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Nick Suriano wrestled like he is laser-focused on winning his second national championship in a bout against his former school, Rutgers University, for his new school, the University of Michigan, on Sunday.
Suriano, who became Rutgers' first wrestling national champion when he won the 2019 NCAA 133-pound title, recorded a win by technical fall over Scarlet Knights' second-year freshman Dylan Shawver in a bout at 125 pounds in the Wolverines' 32-8 win in a Big Ten Conference match at Crisler Center, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Both teams wrestled without several starters.
Rutgers (12-4, 2-4), ranked No. 14 nationally, was without two starters.
Second-year freshman and last year's NCAA 184-pound fourth-place finisher John Poznanski was sidelined by an injury sustained Friday night when he was surprisingly pinned by Michigan State's Layne Malczewski in the Scarlet Knights' 20-17 defeat to the Spartans.
If he was available, Poznanski would have wrestled three-time NCAA third-place finisher and four-time national top-four finisher Myles Amine. Rutgers forfeited that weight because it does not have another 184-pounder on its roster.
Scarlet Knights starting 157-pounder Robert Kanniard also did not wrestle for the second straight match.
Michigan (6-1, 2-1), ranked No. 3 nationally, was without three-time NCAA top-four finisher Stevan Micic at 141 pounds and starting 149-pounder Cole Mattin.
Rutgers' only wins came from Sebastian Rivera and Mike VanBrill at 141 and 149 respectively.
Michigan, which bounced back from a 29-6 defeat to No. 1 Penn State on Friday night, won the final six bouts after the match was tied 8-8 and eight of 10 overall.
Two-time NCAA qualifier Will Lewan (157) gave Michigan the lead for good by defeating second-year freshman Al Desantis 8-3.
Included among the Wolverines' wins was a 4-2 win in sudden victory by Patrick Brucki over Greg Bulsak at 197 pounds.
Brucki, who was fourth at 197 in the 2019 NCAA Tournament when he wrestled for Princeton, recorded a takedown 27 seconds into the sudden victory period. It was the third straight defeat for Bulsak after he had won his first 15 bouts.
Suriano, who transferred to Michigan from Rutgers last fall for the final season of his collegiate career, began the match with his overpowering 16-1 win. Sunday was his first bout against Rutgers since his transfer.
He twice had Shawver on his back for two sets of four back points.
The first set came in first period after he recorded a takedown off a double leg move. He also put Shawver on his back while riding him in the third period. Shawver fought off his back both times.
Suriano, who joined Michigan's lineup on Jan. 9, is now 5-0 on the season with two technical falls, two major decisions and a 2-1 win on riding time Friday night over Penn State's Drew Hildebrant.
With Iowa's three-time national champion Spencer Lee sidelined for the season after he decided to undergo knee surgery, Suriano is the favorite to win the 125-pound national champion March 19 in Detroit.
Lee defeated Suriano 5-1 in the 2018 NCAA 125-pound final when Suriano became Rutgers' first national finalist.
Suriano spent two years trying to make the United States Olympic Team at 57 kg for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, COVID testing ended that bid just before the U.S. Olympic Trials last April.
Sebastian Rivera (141) got Rutgers on the board with yet another technical fall.
Rivera, a three-time NCAA top-six finisher and four-time All-American, won by technical fall over redshirt freshman Chris Kim. The score was 19-4.
Kim was taking Micic's place.
Micic also did not wrestle against Penn State and its returning national champion Nick Lee. Lee did not weigh in when Rutgers and Penn State wrestled on Jan. 16.
Rivera (18-0) has earned bonus points in every bout. He has 11 technical falls, three major decisions, two pins and two forfeits.
VanBrill (14-1), a two-time NCAA qualifier, defeated redshirt sophomore Pat Nolan 4-1. He got a takedown in the first period and rode Nolan out in the third.
MICHIGAN 32, RUTGERS 8
125: Nick Suriano (M) tf. Dylan Shawver 7:00 (16-1)
133: Dylan Ragusin (M) d. Joey Olivieri 3-1.
141: Sebastian Rivera (R) tf. Chris Kim 4:34 (19-4)
149: Mike VanBrill (R) d. Pat Nolan 4-1.
157: Will Lewan (M) d. Al Desantis 9-3
165: Cameron Amine (M) d. Andrew Clark 3-1
174: Logan Massa (M) p. Connor O'Neill 4:18
184: Myles Amine (M) by forfeit.
197: Patrick Brucki (M) d. Greg Bulsak 4-2 (Sudden victory period No. 1)
HWT: Mason Parris (M) d. Boone McDermott 10-3.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Rutgers wrestling: Nick Suriano dominates for Michigan