Campbell 125-pounder Eric Montoya was among the 44 at-large wrestlers selected for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, the NCAA announced Wednesday, and will join the Southern
Conference’s 13 automatic qualifiers at the event in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 21-23.
The association also released the brackets for each weight class. The SoCon will have three representatives at 125. League champion Nick Soto of Chattanooga will face Wyoming’s Tyler Cox, the 12th seed in the weight class. Dominic Parisi of Appalachian State, who beat Montoya in a true-place match at the SoCon Championship to claim the league’s second allocated spot in the weight class, will take on Virginia Tech’s Jarrod Garnett, the fifth seed. Should Soto and Parisi win their first-round matches, they would meet in the second round of the championship bracket. Should they both lose, they would meet in the wrestleback round.
Montoya will face sixth-seeded Nahshon Garrett of Cornell in the first round. Montoya’s selection gives the SoCon at least one at-large pick for the 15th straight season. At 133 pounds, Davidson’s Anthony Elias, who won the SoCon title in the weight as the seven seed and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, will take on Northern Iowa’s Levi Wolfensperger, the No. 9 seed in the class.
The Citadel’s Ugi Khishignyam, the SoCon Freshman of the Year and 141-pound champion, is the sixth seed at the weight and will wrestle Anthony Salupo of Lehigh in the first round. Chattanooga’s Dean Pavlou will take on Trevor Melde of Rutgers. Chattanooga’s Alex Hudson will face fifth-seeded Steve Santos of Columbia at 149 pounds, while The Citadel’s Matt Frisch will take on second-seeded Derek St. John of Iowa in the first round at 157. At 165 pounds, Josh Condon of Chattanooga will battle No. 5 seed Steven Monk of North Dakota State. Appalachian State’s Zack Strickland will await the winner of a pigtail match between Indiana’s Ryan Leblanc and Missouri’s Zach Toal.
At 174, Gardner-Webb’s Hunter Gamble will take on ninth-seeded Nathaniel Brown of Lehigh. Campbell’s James Cook, who also won his weight at the SoCon Championship as a seven seed, will face No. 10 seed Jacob Swartz of Boise State in the 184-pound bracket.
At 197, Chattanooga’s Niko Brown will take on No. 9 seed Jake Meredith of Arizona State. Rounding out the SoCon contingent at heavyweight is SoCon Wrestler of the Year Odie Delaney of the The Citadel, who will battle North Dakota State’s Evan Knutson in the first round. The NCAA Wrestling Championships will take place at Wells Fargo Arena.
Photo Courtesy: Zack Strickland, ASU Athletics