Who Just Beat Carson Kharchla At Ohio State Wrestle-Offs?


The most notable result in all of this season’s wrestle-offs in D1 wrestling happened at Ohio State last night when Buckeye junior Bryce Hepner took out All-American Carson Kharchla.    

COMPLETE OHIO STATE WRESTLE OFF DETAILS HERE

Knotted at one going into the third, Kharchla chose bottom and was ridden out by a stingy ride of Hepner.  Going into the third, Kharchla was in on multiple attacks and had a takedown awarded, only to be waved off after a review.  A stall point for Kharchla looked like it’d be the difference until the leg ride of Hepner kept Kharchla down for two straight minutes in the third.

Coming into this season, comparing both wrestlers résumé’s, this was not expected at all.  Carson was the bluest of blue chip recruits coming into Ohio State, and lived up to the billing last year downing All-American’s Alex Marinelli, Dean Hamiti, Jake Wentzel, and Peyton Hall.  His 7th place finish put the finishing touches on a fine first season as the Ohio State starter.

Conversely Hepner battled injuries much of last year before wrestling at Big 10’s at 157, going 1-2.  Hepner was 12-6 in the 21-22 season with losses to several unranked wrestlers.

Hepner is a product of the Northeast Ohio juggernaut St. Edward’s, one of the most storied high-school programs in all of wrestling.  The redshirt junior was a two-time OHSAA champ for the Eagles before heading to Columbus. 

What this result means long-term for Ohio State’s lineup is still up in the air, though there’s little expectation that Kharchla won’t ultimately be the guy for Tom Ryan’s Buckeyes.  Typically wrestle-off results are one part of the equation for figuring out who starts for the team. How the athletes perform against competition outside the team is how coaches ultimately decide who will be their starter for the season.

This brings next week’s MSU Open into focus where you can likely expect both Buckeye 165 pounders to take the mat in a competitive field. 

One additional wrinkle is Hepner being certified to wrestle down at 157.  With Paddy Gallagher the current starter, it’s possible Hepner makes the descent and challenges for 157 once he’s allowed to compete at that weight.  A path to a long-term starting position for Hepner appears more attainable at 157. 

165 isn’t the only weight of note for Ohio State as Jordan Decatur knocked off Ohio State’s 2022 141 pound starter Dylan D’Emilio with a late (and perhaps a tad controversial) escape and takedown combo in the final 10-seconds of the match for a 1 point victory.  Decatur won the wrestle-off last year, but missed the season with injury.  D’Emilio is currently ranked 9th at 141 pounds. 

For more information on the Michigan State Open, check out Jon Kozak’s preview here





Source link