2018 Southeast Region Preview


Ben Swarr of Messiah is a two-time finalist and 2016 NCAA Champion

Date – Friday and Saturday, February 23-24, 2018

Location – Franklin County High School, Rocky Mount, VA

Teams (18) – Averett, Delaware Valley, Ferrum, Gettysburg, Greensboro, Hampden-Sydney, Johns Hopkins, King’s, Lycoming, Messiah, Penn College, Penn State Behrend, Southern Virginia, Thiel, Washington & Lee, Wilkes, York

Top Ten Ranked Individuals (2017 All-Americans in bold)
125 –
133 – Hunter Harris (Messiah, 7)
141 –
149 – Greg Warner (York, 4), Stephen Maloney (Messiah, 7), Trevor Corl (Lycoming, 10)
157 –
165 – Jeff Hojnacki (Messiah, 5), Jackson Drum (York, 10)
174 – Ben Swarr (Messiah, 3), Brandon Conrad (Lycoming, 10)
184 –
197 – Kyle Koser (Messiah, 5)
285 – Garrett Wesneski (Lycoming, 5), Paul Triandafilou (Gettysburg, 8)

Top 30 Teams (d3wrestle.com list)
4. Messiah
21. Lycoming
23. York

After four straight Mideast team championships, Messiah moves into the Southeast region looking to keep the streak alive. With five wrestlers who have NCAA experience, including three past All-Americans, they are the team to beat in this region. Ben Swarr is a two-time finalist at 174 lbs. who won the 2016 title, while Kyle Koser and Jeff Hojnacki are each looking for a second trip onto the NCAA podium.

York and Lycoming each have some high level firepower and will hope to steal the top spot away from Messiah. York has split a pair of dual meets with the Falcons this year and features one of the three returning All-Americans in this region in 2x placewinner Greg Warner. Jackson Drum has come on strong in his sophomore season and gives the Spartans two ranked wrestlers. Lycoming has three ranked wrestlers in Trevor Corl, Brandon Conrad, and Maryland transfer Garrett Wesneski who will all have a good shot to get through to Cleveland. Ferrum should not be overlooked as well. The Panthers won the East region last season, though two of their stars, NCAA runner-up Zach Beckner and qualifier Collin Saunders, have battled injuries this season.

There are several wrestlers in this tournament who were All-Americans prior to last season that missed the podium. Matthew Grossmann of Wilkes was the 2015 NCAA Champion at 133 lbs. as a freshman but has yet to return to the tournament. Jeff Hojnacki of Messiah placed 6th at 165 lbs. in 2016 but did not qualify last season. Paul Triandafilou of Gettysburg placed 5th in 2016 and qualified last season before falling in the round of 12. All three will hope to get back on the podium in Cleveland.