2017 NCAA Preview: 125 lbs.

2016 Champion – Lucas Malmberg, Messiah

Central 1 CJ Pestano Central
Central 2 Arnulfo Olea Wartburg
Central 3 Travis Jones Millikin
East 1 Zachary Beckner Ferrum
East 2 Brenden Velez Delaware Valley
East 3 Jacob Donato NYU
Mideast 1 Jonathan Haas Brockport
Mideast 2 Lucas Malmberg Messiah
Mideast 3 Chris Doyle Baldwin Wallace
Midwest 1 Zac Denny Whitewater
Midwest 2 Carlos Fuentez Wheaton
Midwest 3 Anthony Munoz Elmhurst
Northeast 1 Bobby Jordan Johnson & Wales
Northeast 2 James Kaishian Ithaca
Northeast 3 Joey Aumann Plymouth State
West 1 Victor Gliva Augsburg
West 2 Zackary Sirny Eau Claire
West 3 Aaron Dick Concordia-Moorhead

Three time finalist and defending champ Lucas Malmberg of Messiah looks to be head and shoulders above the rest of the field at this weight. He has 170 career wins and was the only Division III placewinner at the Midlands back in December. No Division III wrestler has gotten closer than six points to him this year, and he is a heavy favorite to make his fourth trip onto the stage on Saturday night. There is a possibility of a finals rematch, as CJ Pestano of Central will not surprise anyone the way he did last year when he made the finals as an unseeded wrestler. He lost by fall in the first period to Whitsel of Millikin early in the season but has defeated every other DIII opponent he has faced on his way to a Central Region title and a #2 seed at the Championships.

Three other 2016 All-Americans are back at this weight. Zac Denny was 4th for Whitewater last season and won the Midwest Region, avenging one of his two Division III losses in the process. He lost to Malmberg at the Midlands, but has defeated every other DIII opponent this year. Arnulfo Olea of Wartburg was 5th last year and a runner-up in the Central Region this year. He managed to reverse a previous loss in the regional semifinals to secure his spot in the tournament. James Kaishian of Ithaca finished in 7th place last year, but dropped the regional final to Bobby Jordan of JWU, who was the #2 seed last year but failed to place. He will give it another go this year from a lower spot in the bracket. Keep an eye on Zachary Beckner of Ferrum. The freshman just began competing in January but the former Virginia Tech signee has gone undefeated and won the East Regional.