Defending NCAA 157-pound champ Kyle Dake has moved up a weight class for this season... which you would think would be good news for the remaining '57s.
Except that Dake's departure has made the weight class wide-open for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships which take place in Des Moines March 21-23.
The top seed at 157 is Jason Welch of Northwestern, 2013 Big Ten champ and 2012 NCAA All-American. But this year's 157 bracket is chock full of talent, including a half-dozen 2012 NCAA All-Americans among the twelve seeds for the 2013 NCAAs. In addition to Welch (who placed fourth in 2012), other All-Americans who will be competing again at 157 include Derek St. John (2012 runner-up), Dylan Alton (third), James Fleming (fifth), James Green (seventh), and Walter Peppelman (eighth).
Looking back at the 2012 NCAAs: Dake, the top seed at 157 last year, defeated the No. 2 seed Derek St. John, 4-1, in the finals in St. Louis one year ago. It was the third title for Dake in three years, each at a different weight.
Meet the seeds: Of the 33 wrestlers in the 157-pound bracket at the 2013 NCAAs, twelve are seeded… and one-third of those are originally from the state of Pennsylvania.
- Jason Welch, Northwestern: This redshirt senior from Walnut Creek, Calif. brings a 30-1 season record – and the 2013 Big Ten conference title – to the 2013 NCAAs.
- Derek St. John, Iowa: Originally from Purcell, Iowa, this redshirt junior has a 26-2 record, and placed third at the 2013 Big Tens.
- Joey Napoli, Lehigh: A sophomore from Boiling Springs, Pa. has 18 wins and two losses this season.... and the 2013 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) title.
- James Green, Nebraska: This Cornhusker, a native of Willingboro, N.J., was 20-4 as a sophomore. He was pinned by Welch in the 2013 Big Ten finals.
- James Fleming, Clarion: A senior from West Mifflin, Pa., Fleming has a 28-2 mark. He was forced to withdraw from the 2013 Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) finals because of a medical forfeit.
- Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State: This redshirt freshman from Port Washington, Wis. is 30-2, and 2013 Big 12 champ.
- Jesse Dong, Virginia Tech: A product of Westerville, Ohio, Dong is a redshirt senior with a 23-3 record, and the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) crown.
- Dylan Alton, Penn State: This sophomore from Mill Hall, Pa. brings a 24-6 season.
- Frank Hickman, Bloomsburg: This redshirt junior from Castle Hayne, N.C. -- who won the 2013 EWL title by medical forfeit -- is 27-4 this year.
- R.J. Pena, Oregon State: A runner-up from the 2013 Pac-12 conference championships, this native of Salem, Ore. is 32-5 as a junior.
- Walter Peppelman, Harvard: This senior from Harrisburg, Pa., brings a 17-2 record and runner-up from the 2013 EIWAs.
- Jedd Moore, Virginia: The runner-up from the 2013 ACC championships is 29-6 as a redshirt senior from Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
First matches for the top four seeds: Here are the first-round match-ups for the top four seeds in the 157-pound bracket at the 2013 NCAAs:
- No. 1 seed Welch vs. unseeded Nestor Taffur of Buffalo, 33-5
- No. 2 seed St. John vs. unseeded Matthew Frisch of The Citadel, 29-12
- No. 3 seed Napoli vs. unseeded Tyler Walsh of Indiana, 29-10
- No. 4 seed Green vs. unseeded Kyle Bradley of Missouri, 26-13
Want to know more? For complete brackets for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, click here. And check out all College Wrestling Examiner articles on the 2013 NCAAs.
This is just the beginning! In the week leading up to the 2013 NCAAs, College Wrestling Examiner will be providing a detailed "Mat Bracketology" preview for each of the ten weight classes... and more. Click the "subscribe" button to make sure you don't miss a single article.
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