Al Smith Day 1 Recap and Semi-Finals Preview
The Al Smith Invitational started off with as much hype as ever this year.Â The main reason for the hype was the 130lb weight class that featured 3X state champion Josh Harper, state champion Cashe Quiroga, state runner-up Frankie Porras and state 4th place finisher Will Sheets.Â As usual with a tournament of this caliber there were upsets and surprises throughout the day.Â One of the biggest upsets occurred at the 152lbs weight class where 8th seed Anthony Quiroz of Chesterton beat #1 seed Tyler Baker of Bellmont 3-1 in overtime.Â Quiroz is only a freshman and will be one to watch the rest of the year and the next four years.Â Here is a weight by weight recap and preview of the semi-finals.
#1 Stevens(Merrillville) vs. #4 Moore(Elkhart Memorial)
#2 Ayersman(Lake Central) vs. #3 Brooks(Warsaw)
There were no big upsets at 103lbs as the top four seeds all advanced to the semi-finals.Â Zac Stevens, the #4 ranked wrestler in the state will take on unranked Michael Moore in the semi-finals, while the other semi-final will pit the #5 and #14 ranked wrestlers against eachother when Kyel Ayersman battles Jared Brooks.
#1 Brandon Nelson(Lawrence North) vs. #4 Alex Griesemer(Princeton)
#2 Paul Beck(Mishawaka) vs. #3 Travis Barroquillo(Prairie Heights)
Just like the 103lbs weight class there were no major upsets in the championship round.Â There was a minor upset as Alex Griesemer of Princeton came from behind to beat #14 Alex Gregory in the quarterfinals.Â Gregory was in the lead until Griesemer pulled out a headlock pin late in the third period.Â Brandon Nelson, the #2 ranked wrestler in the state, will take on Griesemer in the top half of the bracket.Â The other semi-final match will be a great one when #5 Paul Beck takes on #12 Travis Barroquillo.
#1 Matt Milton(Center Grove) vs. #4 Cory Hildebrandt(Penn)
#2 Matt Guerra(Mishawaka) vs. #3 Jake Lamb(Lowell)
For the third straight weight class all the top seeds advanced to the semi-finals.Â The 9th, 10th and 11th ranked wrestlers will battle it out for the Al Smith title tomorrow.Â #9 Matt Milton will take on unranked, but dangerous Cory Hildebrandt, while #10 Jake Lamb will face off with #11 Matt Guerra.
#1 Justin Brooks(Warsaw) vs. #4 Zack Thornton(Chesterton)
#2 Anthony Napules(Merrillville) vs. #3 Aaron Garrettson(Peru)
While this weight class advanced the top four seeds, there still was an upset at #8 Matt Adams of Center Grove lost in the quarter-finals to #12 Zack Thornton of Chesterton.Â The semi-finals at this weight will feature four ranked wrestlers.Â #3 at 119lbs Justin Brooks will take on Thornton, while the other semi-final matchup will feature #4 Anthony Napules of Merriville going up against #7 Aaron Garrettson of Peru.
#1 Josh Harper(Mishawaka) vs. #5 Will Sheets(Bellmont)
#2 Cashe Quiroga(Lawrence North) vs. #3 Frankie Porras(Hobart)
This by far is the featured weight class of the tournament.Â All four of these wrestlers have finished in the top four in the state, with two of them coming away with titles last year.Â Add to that two other wrestlers ranked in the top 16 in the state and this is a weight class that is equal to the state finals.Â Will Sheets came away with the only upset as he avenged an earlier loss to Jimmy LaRowe of East Noble to advance to the semi-finals.Â #1 Josh Harper will take on #5 at 125lbs Will Sheets in the top half of the bracket while, #1 at 125lbs Cashe Quiroga will wrestle #2 Frankie Porras in the other semi-final.
#1 Taylor March(East Noble) vs. #5 Ben Sokol(Penn)
#2 Johnny Dillon(Hobart) vs. #3 Paul Manbu-Thompson(Warsaw)
Only one upset in the bracket at 135lbs, when Ben Sokol scored a late takedown to beat #4 seed Jeremy Hill of Jimtown.Â The 2nd and 3rd ranked wrestlers in the state could meet in the finals if they win their semi-final matches.Â #2 Taylor March will take on unranked Ben Sokol, while #3 Johnny Dillon will take on unranked Paul Manbu-Thompson.
