2024 NCAA Preview: 157 lbs.

Support d3wrestle.com with a one-time donation
PayPal One Time Gift | Venmo @AndyVogel | give $10 or more to get Jon Gremmel’s guide to the event

Returning 2023 All-Americans in Bold

Northeast 1Cooper PontelandolfoNYU
Northeast 2Peter KaneWilliams
Northeast 3Nate CamiscioliCastleton
Mideast 1Xavier HowardMcDaniel
Mideast 2Wenchard Pierre-LouisIthaca
Mideast 3Jake HoffmannJohns Hopkins
Southeast 1Ryan SmithStevens
Southeast 2Jaryn HartranftWilkes
Southeast 3Jason RezacAlvernia
Central 1Tim SmithWabash
Central 2Thomas WestBaldwin Wallace
Central 3Patrick McGrawJohn Carroll
Lower Midwest 1Nathan CallawayMillikin
Lower Midwest 2Gabriel SmithCornell
Lower Midwest 3Clayton McDonoughLuther
Upper Midwest 1Nolan HertelUW-La Crosse
Upper Midwest 2Blake JagodzinskeAugsburg
Upper Midwest 3Jermaine ButlerUW-Whitewater

Nolan Hertel won last year’s NCAA Championship in tight tiebreaker match and has gone on to win every match since, including another tiebreaker win in the NWCA All-Star match against the defending Division II champ at 157. He is a three-time Upper Midwest regional champ and aiming for his third All-American award. Cooper Pontelandolfo of NYU was 6th at 165 last year and the year before but dropped to 157 this season. He has won 26 matches in a row since losing at the Princeton Open to start the year, including wins over Ryan Smith of Stevens and Peter Kane of Williams, the other two returning All-Americans in the bracket.

Kane lost his first and last match of the season so far, but won everything in between after finishing 7th here last season. His participation in the postseason was a bit of a question mark since his last match before the regional came on January 6th. His opponent in the 7th place match last year was Ryan Smith of Stevens, the highest ranked of the three wrestlers named Smith in this weight class (there were two Vogels in my bracket in 2003). Tim Smith turned around an earlier loss to Thomas West to win the Central region, and Gabriel Smith will be looking for his first win over a qualifier this year when the tournament starts on Friday.

Upper Midwest runner-up Blake Jagodzinske was one of the most overqualified backups in the country last year who was stuck behind NCAA runner-up Tyler Shilson. Last season, he was 31-4 with wins over three NCAA qualifiers. This year, he is 16-6 with a win over 2023 149 runner-up Javen Estrada and Lower Midwest qualifier Clayton McDonough of Luther. The third place finisher in the same region is freshman Jermaine Butler, a Wheaton champ with a win this year over the Lower Midwest winner.

Patrick McGraw of John Carroll has been seeded the last two years but is still looking for a spot on the podium. Last year, he lost to Kane and Ryan Smith, both of whom are in the bracket this year. He was upset in the regional semifinal by Tim Smith but came back to qualify for the third time. Thomas West of Baldwin Wallace was also eliminated in last year’s tournament by Ryan Smith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *