2010 Weight Class Preview: 141

Qualifiers at 141
Returning qualifiers in italics, All-Americans in bold, any year:
Ben Anderson (Concordia Moorhead)
Minga Batsukh (St. John’s)
Austin Bautista (UW-Whitewater)

Kevin Bokoski (Luther)
Ryan Bridge (Stevens)
Sam Delpra (Heidelberg)
Kevin Donahue (Cornell)
Matt Kelly (Wartburg)
Chris LeClere (Coe)
Gregg Martino (New York University)
John Starzyk (North Central)
Jeremy Stierly (Ithaca)
Jake Strausbaugh (Wabash)
Vince Tucker (Olivet)
Matt Ulrich (Southern Maine)
Jafari Vanier (Augsburg)

This has been a pretty exciting year in a lot of weights, as the fans have watched top contenders fall, only to see the new king be dethroned the next week.  The 141 weight class has been no exception.  The returning champ, Batsukh of St. John’s, missed a big chunk of the year and sits at 14-2 with both losses to wrestlers in his own region.  In fact, four of the top five wrestlers in the country are in the Great Lakes Region.  The Great Lakes champ is a familiar face in Jafari Vanier Augsburg.  He was last seen making the finals in 2006 & 2007 at 133.  He’s back at 141 after joining the team in January and is one of two wrestlers at this weight who are well beyond the traditional age of a college athlete.  John Starzyk of North Central has been impressive in his first season in Division III, though that was to be expected from a 3x Illinois state champ who was originally recruited to Oklahoma.   Austin Bautista, last year’s #1 seed at this weight, has been working his way up the DIII ranks during his time at Whitewater, and he is looking to put last year’s semifinal upset loss to Batsukh behind him and ascend the top of the podium in his final season.  Ben Anderson of Concordia is the fourth top wrestler out of the Great Lakes, and he has spent some time ranked #1 this season.

As alluded to earlier, there is another wrestler who has taken a circuitous route to his current spot in the 141 bracket.  Ryan Bridge of Stevens was a New Jersey champ who originally went to Cornell in 2003, and he has spent some time in the military as well before making his way to Hoboken to continue his career.  His season was somewhat abbreviated, so the rest of the field has not had a good look at what he is capable of.  There are a couple of freshmen to look out for as well.  Jake Strausbaugh of Wabash already has 40 wins and dealt Bautista one of his only two DIII losses.  Bautista won the season series 2-1.  The other freshman is Chris LeClere of Coe.  Brother of teammate and #3 ranked 165 Nick LeClere, Chris is just 13-7 in DIII, but he was 2nd in the IIAC and has a win over returning All-American Kevin Donahue of Cornell.  The last wrestler to mention here is Matt Kelly of Wartburg.  The two time All-American started the year at 133 before moving up to 141 near the end of January.  He’s 13-5 and without any high caliber wins, but two trips to the podium can’t be overlooked.

1. Batsukh
2. Vanier
3. Bautista
4. Starzyk
5. Anderson
6. Tucker
7. Donahue
8. Strausbaugh