2020 NCAA Preview: 174 lbs.

2019 All-Americans in Bold, Qualifiers in Italics

Northeast 1GaitaWesleyan31-4
Northeast 2AeberliCoast Guard19-4
Northeast 3ZuckermanNYU26-6
Mideast 1HenryCortland30-5
Mideast 2EspositoMerchant Marine20-5
Mideast 3KilroyTCNJ29-7
Southeast 1NeelyWashington & Jefferson29-4
Southeast 2SwartwoodLycoming30-6
Southeast 3ShermeyerMessiah29-12
Central 1BeachemMount St. Joseph20-0
Central 2SchurgWabash17-2
Central 3HomanMount Union36-11
Lower Midwest 1BriggsWartburg27-2
Lower Midwest 2KrakowLoras21-4
Lower Midwest 3McGiffenMillikin19-5
Upper Midwest 1NielsenAugsburg23-2
Upper Midwest 2ShinhosterWhitewater28-3
Upper Midwest 3LawrenceEau Claire30-6

Five All-Americans return from last year’s bracket including the champ Darden Schurg. He has lost twice this year, dropping matches against 2019 qualifier Jarrit Shinhoster and Notre Dame (OH) transfer Cornell Beachem, a 2019 DII qualifier. His only other match against a qualifier is a pin over Brian Shermeyer. The 3rd and 4th place finishers last year are back in Kyle Briggs of Wartburg and Dan Kilroy of TCNJ. Briggs started the year at 174, went up to 184 for awhile, and then dropped back down just in time for the regional. Kilroy is a four-time qualifier and two-time All-American with seven losses, though all but one came early in the season. Jacob Krakow transferred from Wartburg to Loras and become the only unseeded placewinner at 174 last season. A.J. Aeberli was 6th last year and has a win over Zuckerman and a split with Esposito to go along with two losses to Gaita.

Marco Gaita won the Northeast region out of the #2 seed and defeated both of the other qualifiers (including Aeberli) along the way. Demitreus Henry of Cortland beat Kilroy and the then-ranked Esposito of Merchant Marine to secure his trip to Iowa. In the Southeast, Hunter Neely qualified two weights up from last season. He started the year at 157 but moved up all the way to 174 after the new year and managed to win the region. The aforementioned Beachem led the Mount St. Joseph football team in rushing and receiving before winning all 20 of his bouts this year to earn the top ranking. Solomon Nielsen swapped weights with Tanner Vassar for Augsburg and won the Upper Midwest with a major decision over the once top-ranked Shinhoster.

Three wrestlers have held the top spot in the rankings this year. Defending champ Schurg started the year on top until Shinhoster beat him at the National Duals. Then Beachem took over the top spot by beating Shinhoster in the Wheaton finals. Beachem solidified his ranking with a 2-1 win over Schurg in the regional finals that was decided by a first period penalty point.