The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
2016 NCAA Preview: 125 pounds
Notable 125-Pounders to Watch
The following is a list of the top 125-pound wrestlers according to WIN’s Feb. 23 national rankings.
Updated 2016 NCAA Brackets
2015-16 Notes: The defending national champ entered the Big Tens undefeated (18-0) and scored bonus points in 14 of those bouts, including three pins and four technical falls. Among his more notable regular-season wins was a 3-1 decision against Penn State’s Nico Megaludis and 5-4 win against Virginia Tech’s Joey Dance.
NCAA Resume: 5-0 (1st) in one tournament — Seeded fourth last year, the Buckeye upset top-ranked Alan Waters (Missouri), 4-2, in the semifinals before beating unseeded Zeke Moisey (W. Va.), 9-5, in the finals. Prior to that, he scored a pin, major and tech fall.
2. Thomas Gilman, Iowa, Junior, Council Bluffs, Iowa
NCAA Resume: 4-2 (4th) in one tournament — The Hawkeye scored consecutive overtime wins, including 7-5 over Virginia Tech’s No. 3 seed Joey Dance in the quarters before getting pinned by Zeke Moisey in the semis. Gilman pinned Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett in a consy bout before falling 8-4 to Missouri’s Alan Waters in the third-place bout.
3. Joey Dance, Virginia Tech, Junior, Christiansburg, Va.
NCAA Resume: 8-4 (4th) in two tournaments — There would be no consecutive All-American honor for the Hokies last March when he was upset by Iowa’s Thomas Gilman in the quarters and then eliminated by Michigan’s Conor Youtsey 3-1 in overtime. One year earlier, Dance claimed fourth place as a No. 16 seed after winning five straight wrestlebacks, including 4-1 over Lehigh’s Darian Cruz in the Round of 12.
4. Nico Megaludis, Penn State, Senior, Murrysville, Pa.
NCAA Resume: 13-3 (2nd, 2nd, 3rd) in three tourneys — The three-time All-American reached the finals in his first two NCAAs, including in 2012 as a No. 10 seed when he upset No. 2 Zach Sanders (Minnesota) in the semifinals before losing 4-1 to Iowa’s Matt McDonough in the finals. One year later, Megaludis upset top-seed Alan Waters of Missouri in the semis before losing 7-5 to eventual champ Jesse Delgado in final. As a junior, the Lion’s only loss once again came to Delgado in the semifinals before Megaludis came back to win two consy bouts, including 6-1 over Tech’s Joey Dance to finish third.
5. Eddie Klimara, Oklahoma State, Senior, Joliet, Ill.
NCAA Resume: 9-6 (7th) in three tourneys — The Cowboy reached his seed when Klimara claimed seventh place last March when he pinned American U’s John Boyle in 28 seconds in the Round of 12 before closing out the NCAAs with a 5-4 win over Penn State’s Jordan Conaway. One year earlier, Klimara just fell short of All-American honors when he lost a 7-6 tiebreaker to Iowa’s Cory Clark in the Round of 12.
Other notable wrestlers in alphabetical order:
• Oregon State’s Ronnie (Rios) Bresser won a Pac-12 championship and qualified for the NCAAs — going 2-2 in St. Louis — as a true freshman in 2015. This year, the Beaver finished third at the Las Vegas Invite and Midlands, then won 10 of 11 bouts before the Pac-12s, including a 3-1 over Oklahoma’s Ryan Millhof.
• Missouri sophomore Barlow McGhee has made an impact in his first season as a replacement for Tiger All-American Alan Waters at 125, including a pair of wins over 2015 national runner-up Zeke Moisey of West Virginia and entered the MAC on a five-match winning streak, including a 5-3 win over Nebraska’s Tim Lambert.
• Oklahoma sophomore Ryan Millhof stood 14-7 before his first postseason and a six-match winning streak included victories over West Virginia’s Zeke Moisey (2-1), Missouri’s Barlow McGhee (3-2) and Oklahoma State’s Eddie Klimara (5-3).
• Zeke Moisey of West Virginia became a surprise NCAA finalist when the then-unseeded freshman upset Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett, Oklahoma State’s Eddie Klimara and Iowa’s Thomas Gilman before falling to Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello in the finals. 2015-16 has been a bit of a sophomore slump as Moisey entered the Big 12s with a 26-9 record.
• Northern Iowa’s Dylan Peters, who finished fourth in the 2014 NCAAs, had only competed in 14 bouts before the MACs and only four matches after suffering an injury at the Las Vegas Invite in early December. Among the junior’s more notable regular-season wins including a 3-2 victory over Oregon State’s Ronnie Bresser and 7-5 decision against Missouri’s Barlow McGhee.