On Sunday, the No. 5 Nebraska wrestling team leaned on its youth for a strong showing at the Daktronics Open in Brookings, South Dakota. South Dakota State and No. 15 Minnesota also participated in the open. With only 19 wrestlers traveling, the Huskers were not at full strength as multiple starters did not travel with the team including All-Americans Mikey Labriola, Chad Red Jr., and Taylor Venz.
A pair of freshman dominated the tournament for the Huskers, both going undefeated and winning their weight class. In the 133-pound weight class, freshman Ridge Lovett defeated Brent Jones of Minnesota by a major decision of 14-2, on his way to the championship round which he won 6-4 over South Dakota State’s Zach Price.
In the 149-pound weight class, freshman Kevon Davenport’s path to the championship round included a technical fall and a medical forfeit, before pinning South Dakota State’s Henry Pohlmeyer in the first period of the final.
Two Huskers finished second in their respective weight class, as redshirt freshman Alex Thomsen (125), fell to Patrick McKee of Minnesota in the final round and freshman Bubba Wilson (157) lost to Minnesota’s Baylor Fernandes.
The Huskers also had two wrestlers end the day with third-place finishes, junior Caleb Licking (149) and redshirt freshman Austin Emerson (285).
Fourth-place finishers for the Huskers included freshman John Henrich (165) and junior Johnny Blankenship (157).
Next up for Nebraska is their first non-tournament dual, which is against No. 15 Wyoming at the Devaney Center on Nov. 22.