#1 Steven Sandefer(Mishawaka) vs. #4 Trace Hall(South Bend Riley)
#2 Jarrod Crump(Center Grove) vs. #3 Ryan Stahl(Elkhart Memorial)
No upsets in this weight, but there are some great semi-final matches that includes all four wrestlers ranked in the top 11 of the weight class.Â #1 and defending state champion Steven Sandefer will take on #8 Trace Hall, while the other semi-final will feature #7 Ryan Stahl wrestling #11 Jarrod Crump.
#1 Zach Corpe(Elkhart Memorial) vs. #5 Tyler Lymburner(South Bend Riley)
#3 Matt Goodwin(Lawrence North) vs. #7 Spencer Stockwell(Chesterton)
This weight had quite a few upsets as #15 Dalton Sparks fell in the quarter-finals to Spencer Stockwell.Â Zach Corpe is the only ranked wrestler still alive for the championship.Â #12 Zach Corpe will face Tyler Lymburner in the top half, while Matt Goodwin will face off with upset minded Spencer Stockwell.
#5 Drake Stein(Princeton) vs. #8 Anthony Quiroz(Chesterton)
#3 Jordan Martin(New Prairie) vs. #7 Dustin Kern(Peru)
This weight class featured the most upsets of the day.Â Only one top four seed survived to see the semi-finals.Â The upsets included Tyler Baker falling to Anthony Quiroz, Drake Stein beating Adam Keener, and Dustin Kern topping Tim Forte.Â The semi-finals will be interesting as Stein will take on Quiroz in the top half and Jordan Martin the only top seed to make it out will take on Dustin Kern.
#1 Quinn Kurtz(Prairie Heights) vs. #4 Richard Morin(Mishawaka)
#2 Trent Busse(Bellmont) vs. #3 Kurt Monix(Lowell)
The semi-finals at this weight class will feature three ranked wrestlers and will definitely be an interesting semi-final.Â #14 Quinn Kurtz will take on unranked Richard Morin and #7 Kurt Monix will take on #16 Trent Busse.
#1 George Lopez(Northwood) vs. #5 Henry Waring(East Noble)
#2 Shelby Mappes(Center Grove) vs. #3 Bryce Grimes(Lawrence North)
This weight is one of the deepest in the tournament with five wrestlers ranked in the top 16 in the state.Â One of the first round match-ups featured two ranked wrestlers when #7 Bryce Grimes beat #15 Kourtney Berry.Â The semi-finals will feature #5 George Lopez against unranked Henry Waring and #4 Shelby Mappes vs. #7 Bryce Grimes.
#1 Brett Worden(Peru) vs. Daniel Sandberg(Lawrence Central)
#2 Travis Kepner(Benton Central) vs. #6 Dustin Boyd(Mishawaka)
This weight class featured the only unseeded wrestler to make the semi-finals, when Daniel Sandberg of Lawrence Central beat two seeded wrestlers to advance to the semi-finals.Â #10 Brett Worden will take on Sandberg in the top half of the bracket, while #15 Travis Kepner will wrestle Dustin Boyd.
#1 Billy Baker(Bellmont) vs. #5 Christian Lentz(Mishawaka)
#2 Nathan Cleveland(Lowell) vs. #3 Kannon Keigley(New Priarie)
This is another great weight class that featured the top three ranked wrestlers in the state along with the #11 ranked wrestler.Â The first semi-final match-up will feature #1 Billy Baker against #3 Christian Lentz and the other semi-final will feature #2 Nathan Cleveland vs. #11 Kannon Keigley.Â This could easily be a preview of the state semi-finals.
#1 James Travis(Merrillville) vs. #4 Pablo Auces(South Bend Riley)
#3 Travis Thomas(Mishawaka) vs. #7 Daniel Meyer(Bellmont)
Only one big upset at this weight class, when #7 seed Daniel Meyer beat Zach Stone in overtime by pin.Â This weight could feature a finals match-up of the #9 and #10 ranked wrestlers in the state.Â #9 James Travis will take on Pablo Auces and #10 Travis Thomas will take on the upset minded Daniel Meyer.