Junior heavyweight Youssif Hemida dominates Ohio State's Kevin Snyder in Maryland's 45-3 loss to the Buckeyes. (Maryland Athletics)

Hemida the lone bright spot as Terps drop dual meets, Gerish wins F&M Open

The Maryland wrestling team (3-6, 0-6) was unable to secure a win from its three meets this weekend, however, junior heavyweight Youssif Hemida shined to keep his undefeated conference record and redshirt junior Patrick Gerish won the F&M Open.

Maryland’s action-packed weekend began with its dual meet against powerhouse Ohio State (8-0, 3-0) on Friday. Hemida scored the Terps’ only points in their 45-3 loss to the Buckeyes.

Several Terps then competed in the F&M Open the next day, where Gerish captured first place in the 165-pound weight class. To wrap up the three-day action, the Terps dropped another conference dual meet to the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-3, 1-1) on Sunday, losing 48-3.

Coming into the Ohio State match, it was clear that the Terps would have their hands full with 10 Buckeyes ranked in the top 11. The Terps’ struggles began with Brandon Cray’s bout against No. 1 Nathan Tomasello in the 125-pound weight class. Cray was unable to gain an advantage over Tomasello and lost the bout by way of technical fall in the first period.

The Terps fell victim to the strength of Ohio State in the following bouts. The Buckeyes’ No. 3 Luke Pletcher won the 133-pound battle against redshirt senior Jhared Simmons with an 18-6 majority decision, while Ryan Diehl also dropped his bout to Ohio State’s No. 6 Joey McKenna by a 23-5 technical fall.

In the 157-pound weight class, redshirt junior Justin Alexander suffered an injury, leading to an injury default and victory for the Buckeyes. Also suffering an injury was Terps’ Josh Ugalde in his 174-pound matchup with Ohio State’s Fritz Schierl. These two key injuries led to the Terps forfeiting in both weight classes in their dual meet against Nebraska.

The following two bouts yielded the same results as previous bouts, with the Buckeyes securing wins in the 184-pound and 197-pound weight classes. Jahi Jones and Mansur Abdul-Malik, both making their dual meet debut, fell to No. 2 Myles Martin and No. 1 Kollin Moore, respectively, by way of fall.

In the final bout of the dual meet, heavyweight Hemida was set to face off against Kevin Snyder, the younger brother to Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 heavyweight Kyle Snyder. Hemida took an early lead in the first period that he would never surrender, and after a Snyder takedown was reversed upon review, Hemida secured the 8-1 win by decision. This gave the Terps three points to the Buckeyes’ 45.

The next day brought victory for another Terp, as Gerish took the championship in the 165-pound weight class at the F&M Open. Gerish posted an impressive 5-0 record at the tournament, including a 7-3 victory over his Maryland teammate Philip Spadafora in a semifinal match. Gerish closed out his championship run with a 6-0 win over Bryce Rodgers of Brown University. This is Gerish’s second first-place tournament finish after winning the Cleveland State Open on Dec. 16.

The Terps then travelled to Lincoln, Nebraska for a conference dual meet with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Redshirt sophomore Brendan Burnham started the action for the Terps, but had a tough task ahead of him in the form of No. 10 Isaiah White, who leads his team in total takedowns as a sophomore.

Hemida gained the only points for Maryland in the meet with a 7-4 win by decision over David Jensen. In the 125-pound match up, redshirt freshman Brandon Cray looked to build off of Hemida’s momentum. Cray was able to keep the score close throughout two periods but eventually fell to Mitchell Maginnis, 9-4 by decision.

Freshman Danny Bertoni made his dual meet debut in a 133-pound weight class bout against Jason Renteria for the Huskers. Bertoni lost by pin, as did Ryan Diehl and Alfred Bannister in their respective weight classes.

The Terps will be looking to bounce back in their upcoming non-conference matches against Navy on Jan. 12 and both Harvard and Brown on Jan. 14. Their next home and conference dual meet will be against Penn State on Jan. 21.