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HUSKER WRESTLING: Nebraska Redshirts Shine at Daktronics Open

BROOKINGS, S.D.–(NU Athletics) — Redshirt freshmen Ridge Lovett (133) and Kevon Davenport (149) each won individual championships competing unattached in their respective weight classes to highlight 19 Husker wrestlers who competed at the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open on Sunday.
Fellow redshirt freshmen Alex Thomsen (125) and Bubba Wilson (competing unattached at 157 pounds) also found success in the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, recording runner-up finishes. Altogether, six NU grapplers achieved top-3 finishes in their respective brackets.

Lovett, a four-time Idaho Class 5A state champion, blazed through the 133-pound bracket. Following a first-round bye, Lovett pinned South Dakota State’s Caleb Gross in 36 seconds. The former No. 19-rated recruit then defeated Minnesota’s Brent Jones by major decision, 14-2, before earning a 6-4 decision over South Dakota State’s Zach Price in the 133-pound championship match.

Davenport, the 2019 Detroit Free-Press Athlete of the Year, took a slightly different path to the 149-pound bracket title. Davenport recorded an 18-3 technical fall victory over Minnesota’s Cael Carlson before facing Michael Zarif of Binghamton. Davenport earned a 4-2 decision and was set to face #9 Brayton Lee of Minnesota. Davenport advanced by medical forfeit to the championship match, where he ended things emphatically by pinning Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State) in the first period.

Thomsen (125) improved upon his fourth-place finish at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, winning his first two matches of the day to advance to the 125-pound championship match, where he fell to #18 Patrick McKee (Minnesota).

Wilson (157), the 2019 Kansas Class 6A Wrestler of the Year, won his first three matches by decision before losing to Minnesota’s Baylor Fernandes 11-1 in the 157-pound championship.

Caleb Licking (149) dropped his first match but proceeded to battle back through the consolation bracket, winning four consecutive bouts to earn a third-place finish. Austin Emerson (HWT) won his first match (a 5-3 decision over Blake Wolters of South Dakota State) before moving to the consolation bracket following an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Binghamton’s Joe Doyle. Emerson responded by winning his final two matches of the afternoon to capture third place in the heavyweight bracket.

Johnny Blankenship (157), coming off a second-place finish at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, won four of his six bouts to finish fourth. Freshman John Henrich (165), a three-time Iowa Class 1A state champion, also earned a top-four finish competing unattached.

Junior Zemua Baptista (149) and redshirt freshman Jake Silverstein (165) both competed at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open one weekend ago and recorded top-five finishes this weekend in Brookings.

A quartet of Huskers–Johnathon Ortegon (125), Tucker Sjomeling (133), Dalton Peters (165) and Cade Svoboda (197)–placed sixth in their respective weight classes.

Isaiah Alford (174) competed unattached in a round-robin bracket, finishing fifth. Daniel Monahan (133), Jordan Kelber (141), Jevon Parrish (141) and Colton Wolfe (184) did not place.

No. 5 Nebraska (2-0) continues its season on Friday, Nov. 22, when it hosts Wyoming at 7 p.m. in the Devaney Center. Tickets for the dual against the Cowboys are available on and the dual will also be streamed on BTN+. The Huskers will then travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face the No. 14 Northern Iowa Panthers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. The Nebraska-Northern Iowa match can be streamed on

Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open — Nov. 17, 2019
Brookings, S.D. – Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex

125: Alex Thomsen — 2nd (2-1)
125: Johnathon Ortegon (Unattached) — 6th (1-3)
133: Tucker Sjomeling — T-6th (1-1)
133: Ridge Lovett (Unattached) — 1st (3-0)
133: Daniel Monahan (Unattached) — DNP (0-2)
141: Jordan Kelber — DNP (1-2)
141: Jevon Parrish (Unattached) — DNP (1-1)
149: Zemua Baptista — 5th (2-2)
149: Kevon Davenport (Unattached) — 1st (4-0)
149: Caleb Licking — 3rd (4-1)
157: Bubba Wilson (Unattached) — 2nd (3-1)
157: Johnny Blankenship — 4th (4-2)
165: John Henrich (Unattached) — 4th (2-2)
165: Jake Silverstein — 5th (2-2)
165: Dalton Peters — 6th (1-2)
174: Isaiah Alford — 5th (0-2) (Round Robin)
184: Colton Wolfe — DNP (0-2)
197: Cade Svoboda — 6th (1-3)
HWT: Austin Emerson — 3rd (3-1)

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