NWCA All-Star Classic Kicks off the 2018-19 Collegiate Season

by Andy Hamilton, TrackWrestling

DENVER — Dominique Parrish and Joey McKenna established the trend at the start of Friday night’s National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic. Brittany Marshall and Matthew Kolodzik carried it on at the end.

It was a good night for the favorites at the National Western Complex.

Returning national champions Parrish and Marshall each posted victories against highly ranked opponents on the women’s card, while two-time All-Americans McKenna and Kolodzik turned in impressive victories on the men’s side.

In the first leg of a double-duty weekend to start his senior season at Ohio State, McKenna used a takedown at the end of an action-packed first period to regain the lead and then picked up a four-point near-fall in the second to pull away in a 10-4 victory at 141 against Oklahoma State’s Kaid Brock.

McKenna is scheduled to take an early-morning flight Saturday to meet up with the rest of the Buckeyes in Maryland, where they’ll begin their dual season against Navy.

“The All-Star Classic is always something I wanted to be part of in college wrestling,” McKenna said. “I wanted to wrestle in this event and I’m happy I got a chance to be a part of it. But the first dual of the season starts (Saturday). We’ve got a long grind ahead of us.”

Parrish has a big trip upcoming as well. She’s leaving next week for the U23 World Championships in Romania. If Friday’s performance is any indication, the Simon Fraser senior looks prepared to take on the world.

The top-ranked 123-pounder in the WCWA preseason rankings scored a pair of takedowns in the first period and three more after the break to register a 10-0 technical superiority win against Wayland Baptist’s Gabriela Ramos-Diaz, the No. 1 116-pounder, who moved up a weight to compete at 123.

“This is my first time competing since July,” Parrish said. “I trained more this summer than I have in any summer in my life. I just feel like I’m really comfortable on the mat with my attacks, being in those scrambling positions and fighting for points.”

In a rematch of last year’s 170-pound WCWA title bout, Marshall toppled Campbellsville’s Mariah Harris 3-1. The returning national champion from Wayland Baptist scored a takedown with 41 seconds left after going on the activity clock for the second time in the bout.

Princeton’s top-ranked Kolodzik came out of the gate with six points in the first period and cruised to an 11-7 win at 149 pounds against Duke’s Mitch Finesilver, a two-time Colorado state champion at nearby Cherry Creek High School. It was the first All-Star Classic win in program history for Princeton. The Tigers lost their first five All-Star bouts, including two last year when the event was held at Princeton.

“Finally,” Kolodzik said. “It’s about time. I wish it would’ve been last year when we were in our home gym, but I’ll take the win wherever. It was a good match. I enjoyed it.”

Michigan’s Myles Amine, Nebraska’s Taylor Venz and Oklahoma State’s Derek White collected victories in the other men’s bouts.

Amine blew open a scoreless bout in the second period with an escape, a takedown and a four-point near-fall on his way to a 10-2 major decision against Oklahoma State’s Jacobe Smith in a battle of returning All-Americans at 174 pounds.

Venz scored a pair of first-period takedowns and two more in the third to register a 10-5 victory in a rematch against Cornell’s Max Dean at 184 pounds.

White battled back from an early four-point deficit to force overtime and then scored on a leg attack to knock off Maryland All-American Youssif Hemida 7-5 at heavyweight.

Emmanuel’s Abby Nette, McKendree’s Alexis Porter and Emmanuel’s Maria Vidales scored victories in the other women’s matches.

Nette scored three takedowns and two turns in a 10-0 technical superiority win against Missouri Baptist’s Erika Mihalca at 130 pounds.

Porter, ranked No. 1 at 143 overcame a three-point deficit in the final minute, scoring two points off an exposure and four more on a counter attack to win a 6-3 decision at 143 against King’s Nicole Joseph, who’s ranked No. 1 at 136.

Top-ranked Vidales led 2-0 at the break against No. 2 Charlotte Fowler of Campbellsville before pouring it on after the break with two takedowns and two turns on her way to a 12-0 win at 109.

QUICK LOOK – Results
MATCH 1 – 123: Dominique Parrish (Simon Fraser) 10-0 technical superiority over Gabriela Ramos-Diaz (Wayland Baptist)
MATCH 2 – 141: Joey McKenna (Ohio State) 10-4 decision over  Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State)
MATCH 3 – 130: Abby Nette (Emmanuel) 10-0 technical superiority over Erika  Mihalca  (Missouri Baptist)
MATCH 4 – 285: Derek White (Oklahoma St.)  7-5 decision in Sudden Victory over Youssif Hemida (Maryland)
MATCH 5 – 143: Alexis Porter (McKendree) 6-3 decision over Nicole Joseph (King)
MATCH 6 – 174: Myles Amine (Michigan) 10-2 major decision over  Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State)
MATCH 7 – 109:  Maria Vidales (Emmanuel) 12-0 technical superiority over Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville)
MATCH 8 – 184: Taylor Venz (Nebraska) 10-5 decision over Max Dean (Cornell)
MATCH 9 – 170: Brittany Marshall (Wayland Baptist) 3-1 decision over Mariah Harris (Campbellsville) 
MATCH X – 149: Matt Kolodzik (Princeton) 11-7 decision over Mitch Finesilver (Duke)


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