his 149-pound bout with Kent State’s Kody Komara.
Komara tallied the first three takedowns of the match to jump out to a 6-3 edge.
However, Martin scored in the closing moments of that opening frame to close the gap at 6-5.
A ride out in the second period that featured a pair of near fall points gave Martin a 7-6 lead and 1:46 of riding time entering the third.
An escape plus the additional riding time point lifted Martin to a 9-6 win. The redshirt senior is now 6-2 on the season.
Scharenbrock answers the call at 157
Earlier this week, UW head coach Chris Bono implored wrestlers at several weight classes (157 among them) to step up.
It appears Drew Scharenbrock received his coach’s message, loud and clear.
The redshirt freshman made the most of his first start of the season by pinning Conan Becker in the second period.
After scoring the first takedown, Scharenbrock got reversed. But he recovered with a reversal of his own to take a 4-2 lead into the second.
After a quick escape that preserved his one-minute-plus riding time advantage, he notched another takedown and scrapped his way to a fall. The pin gave the Badgers a 25-0 lead.
Christensen drops his dual meet debut
True freshman Peter Christensen made his first start in a UW singlet on Thursday.
He dropped a 6-1 decision to Colin McCracken.
McCracken scored a quick takedown to open the match. He tallied another one after a Christensen escape to make it 4-1 three minutes into the match.
Christensen chose bottom and was ridden out in the second.
A McCracken escape paired with a riding time point gave Kent State just its second victory of the evening.
UW is still in search of its first dual win at 197 pounds this season.
Be sure to check back later for a complete recap of Thursday night’s dual, including thoughts from UW head coach Chris Bono.