Just the 20 national finalists, and 60 All-Americans remain. Everyone else has been eliminated, and the only thing left is to settle the final order. Some dreams came true last night. Many were crushed. But all - all - are battered, bruised, and sore.
It’s no easy thing to have your dream crushed 10 hours ago, and wake up needing to weigh-in for a third time in as many days. But they’ll do it. Some, content with an All-American award and out of the team race, will go for broke, attempting risky moves and throws they haven’t used since high school. Most, too battered and punch-drunk to fight much longer, will move a little slower than normal. This, friends, is a queer round, full of upsets.
You’ll even see the toll from this brutal event reflected in the crowd. It’s a relatively sparse and mostly somber group who rises at 8am to make their way into the arena. Hoarse throats, raw wounds, so many with deep sadness, but no little pride.
But no little pride.
Welcome to the Medal Round.
More than likely, what you’re about to see on your television screens this morning is an outbreak , a resurgence, some might even call it a plague - ...of sorts - as Ohio State’s vanquished recover to podium spaces.
Be not afraid. The PSU Wrestling Squad go before you always.
Come. Follow them.
And they will give you rest.