2023 NCAA Preview: 125 lbs.

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Northeast 1Joziah FryJohnson & Wales
Northeast 2Jake CraigSouthern Maine
Northeast 3Gavin BradleyCastleton
Mideast 1Terry AdamsUrsinus
Mideast 2Joey LamparelliMuhlenberg
Mideast 3Cody MerwinCortland
Southeast 1Mason BarrettAverett
Southeast 2Jacob BlairDelaware Valley
Southeast 3Luke HoerleStevens
Central 1Jacob DecaturBaldwin Wallace
Central 2James DayWabash
Central 3Cade OdrobinaAlbion
Lower Midwest 1Christian GuzmanNorth Central
Lower Midwest 2Zac BlasioliMillikin
Lower Midwest 3Brady KoontzDubuque
Upper Midwest 1Luca PaladinoUW-Stevens Point
Upper Midwest 2Luc ValdezUW-Oshkosh
Upper Midwest 3Brandon MurphyUW-La Crosse

Defending champion Jacob Decatur of Baldwin Wallace is back to seek a second 125 title. He began his season in the second semester and took a loss on his first day back. He has been perfect since then, though his only match against another wrestler in the field was the regional final against James Day of Wabash. Day has three losses. His other two defeats came to wrestlers who did not make the field, and he has wins over the Southeast, Lower Midwest, and Upper Midwest champions.

Despite the presence of last year’s champion, the wrestler to beat here is likely Joziah Fry of Johnson & Wales. The Campbell transfer is 39-0 with 31 bonus point wins. He has defeated seven of the other qualified entries and has dominated a strong schedule wrestling back in his home state of Rhode Island. He won the Northeast Region ahead of a pair of tough freshman in the ranked Jake Craig of Southern Maine and 4x Pennsylvania high school placewinner Gavin Bradley of Castleton.

Another freshman surprised with a run to the Lower Midwest title. Christian Guzman of North Central defeated a pair of top-ten wrestlers on his way to the Outstanding Wrestler award at the region. He turned around a prior loss against #2 ranked Zac Blasioli of Millikin in the finals after having dispatched Ohio State transfer Brady Koontz in the semifinals. Koontz came back to get third, so there will be two former Ohio State wrestlers in this bracket as Koontz and Decatur shared two seasons on the Buckeye roster.

Four ranked wrestlers entered the Southeast Region, but just two qualified for the NCAA tournament. Top seed and returning All-American Riley Parker of Washington & Lee lost his first match to unseeded Jacob Blair of Delaware Valley who then made a run all the way to the regional final to punch his ticket to Roanoke despite a loss to #9 Mason Barrett of Averett. The 5th ranked Parker made the consolation final against #6 Hoerle who had just defeated #7 Kuhns to earn his spot in the match. Hoerle came out on top to get the last spot in the Southeast.


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