2024 Lower Midwest Region Preview

Thursday and Friday, February 29 – March 1, 2024
Alliant Energy Powerhouse | Host Site | 2023 Results

Teams (20):
Augustana, Buena Vista, Central, Coe, Cornell, Dubuque, Eureka, Fontbonne, Huntingdon, Illinois Wesleyan, Loras, Luther, Millikin, Nebraska Wesleyan, North Central, University of the Ozarks, Schreiner, Simpson, Wartburg, Westminster

NWCA Ranked Tournament Teams
#1 Wartburg
#4 North Central
#16 Central
#19 Coe
#21 Millikin
#23 Dubuque
#23 Augustana

Three of the seven returning NCAA champions from last year are in this region, and all three have had predictably dominant seasons. 2x champ Robbie Precin of North Central has not lost since the NWCA D3 tournament in 2021 and has the longest active win streak in all of NCAA wrestling. He has just two losses in five years of competition. Zane Mulder is 20-0 174 in his quest to repeat for Wartburg, while teammate Massoma Endene is 19-0 at 197 and will also be looking to defend his title. Along with the three returning champs is North Central’s Javen Estrada, a finalist last year at 149 who has moved up to 157 this season.

125 has a lot of firepower with the #1, #2, and #4 ranked wrestlers. All three were All-Americans last year at this weight. Christian Guzman has only lost at the Midlands and was 3rd here last season. Brady Koontz, like Guzman, has a win over previous NCAA champ Jacob Decatur and wrestled in the 2023 World Championships in Greco-Roman. Zac Blasioli finished 5th last season, and both of his losses this year are to Guzman. Heavyweight will also be a battle. In addition to three top-ten individuals, there are seven wrestlers who appear in the Contender and Honorable Mention sections of the rankings. Multiple wrestlers who appear in the rankings will fail to place at 285 in one region!

Top 10 Ranked Individuals | February 22nd Ranking (29 total)
125: #1 Guzman (North Central), #2 Koontz (Dubuque), #4 Blasioli (Millikin), #9 Birchman (Wartburg)
133: #2 Precin (North Central), #3 Boryla (Augustana), #6 Pins (Wartburg)
141: #3 Baldwin (Central), #6 Romero (Wartburg), #10 Rosen (North Central)
149: #5 Dojan (Wartburg), #9 Hernandez (Buena Vista)
157: #6 Estrada (North Central), #7 McDonough (Luther), #9 Callaway (Millikin)
165: #5 Esmoil (Coe), #6 Villar (North Central), #7 Bohren (Loras)
174: #1 Mulder (Wartburg), #10 Glaster (Millikin)
184: #6 Ross (Wartburg), #7 McLaren (Cornell), #8 Voss (Coe)
197: #1 Endene (Wartburg), #8 Linahon (Central), #10 Arsenault (Coe)
285: #7 Bates (North Central), #8 Williamson (Wartburg), #10 West (Luther)

Contenders & H.M. (33 total)
125: Hornback (Coe), Hedges (Eureka)
133: Beck (Central), Haney (Millikin)
141: Dado (Ozarks), Schropp (Loras), Grimm (Coe)
149: Kinkaid (Loras), Macias (Augustana)
157: Roth (Dubuque), Smith (Cornell), Fiser (Loras), Meeker (Wartburg)
165: Burgess (Huntingdon), Fuller (Wartburg), McDonough (Luther), Smiley (Dubuque)
174: Gnida (Loras), Richardson (Coe), Geigner (North Central)
184: Cervantes (North Central), West (Central)
197: Badger (Augustana), Pannell (Dubuque), Steenhoek (Luther), Steffen (Cornell)
285: Dancy (Coe), Haury (Huntingdon), Lewis (Ozarks), Matson (Dubuque), Woodrey (Augustana), Brinker (Cornell), Hearne (Central)

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