NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – The tradition-rich NCAA Division III Midwest Regional appears set for more for more top-notch competition Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25.
Meet details: Wrestling gets underway at 11 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., with Manchester University as the institutional host … Live audio, results and video can be accessed via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Fans can also check out the official social media accounts of the 2017 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships at (@17NCAAD3MRW – getting involved in the conversation by using the hashtag #D3MidwestWR) Twitter; (d3midwestregionals) Instagram; (https://www.facebook.com/d3midwestregionals/) Facebook; and (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX2h9qxFUXLhS0GGDvD0iWA) YouTube. A special SnapChat filter, created for the event, will be accessible in the coliseum and at nearby Fort Wayne businesses.
Meet Glance: Taking a look at the recent National Wrestling Association Division III rankings, the tournament is ripe with ranked individuals and teams. Two programs, UW-La Crosse (No. 5) and UW-Whitewater (No. 10), are among the top 10, while Olivet College of Michigan (No. 11) and Wabash College (No. 24) make it a quartet of ranked schools on the roster.
Individually, the meet landscape looks as follows …
125 - Wheaton College of Illinois' Carlos Fuentez is ranked No. 6 and Zac Denny of UW-Whitewater is No. 7 on the NWCA poll, while Denny is third and Fuentez sits eighth on the D3Wrestle.com listing. Elmhurst College's Anthony Munoz could also play a key role in the outcome, as he is mentioned in the Contender's class at 125.
133 – This weight class is one of the meet's more loaded, as UW-La Crosse's Ryan Weinmann; Elmhurst College's Jared Braun; and UW-Whitewater's Joe Brodman hold down the number eight through 10 rankings in the NWCA. Their order is almost flipped on D3Wrestle.com as Brodman is sixth; Weinmann is seventh; and Braun is ninth. Wabash's fabulous freshman Owen Doster and Olivet College of Michigan's Jared Brickley may add to the drama, as they were each noted as possible contenders on D3Wrestle.com
141 – It's another rugged terrain to traverse for the top three spots that earn national qualifier berths. Top-ranked Dustin Weinmann of UW-La Crosse leads the way and is followed closely by Manchester University's Chase Wilson (No. 7) and North Central College of Illinois' Layten Binion (No. 8) on the coaches rankings. D3Wrestle.com shows the trio at No. 1 (Weinmann); No. 3 (Binion); and No. 4 (Wilson); with Elmhurst College's Ronnie Hauser at No. 8. Four other individuals add to the depth of the class, as defending 133-pound national champion Devin Broukal of Wabash; UW-Whitewater's Devin Tortorice; Olivet College of Michigan's Curtis Blackwell; and the University of Chicago's Grant Morrison were mentioned by D3Wrestle.com as Contenders and Honorable Mention individuals.
149 – The duo of Olivet College's Austin Kelley and UW-La Crosse's Mason Geary, ranked No. 6 and 7, respectively, by the NWCA, headlines the group. Wabash College's Griffin Schermer; North Central's Ben Williamson; and Ohio Northern's Evan Morgan were also recognized by D3Wrestle.com.
157 – Wabash College's Nick Bova, at No. 4, is the only competitor ranked on the NWCA poll. The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tandem of UW-La Crosse's Jackson Schoen and UW-Whitewater's Austin Quartullo have earned mention from D3Wrestle.com.
165 – One of the two classes with a returning national champion holds residence on this avenue. UW-Stevens Point's Logan Hermsen, who stood atop the awards podium at last year's national meet, comes in ranked No. 1 by the NWCA and D3Wrestle.com. Wabash College's Connor Brummett holds down the No. 8 slot on the NWCA poll and is No. 7 at D3Wrestle.com. The website adds Elmhurst College's Tim Noverini at No. 9, while Olivet College of Michigan's Davon Jackson, who's also seen time at 174, and Wheaton College of Illinois' Stephen Aiello are mentioned as Contenders.
174 – Two wrestlers, UW-La Crosse's Richard Carlson (No. 3) and Wheaton College of Illinois' Logan Walkup (No. 9) are ranked by the NWCA. D3Wrestle.com sees this as a potential wide open affair, as they have Wabash College's Darden Schurg; UW-Whitewater's Nick Bonomo; and Olivet College of Michigan's Tyler Grimsley mentioned in the Contender and Honorable Mention sections.
184 – UW-Whitewater's Jordan Newman, at No. 3, spotlights three ranked NWCA athletes. Alex Friedman of UW-La Crosse (No. 9) and Jared Feteke (No. 10) of Wheaton College of Illinois are also listed. The University of Chicago's Jason Lynch, who's also competed at 174, is on D3Wrestle.com's Honorable Mention section.
197 – Three-time defending national champion Riley LeFever of Wabash, who's also a local boy as an alum of Fort Wayne (Carroll) High School, is the only individual ranked by the NWCA, as he holds down the top spot. First-year program Otterbein University of Ohio's Drew Kasper and Wheaton College of Illinois' Mikey Swider aren't ranked by either D3Wrestle.com or the coaches poll but are listed as contenders by D3Wrestle.
Heavyweight – This is the only class without an NWCA or D3Wrestle.com top 10 ranked wrestler. Three combatants earned status as either Contenders or Honorable Mention from D3Wrestle, though. Olivet College of Michigan's Jesse Judge; North Central College of Illinois' Emonte Logan; and Wabash College's Sam Hipple made up the noted trio.
2017 NCAA Division III Championships: The top three placewinners at each class represent the Midwest Region Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11, at the La Crosse Center, in La Crosse, Wis.