DETROIT, Mich. – Joey Prata and Jake Woodley sit one win away from All-American status after the conclusion of session three at the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Little Caesars Arena.
The two Sooner wrestlers find themselves in what has become not so affectionately known as the blood rounds of the consolation bracket. Win and you’re an All-American. Lose and you go home.
125-pounder Joey Prata had to win three straight matches in the wrestlebacks to get to this point. Two of those victories came in the morning session on Friday. The first came in a 5-2 decision over Chattanooga’s No. 20 Fabian Gutierrez, followed up by a marathon match with No. 21 Taylor LaMont.
A 2021 All-American, LaMont took Prata into the tiebreaker rounds where the OU wrestler would ride the length of the first tiebreaker period and pull off a reversal in the second to claim the match 5-3. Prata will face Northwestern’s No. 10 Michael DeAugustino on Friday evening. The two faced off twice back in the 2019-20 season, splitting the two bouts between them.
Jake Woodley wrestled his way to the championship quarterfinals after two wins on Thursday but lost his lone match in session three to move into the blood rounds. There he will face No. 10 Yonger Bastida of Iowa State for the chance to be a back-to-back All-American. Woodley has beaten Bastida all three times the two wrestlers have faced, including a 1-0 victory at the 2022 Big 12 Championship.
Three Sooners came one match short of the blood rounds, as No. 16 Willie McDougald, No. 15 Anthony Mantanona and No. 27 Keegan Moore all lost their second match on Friday morning to bow out of the tournament.
McDougald’s first match of the third session was the first bout for an OU wrestler to go into bonus periods on the weekend. In the second tiebreaker period, the redshirt freshman from Niagara Falls claimed his second career win via fall over Minnesota’s Michael Blockhus. It is the second straight season that Blockhus has seen his season end on a pin to an OU wrestler, losing via fall to Mitch Moore in the exact same round of last year’s championship.
In the 184 wrestlebacks, Mantanona took a 4-1 decision win over Cal Poly’s No. 16 Adam Kemp before losing a 5-1 decision to Ohio State’s Ethan Smith. Similarly, Moore grabbed a 6-3 win in a Big 12 battle with No. 21 Tate Samuelson of Wyoming before losing 11-6 in the next round.
Sixth-year senior Justin Thomas wrapped up his lengthy career as a Sooner on Friday, finishing with a 94-53 division I record.
FOURTH SESSION MATCHES
(WITH NCAA SEED)
|No. 19 Joey Prata
|No. 23 Tony Madrigal
|No. 30 Jacob Butler
|No. 16 Willie McDougald
|No. 13 Justin Thomas
|No. 15 Anthony Mantanona
|No. 27 Keegan Moore
|No. 13 Jake Woodley
|No. 30 Josh Heindselman