Anthony Ashnault will start the Big Ten Championships right where he left off last year: At the top.
Seven Rutgers wrestlers are seeded in their weight class for the conference tournament, according to a press release Monday afternoon. The seeds are considered preliminary and are subject to slight changes when the coaches meet Friday to finalize brackets.
The two-day, four-session tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday in Bloomington, Ind.
Ashnault is the No. 1 seed in the 141-pound weight class, which he won last season by defeating Penn State's Jimmy Gulibon in the final. He and Penn State's Nick Suriano are the only undefeated four-time NJSIAA champions in New Jersey high school wrestling history.
Suriano is the No. 2 seed at 125 pounds, where he is 16-2 as a true freshman. His only losses are to No. 1 Thomas Gilman of Iowa and an injury default (ankle sprain) in the final dual of the season against Oklahoma State that has left his status for the Big Ten Championships in doubt.
Other Rutgers wrestlers who earned seeds are 133-pounder Scott DelVecchio (No. 9), 149-pounder Ken Theobold (No. 5), 157-pounder John Van Brill (No. 7), 174-pounder Jordan Pagano (No. 6), 184-pounder Nicholas Gravina (No. 7) and heavyweight Razohnn Gross (No. 8).
Rutgers will enter unseeded wrestlers Brandon Paetzell, Dylan Painton and Matthew Correnti in the 125-, 165- and 197-pound weight classes, respectively.
Rutgers' postseason lineup: 2016 vs. 2017
Eight wrestlers are seeded in each weight class except in situations where the Big Ten will receive nine automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Championships. In those five weights -- 133, 141, 157, 174 and 184 -- all 14 wrestlers are seeded.
Here are NCAA automatic qualifier allocations: 125: 7; 133: 9; 141: 9; 149: 6; 157: 9; 165: 7; 174: 9; 184: 9; 197: 7; Heavyweight: 5.
Rutgers was one of just three schools nationally to send wrestlers in all 10 weights to the 2016 NCAA Championships. Nine placed in NCAA qualifier positions at the Big Ten Championships and 125-pounder Sean McCabe earned an at-large berth.
Here are the pre-seeds:
125: 1. Thomas Gilman, IOWA; 2. Nick Suriano, PSU; 3. Tim Lambert, NEB; 4. Ethan Lizak, MINN; 5. Conor Youtsey, MICH; 6. Johnny Jimenez, WIS; 7. Elijah Oliver, IND; 8. Jose Rodriguez, OSU.
133:1. Nathan Tomasello, OSU; 2. Eric Montoya, NEB; 3. Cory Clark, IOWA; 4. Zane Richards, ILL; 5 Stevan Micic, MICH; 6. Billy Rappo, MD; 7. Mitch McKee, MINN; 8. Luke Welch, PUR; 9. Scott Delvecchio, RU; 10. Eli Stickley, WIS; 11. Jason Ipsarides, NU; 12. Austin Eicher, MSU;
13. Garrett Pepple, IND; 14. Triston Law, PSU.
141: 1. Anthony Ashnault, RU; 2. Jimmy Gulibon, PSU; 3. Tommy Thorn, MINN; 4. Colton McCrystal, NEB; 5. Luke Pletcher, OSU; 6. Topher Carton, IOWA; 7. Javier Gasca III, MSU; 8. Cole Martin, WIS; 9. Salvator Profaci, MICH; 10. Alec McKenna, NU; 11. Cole Weaver, IND; 12. Kyle Ayersman, PUR; 13. Ryan Diehl, MD; 14. Mousa Jodeh, ILL.
149: 1. Zain Retherford, PSU; 2. Brandon Sorensen, IOWA; 3. Micah, Jordan, OSU; 4. Alfred Bannister, MD; 5. Kenny Theobald, RU; 6. Andrew Crone, WIS; 7. Eric Barone, ILL;8. Chris Perez, IND.
157: 1. Jason Nolf, PSU; 2. Michael Kemerer, IOWA; 3. Tyler Berger, NEB; 4. Jake Short, MINN
5. Kyle Langenderfer, ILL; 6. Brian Murphy, MICH; 7. John Van Brill, RU; 8. Jake Danishek, IND
9. TJ Ruschell, WIS; 10. Alex Griffin, PUR; 11. Jake Ryan, OSU; 12. Austin Thompson, MSU
13. Justin Alexander, MD; 14. Ben Sullivan, NU.
165: 1. Isaiah Martinez, ILL; 2. Logan Massa, MICH; 3. Isaac Jordan, WIS; 4. Vincenzo Joseph, PSU; 5. Joey Gunther, IOWA; 6. Nick Wanzek, MINN; 7. Dustin Williams, NEB; 8. Drew Hughes, MSU.
174: 1. Bo Jordan, OSU; 2. Mark Hall, PSU; 3. Zach Brunson, ILL; 4. Myles Amine, MICH; 5. Alex Meyer, IOWA; 6. Jordan Pagano, RU; 7. Jacob Morrissey, PUR; 8. Devin Skatzka, IND; 9. Micah Barnes, NEB; 10. Chris Pfarr, MINN; 11. Ryan Christensen, WIS; 12. Drew Barnes, MSU
13. Josh Ugalde, MD; 14. Braxton Cody, NU.
184: 1. Bo Nickal, PSU; 2. Sammy Brooks, IOWA; 3. Nate Jackson, IND; 4. Myles Martin, OSU; 5. TJ Dudley, NEB; 6. Emery Parker, ILL; 7. Nick Gravina, RU; 8. Hunter Ritter, WIS; 9. Mitch Sliga, NU; 10. Bobby Steveson, MINN; 11. Tanner Lynde, PUR; 12. Ernest Battaglia, MICH; 13. Shwan Shadaia, MSU; 14. Idris White, MD.
197: 1. Brett Pfarr, MINN; 2. Kollin Moore, OSU; 3. Aaron Studebaker, NEB; 4. Matt McCutcheon, PSU; 5. Ricky Robertson, WIS; 6. Jacob Berkowitz, NU; 7. Cash Wilcke, IOWA; 8. Christian Brunner, PUR.
285: 1. Kyle Snyder, OSU; 2. Connor Medbery, WIS; 3. Nick Nevills, PSU; 4. Michael Kroells, MINN; 5. Collin Jensen, NEB; 6. Brooks Black, ILL; 7. Youssif Hemida, MD; 8. Razohnn Gross, RU.
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