2010 Weight Class Preview: 174

Qualifiers at 174
Returning qualifiers in italics, All-Americans in bold, any year:
Dylan Azinger (Wartburg)
Bobby Bishop (Stevens)
Evan Brown (Dubuque)
Cowan Brown (North Central)
Mike Ciaburri (Cortland)
Dan Daddino (Delaware Valley)
Ross Dankers (Concordia Moorhead)
Sam Engelland (UW-Oshkosh)
Frank Heffernan (Wilkes)
Greg Hurd (Wesleyan)
Chris Karl (UW-Stevens Point)
Kyle Kwiat (Ohio Northern)
Colin Lenhardt (Johnson & Wales)
Zach Molitor (Augsburg)
Seth Rehn (Coe)
Mike Schmitz (UW-La Crosse)
Chris Wade (Oneonta)

Evan Brown of Dubuque was a surprise finalist last year as the 8th seed, and he took the title with a 1-0 victory over #2.  It was a weight where #1, #3, and #4 all failed to place, leaving the door open for Brown.  This year, Brown comes in as the clear #1, having no DIII losses and wins against several of the other competitors, including #3 Schmitz of UW-La Crosse.  Schmitz is the next highest returning placewinner after a fourth place finish a year ago, and his only losses are to those seeded above him.  One of those is Augsburg’s Zach Molitor.  He has not seen Brown yet, and his only loss is to a wrestler from his region who failed to qualify.  He was close to making the finals last year, losing an entertaining semifinal to the eventual runner-up.  The seeds are pretty clear cut up through #4, where the outstanding freshman Kyle Kwiat of Ohio Northern has put together an impressive debut season, losing only to Schmitz to go 31-1 in DIII.  The only remaining All-American at this weight is Frank Heffernan of Wilkes coming in at #5.  He was an unseeded placewinner last year, and he avenged a loss from earlier in the season in the Metro finals to earn his 2nd trip.

Moving down the seeds, things started to get a little messy in terms of figuring out who goes where.  Lenhardt, Ciaburri, Bishop, and Wade all appear to be very close.  They’ve gone back and forth and around with each other all year.  In the end, it looks like the seeding committee went with head to head matchups and returning All-American status (for Heffernan) to sort things out.  Do not be surprised if the seeds fail to hold here.  Even beyond the seeds, the weight class seems to have some parity and depth.  Many of the unseeded wrestlers have proven to have talent and could present matchup problems for their first round opponents.

1. Brown
2. Molitor
3. Schmitz
4. Kwiat
5. Heffernan
6. Bishop
7. Ciaburri
8. Lenhardt