Husker Wrestlers impress at Daktronics Open

Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Brookings, S.D. – 25 Huskers made the trip to the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex. While 17 of the NU wrestlers had their scores count for the team, Alex Thomsen (125), Jevon Parrish (133), Jordan Kelber (133), Peyton Robb (157), Jake Silverstein (157), Luke Weber (157), Austin Emmerson (285) and Christian Lance (285) all wrestled unattached. 18 of the 25 Huskers competing placed in the top six of their weight class. 

Redshirt freshman Mikey Labriola took home first-place at 174 pounds with a perfect 4-0 record. He won his first match by major decision, second by tech. fall, he pinned his third opponent and put in a workmanlike effort to earn a decision in his final bout.

Christian Miller (133 pounds) and Luke Weber (157 pounds) each took second place in their respective weight classes, posting 3-1 records before falling just short in their final match. Tucker Sjomeling (133), Johnny Blankenship (165), Eric Schultz (197) and Christian Lance (285) each took third place. Peyton Robb and Jake Silverstein were set to compete for third place at 157 pounds, but chose not to square off, deciding on a no-contest to end their day.

True freshman Alex Thomsen (125) finished fifth in his weight class, going 2-2 on the day. Collin Purinton, a junior from Banks, Ore., took fifth place at 149 pounds, defeating teammate Zemua Baptista in a major decision, 12-2. A freshman from Temperance, Mich., Austin Emerson had a solid showing at 285 pounds, going 4-2 on the day and also taking fifth. He pinned his opponent in three out of his four wins.

At 133 pounds, Jevon Parrish and Jordan Kelber, who both wrestled unattached, did not place. Parrish went 1-2 on the day, while Kelber went 2-2. Brian Peska also wrestled at 133, finishing in fourth place after going 4-2, with one tech. fall and one pin. Aris Shino (141), a senior from Merino, Colo., finished sixth after going 2-3 on the day.

Four Huskers competed at 149 pounds, with Jordan Shearer having the best performance there, going 3-2 and finishing fourth. Kyle Ruettiger went 1-2 and did not place while Zemua Baptista took sixth place, going 3-3.

Caleb Licking (157), Dalton Peters (165), Anthony Gaona (197) and Cade Svoboda (197) also did not place.

One of the bouts of the day came in the third-place match at 285 pounds. For the second time in four days, Christian Lance and Patrick Grayson squared off in a match to remember. Lance won based on riding time, 3-3 on Thursday. This time, he grinded out a 3-2 victory by decision.

Out of the five NCAA qualifiers who return this season for Nebraska, only Eric Schultz (197) made the trip to the Daktronics Open. Returning All-Americans Chad Red Jr. (141), Tyler Berger (157) and Taylor Venz (184) each won their weight class in 2017. Berger is a three-time champion at the Daktronics Open while Red Jr. won in both 2016 and 2017.

Nebraska opens its dual season against Wisconsin on Nov. 16 at the Devaney Center. Tickets to the Wisconsin dual, as well as each of the seven home duals are on sale now, and can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED.

Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open (Nov. 4, 2018)
Brookings, S.D. (Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex)

125: Alex Thomsen (unattached) – 5th (2-2)
133: Jevon Parrish (unattached) – DNP (1-2)
133: Tucker Sjomeling – 3rd (3-1)
133: Jordan Kelber (unattached) – DNP (2-2)
133: Brian Peska – 4th (4-2)
133: Christian Miller – 2nd (3-1)
141: Aris Shino – 6th (2-3)
149: Kyle Ruettiger – DNP (1-2)
149: Jordan Shearer – 4th (3-2)
149: Collin Purinton – 5th (3-2)
149: Zemua Baptista – 6th (3-3)
157: Peyton Robb (unattached) – T-3rd (4-1)
157: Jake Silverstein (unattached) – T-3rd (3-1)
157: Luke Weber (unattached) – 2nd (3-1)
157: Caleb Licking – DNP (1-2)
165: Dalton Peters – DNP (2-2)
165: Johnny Blankenship – 3rd (3-1)
174: #11 Mikey Labriola – 1st (4-0)
184: Colton Wolfe – 6th (1-3)

197: Anthony Gaona – DNP (2-2)
197: Eric Schultz – 3rd (4-1)
197: Cade Svoboda – DNP (0-2)
HWT: Patrick Grayson – 4th (2-2)
HWT: Christian Lance (unattached) – 3rd (3-1)
HWT: Austin Emmerson – 5th (4-2)