INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA announced the brackets for the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships on Wednesday, revealing the seeding and opponents for the 19 Southern Conference wrestlers who will make the trip to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for the tournament, which runs March 16-18.
Five SoCon wrestlers earned national seeds, with two-time SoCon Wrestler of the Year Appalachian State heavyweight Denzel Dejournette leading the way with a No. 9 seed. He’ll face Oregon State’s Cody Crawford in the first round.
Chattanooga’s Jared Johnson gives the SoCon two seeds at 285 pounds, as he is slotted at No. 11 and will take on Northwestern’s Conan Jennings in the opening round.
The league also earned two seeds at 125 pounds, with SIUE’s Freddie Rodriguez earning the 14 seed and taking on SoCon foe Vito Pasone of Appalachian State in the first round. Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser is the No. 16 seed and will face Clarion’s Jake Gramacki. Rodriguez and Kraisser were both unseeded in the NCAA Championships last year.
Chattanooga’s Bryce Carr is the 13 seed at 184 and will face Army’s Samson Imonode.
At 133, Chattanooga’s Chris Debien is slated to square off with fifth-seeded Stevan Micic of Michigan, while Appalachian State’s Colby Smith drew No. 9 seed Scotty Parker of Lehigh. Campbell freshman Josh Heil will take on Iowa’s Christopher Carton in a pigtail match at 141, with the winner moving on to face the 6 seed, Virginia’s George DiCamillo.
Appalachian State’s Matt Zovistoski drew fifth-seeded Brandon Sorensen of Iowa at 149. At 157, Gardner-Webb’s Ryan Mosley, the SoCon Championship’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, will take on No. 9 seed Joshua Shields of Arizona State, while The Citadel’s Aaron Walker, making his fourth NCAA appearance, will battle No. 16 seed Archie Colgan of Wyoming.
Campbell’s Quentin Perez will also take on a 16 seed, as the SoCon’s representative at 165 will wrestle Minnesota’s Nicholas Wanzek. Two league wrestlers will battle at 174, with SIUE’s Jake Residori, the SoCon champion at the weight, slotted for a pigtail match against Oklahoma’s Matt Reed, and Gardner-Webb’s Austin Trott scheduled to take on North Carolina’s Ethan Ramos in a rematch of a bout from Feb. 10.
Campbell’s Ville Heino and Gardner-Webb’s Hunter Gamble join UTC’s Carr in the 184 bracket, with Heino matched up against No. 10 seed Michael Macchiavello of NC State and Gamble set to take on 11th-seeded Emory Parker of Illinois.
At 197, SIUE’s Jake Tindle will battle Old Dominion’s 10th-seeded Kevin Beazley, while Campbell’s Jere Heino will join App’s Dejournette and Chattanooga’s Johnson in the heavyweight division and will wrestle No. 6 seed Austin Shafer of second-ranked Oklahoma State.