The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
2015 NCAA Div. I Championships: 157 pounds
2015 NCAA Preview: 157 pounds
No freshman has received more hype than Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez, the three-time California state champion from Lemoore, who enters the NCAAs undefeated (30-0) after defeating 2014 national runner-up Dylan Ness in the Big Ten conference final.
Among the young Illini’s other big wins this season are victories over past All-Americans James Green of Nebraska and Ian Miller of Kent State.
This quartet of wrestlers is expected to make the biggest impact in St. Louis.
Ness, the native of Bloomington, Minn., and younger brother of 2011 NCAA champ and Hodge Trophy winner Jayson Ness, is a three-time AA, including the first of two NCAA runner-up finishes in 2012. This season, the Gopher known for his “funky style” (he has 12 pins on the year), earned a pair of victories over Green, including a last-second victory over the Husker in the Big Ten semifinals.
Green, who has placed seventh twice and third in past national tournaments, had his biggest moment at the Southern Scuffle where he claimed the championship.
Miller, who finished fourth in the 2014 NCAAs, is coming off a third Mid-American Conference championship.
Meanwhile, two wrestlers from Eastern schools could make an impact: Cornell’s Brian Realbuto and Virginia Tech’s Nick Brascetta.
The Big Red sophomore, who finished sixth nationally last March, did not start wrestling this season until the Southern Scuffle in January. His biggest win of the regular season was a victory over Ness in the National Duals.
The Hokie junior redshirted last winter after Brascetta claimed eighth place in 2013. Brascetta missed nearly two months this year, but returned in late February and most recently captured a third ACC championship.
Perhaps the most unproven wrestler at this weight is South Dakota State’s Cody Pack, who was 0-4 in two previous NCAAs but is ranked in the Top 10 this winter and comes to St. Louis with a 31-4 mark and a second West regional title