2017 NCAA Preview: 149 lbs.

Kenny Martin returns seeking a third title at 149

2016 Champion – Kenny Martin, Wartburg

Central 1 Kenny Martin Wartburg
Central 2 Aaron Engle Cornell
Central 3 Cole Erickson Coe
East 1 Collin Saunders Ferrum
East 2 Zach Wilhelm Stevens
East 3 Christopher Muce Centenary
Mideast 1 Seth Lansberry Lycoming
Mideast 2 Shaun Wilson Waynesburg
Mideast 3 Dallas O’Green Heidelberg
Midwest 1 Austin Kelley Olivet
Midwest 2 Griffin Schermer Wabash
Midwest 3 Ben Williamson North Central
Northeast 1 Sam Schneider Ithaca
Northeast 2 Daniel Del Gallo Southern Maine
Northeast 3 Carter Armendarez Wesleyan
West 1 Ryan Epps Augsburg
West 2 Ty Johnson Concordia-Moorhead
West 3 Trevor Harsh Platteville

149 has the fewest returning All-Americans of any weight with only two wrestlers in the bracket who have been on the podium, but they are a very good pair. Kenny Martin of Wartburg is the two time returning champion, though this will be his first trip to the tournament as the top seed. That said, the #1 seed at 149 has not won the tournament since 2008; every other weight has had a #1 seed win at least once since 2011. Martin is 14-0 in his second consecutive year of spring semester-only wrestling. The second seed Lansberry had to come back from a deficit in the Mideast Regional final but got the job done and enters the tournament without a loss. He was 4th here last year after making it to the semifinals.

Augsburg’s Ryan Epps is one of a handful of Augsburg freshmen who have made a big impact this season. Epps was a double All-American in Fargo last summer and a Minnesota state champ. He is one of 12 wrestlers at this weight making their first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Sam Schneider of Ithaca, Collin Saunders of Ferrum, and Austin Kelley of Olivet are all first timers who also won their respective regions. #4 Daniel Del Gallo of Southern Maine, however, is on his third trip to the championships, and this is his last chance to get on the podium. This is his first time as a seeded wrestler, so perhaps this will be his time.