INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA announced the brackets for the 2019 NCAA Championships on Wednesday, revealing the seeding and opponents for the 17 Southern Conference wrestlers who will make the trip to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the tournament, March 21-23. The SoCon will feature six schools and 17 representatives with two wrestlers earning spots at 125, 133 and 174 and three wrestlers earning spots at 149 and 197.
Campbell’s Korbin Meink and Chattanooga’s Alonzo Allen will take on No. 6 Bloomington’s Willy Giard and Minnesota’s Sean Russell, respectively, at 125 pounds. Meink was awarded the 32 seed and Allen was awarded the No. 27 seed. Seeded at 26, Codi Russell (Appalachian State) will take on Iowa’s Austin DeSanto and Noah Gosner (Campbell), seeded at 22, No. 11 Tariq Wilson of North Carolina State, at 133 pounds.
At 174 pounds, No. 17 seeded VMI’s Neal Richards will face off against No. 16 Cornell’s Brandon Womack while No. 18 seeded Campbell’s Andrew Morgan will take on No. 15 Wisconsin’s Ryan Christensen.
Three wrestlers will represent the conference at 149 pounds. Campbell’s Joshua Heil will go up against San Diego State University’s No. 22 seed Henry Pohlmeyer. Heil goes into the tournament seeded 11, the highest seeding out of all the SoCon wrestlers. Earning the No. 32 seed, Chattanooga’s Tanner Smith will take on Michigan’s Malik Amine. Appalachian State’s Matthew Zovistoski, seeded at 29 courtesy of an at-large bid, will face Mizzou’s Brock Mauller.
Rounding out the SoCon’s three-bid weight classes is 15th-seeded Randall Diabe (Appalachian State), Rodney Jones (Chattanooga) and Sawyer Root (The Citadel) at 197 pounds, taking on Jake Woodley (Oklahoma), Ethan Laird (Rider) and No. 11 seed Christian Brunner (Purdue), respectively.
Chattanooga’s Chris Debien, the SoCon champion at 141 pounds and the No. 28 seed, will face Mizzou’s Jaydin Eierman in the opening round on Thursday. Benjamin Barton (Campbell), the SoCon champion at 157 pounds, will face Nebraska’s Tyler Berger. No. 20 seeded Tyler Marinelli (Gardner-Webb), SoCon 165-pound champion, will take on North Dakota State University’s Andrew Fogarty. The No. 32 seed in the 184-pound class, Chris Kober (Campbell) will take on Oregon State University’s Bob Coleman. The conference’s heavyweight champion slotted at No. 28, heavyweight Cary Miller (Appalachian State), will square off against Michigan’s Mason Parris.
The 2019 NCAA wrestling championship will be held at PPG Paints Area in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from March 21-23.