Wolverines win big at first Joe Wells Classic
The Michigan wrestling team was down, 6-0, and decided to turn to redshirt sophomore George Fisher to get the team going. For a sudden and much-needed victory, Fisher defeated Oregon State’s Jack Hathaway, 3-1, to break the Beaver shutout and catapult No. 13 Michigan to a 13-0 scoring run.
The scoring run launched the Wolverines (1-0 Big Ten, 5-1 overall) to a come-from-behind victory over the Beavers (3-4).
The Wolverines continued to show signs of dominance after Fisher’s victory when sophomore Alec Pantaleo took to the mat and carried the momentum from Fisher’s victory.
Pantaleo started his match strong with two quick takedowns and ended the first period with a 4-1 lead. In the second period, Pantaleo took control of his opponent, scoring both a takedown and a four-point near fall to give him a 10-2 lead going into the third period. Pantaleo finished off his match with three takedowns in the third period, leading to an 18-4 personal victory and a 7-6 overall lead for Michigan in the match.
But this wasn’t Pantaleo’s first time facing redshirt junior Joey Delgado.
“I wrestled that kid actually a month before at the Cliff Keen tournament and it was only a two or three-point match,” Pantaleo said. “I watched my match against him. I knew exactly what he was gonna do, and that’s why when I wrestled him, I didn’t go charging at him. I stayed back. The wrestling was a lot smarter. The little tweaks make a big difference.”
After going up 7-6, the Wolverines did not look back, losing only one of the six remaining matches. Another burst of dominance came right after Pantaleo’s match, when junior Brian Murphy earned a pin over Oregon State wrestler Abraham Rodriguez in the second period of their match. After a four-point near fall in the first period, Murphy finished off his opponent with the pin to give Michigan a 13-6 lead.
“I brought up the intensity a little bit,” Murphy said. “I think that he wasn’t going to be able to hang with me, and I was able to eventually get the pin.”
After an Oregon State victory to push the score to 13-9, Michigan turned to redshirt sophomore Davonte Mahomes to regain the momentum.
After leading 4-1 after the second period, Mahomes turned up the intensity and scored 10 points, en route to a major decision with a 14-2 victory. This gave the Wolverines a 17-9 lead and squashed any hopes of a Beaver comeback.
“At first I started off a little slow,” Mahomes said. “But once I got really into the match, I started getting warmer and was constantly thinking scoring point after point.”
The team effort put away Oregon State, and helped Michigan ended the match on a 14-0 scoring run, leading the Wolverines to a 27-9 final victory.
“I’m happy with the way that I’m training and the way the team is training and how everything is looking right now,” Mahomes said. “It’s very important. It’s a team, so everyone has to perform at that high level, at the high caliber.”