2023 Central Region Preview

Saturday & Sunday, February 25-26, 2023
Case Western Reserve University | Host Site | 2022 Results

Teams (20):
Adrian, Albion, Alma, Baldwin Wallace, Case Western Reserve, Defiance, Heidelberg, Hiram, John Carroll, Manchester, Mount St. Joseph, Mount Union, Muskingum, Ohio Northern, Ohio Wesleyan, Olivet, Otterbein, Trine, Wabash, Wilmington

NWCA Ranked Tournament Teams
#4 Baldwin Wallace
#11 Wabash
#13 Ohio Northern
#14 Olivet
#16 John Carroll

Top 10 Ranked Individuals | February 16th Ranking (14 total)
125: #3 Decatur (Baldwin Wallace)
133: #2 Hinton (Baldwin Wallace), #4 Perelka (John Carroll)
141: #2 Reed (Ohio Northern)
149: #1 Petrella (Baldwin Wallace), #3 Sumner (Ohio Northern)
157: #6 West (Baldwin Wallace), #7 McGraw (John Carroll)
165: #4 Reicosky (John Carroll)
184: #3 Baczek (Wabash)
197: #4 Byrne (Baldwin Wallace)
285: #1 King (Olivet), #2 Heldt (Wabash), #10 Krum (Albion)

Contenders & H.M. (17 total)
125: Day (Wabash), Stanley (Mount Union)
133: Le (Ohio Northern)
141: Burge (Wabash), Boots (Trine), Palmieri (Baldwin Wallace)
149: Uribe (Wabash)
157: Whitten (Otterbein), Nettleton (Mount Union)
165: Hardrick (Ohio Northern), Bush (Olivet), Nevis (Wabash)
174: Arebalo (Wabash), Guilford (Olivet), Rhamy (Heidelberg)
184: Layman (Ohio Northern)
197: Setliff (Otterbein)

Wabash came tantalizingly close to winning the national championship last season after outpacing the field in the regional. Baldwin Wallace looks to be the top team in the region after a runner-up finish last season, and they return the 125 champ Decatur and the 149 runner-up Petrella to go along with three other top-ten wrestlers. Wabash leads a group of four teams between 11 and 16 in the rankings, each of which has potential national finalists entered here.

Heavyweight features the top two ranked individuals in Division III. Donovan King has gone wire-to-wire at #1 this year after a runner-up finish at the same weight a year ago. #2 ranked Jack Heldt of Wabash was the runner-up at 197 last year. Both are undefeated in DIII this season, and both lost last year’s final to a wrestler who had his results vacated at the national tournament. If they both make the finals this weekend, we can all hope they both decide to wrestle.

Perelka (John Carroll) and Petrella (Baldwin Wallace) are two other returning NCAA finalists in this tournament. Perelka dropped a match to #2 ranked Hinton of Baldwin Wallace in the 133 semis at the North Central Invitational and will be looking to avenge that loss. Petrella, on the other hand, has gone undefeated this year without wrestling very many close matches. He also has a 9-2 win over #3 ranked Sumner of Ohio Northern a few weeks ago.

It will take a few upsets, but it is not inconceivable for the Central to match its nine finalists from last season. Seven wrestlers either were in the finals last year or are ranked in the top two heading into the regional.