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Thread: Mark Branch

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  1. #1
    Olympic Champ ISU2008's Avatar
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    Default Mark Branch

    Every year someone asks who the biggest surprise champs were, and every year Mark Branch gets mentioned, going into NCAAs his freshman year with a 8-9 record and winning. Now knowing Branch was a 4-time finalist going 1-2-2-1, the real question is how did he have such a bad record going into NCAAs?
    You do the math..... I'll do the alfredo!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Weird things happen. Not quite the same but how did Kerry McCoy go from a pretty weak 190 pounder to a HWT champ in one year?

    Perhaps he didn't wrestle too many matches that year and lost to all the ranked guys but picked it up when it mattered. I heard after winning NCAAs he went to Espoir Nationals and went 0:2.

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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Big View Post
    Perhaps he didn't wrestle too many matches that year and lost to all the ranked guys but picked it up when it mattered.
    Pretty much nailed it. To start, Big 8 was pretty deep that year, Frey from Mizzu was pretty much #1 all year, and OU had a good guy that was a multiple time AA, so his conference duals were all tough. OSU won National duals that year, and don't think he won many or any of those matches. I remember in our dual (#1 OSU vs. #2 Oregon State) our coaches bumped SR 158 lb. AA Dan Alar up to 167, to get a "sure win" against a sub .500 freshman (Smith was @158) only to have it backfire........we were all like........ "who was that guy?"
    I think that was the start of the legend!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Didn't Cornell pull the same sort of thing when they took fourth a few years ago? I think that's where this Rob Koll quote comes from: "When I told them the only thing that mattered was NCAAs, I didn't think that they'd take me literally."

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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    He also had things fall into place for him at NCAAs. The guy he faced in the finals was also unseeded, which I believe I have read was the only finals matchups of two unseeded wrestlers.

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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Also, it seems he was in a relatively weak weight that year. None of the AAs and Branch have done anything internationally.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Branch beat the #2 seed in the first round and then never faced another seeded wrestler. He was in line to wrestle Brinzer in the semis, but Ray got beat in the quarters.

    All that being said - Mark Branch was GOOD. We've all seen freshmen who struggled in the beginning.

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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Big View Post
    Also, it seems he was in a relatively weak weight that year. None of the AAs and Branch have done anything internationally.

    I know you want this, so here ya go.
    DNP-Charles Burton-Olympina
    DNP-Brandon Slay-Gold
    That was a week weight class......internationally speaking.

  9. #9
    Olympic Champ ISU2008's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mark Branch

    Branch beat the 7 seed in the quarters and the 6 seed in the semis.
    You do the math..... I'll do the alfredo!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

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