2024 NCAAs Preview: 125 pounds


Second-Period Notes

  • Penn State’s No. 1 seed Braeden Davis used a 1:43 riding-time advantage to beat Cornell’s Brett Ungar 2-1
  • Lock Haven’s Anthony Noto scored three takedowns, including two in the first period to beat Harvard’s Diego Sotelo and avenge an earlier-season loss to the Crimson wrestler.
  • Nebraska’s No. 15 seed Caleb Smith scored the bout’s only takedown with 1:43 left to upset Lehigh’s No. 2 Luke Stanich, 4-1
  • • Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett, seeded No. 10, scored a takedown in both the first and third periods to knock off NC State’s Jakob Camacho, 8-1

First-period Notes

  • Harvard’s Diego Sotelo, seeded No. 28, defeated Wyoming’s No. 5 Jore Volk. Sotelo trailed 3-1 heading in the third period, scored four of his points in the final 21 seconds when he scored a two-point nearfall, a stalling point and a riding time point when he rode the Cowboy the entire third period. Sotelo, who was 23-10 before the NCAAs, did upset Lock Haven’s Anthony Noto, then ranked No. 1, by a 11-8 score in January. The Crimson wrestler will face Noto in Thursday evening’s second round. Noto beat Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor, 5-3, in a first-round match.
  • Northern Colorado’s Stevo Poulin, seeded No. 20, upset No. 13 Noah Surtin of Missouri, 5-3. Poulin’s only points came with a takedown with 1:35 left in the first period. The Tiger scored an escape in the second period, then rode out Poulin in the third but could not earn any back or riding time points.

The following is a look at WIN’s Top-10 rated wrestlers, plus other notable wrestlers, at 125 pounds before the conference/NCAA qualifying tournaments. Go to WIN-Magazine.com for an updated NCAA preview after the qualifiers.

1. Matt Ramos, Purdue, Jr., 

Lockport, Ill.

Notes: transferred from Minnesota in 2022; pinned Iowa’s Spencer Lee in 2023 NCAA semis. 

Season/Career Record: 22-3/75-18

NCAA Resume: Third nationals with a 7-3 postseason record: 2nd in 2023; R12 in 2022

Regular-Season Notes: After suffering three losses by Dec. 1, he won 13 straight before the Big Tens, including a 4-1 win over Iowa’s Drake Ayala.

2. Drake Ayala, Iowa, So., 

Ft. Dodge, Iowa

Notes: redshirted last year after replacing an injured Spencer Lee in 2022. 

Season/Career Record: 15-3/31-11

NCAA Resume: Second nationals after going 1-2 in 2022.

Regular-Season Notes: Ended regular season with wins over Troy Spratley and Braeden Davis.

3. Stevo Poulin, No. Colorado, So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.

Notes: transferred from NC State in 2022.

Season/Career Record: 12-2/39-9

NCAA Resume: Second nationals after going 3-2 in 2023 when he reached the R12.

Regular-Season Notes: Scored bonus points in 13 matches, including five pins. Won Southern Scuffle championship.

4. Troy Spratley, Oklahoma State, RSFr., Eufala, Okla.

Notes: transferred from Minnesota in 2023

Season/Career Record: 18-5/18-5

NCAA Resume: first national tournament

Regular-Season Notes: Scored bonus points in 10 victories, including a 13-5 major over Arizona State’s Richard Figueroa. Beat Missouri’s Noah Surtin, 4-1 in sudden victory.

5. Noah Surtin, Missouri, Jr., Edwardsville, Ill.

Note: 19 pins in his career.

Season/Career Record: 14-2/60-24

NCAA Resume: Fourth nationals with a 5-6 postseason record: reached R12 in 2022

Regular-Season Notes: Scored major decisions vs. South Dakota State’s Tanner Jordan and Stanford’s Nico Provo.

6. Cooper Flynn, Virginia Tech, So., Seymour, Tenn.

Notes: backed up AA Eddie Ventresca last season. 

Season/Career Record: 13-3/27-9

NCAA Resume: first nationals

Regular-Season Notes: Beat Missouri’s Noah Surtin 10-3 in sudden victory.

7. Anthony Noto, Lock Haven, Jr., Lima, N.Y.

Notes: transferred from NC State in 2021.

Season/Career Record: 14-2/73-9

NCAA Resume: third nationals with a 6-4 record; went 5-2 to earn AA (4th) honors in 2023

Regular-Season Notes: Beat NC State’s Jakob Camacho 4-2 in December.

8. Patrick McKee, 

Minnesota, Sr., 

St. Michael, Minn.

Note: Has been the “consolation kid” at the NCAAs as he won 12 wrestlebacks in capturing his two AA honors.

Season/Career Record: 


NCAA Resume: fifth national tournament, including cancelled 2020 NCAAs (Covid); compiled a 15-5 record and placed twice (3rd in 2021 and 5th in 2022; 2-2 in 2023

Regular-Season Notes: pinned Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett to end the regular season and tech’ed Nebraska’s Caleb Smith.

9. Eric Barnett, Wisconsin, Sr., Greenville, Wisc.

Note: two-time AA

Season/Career Record: 22-4/77-26

NCAA Resume: fourth national tourney with a 12-7 record; placed 8th in 2021, 7th in 2022 and reached R12 in 2023

Regular-Season Notes: finished third at Midlands, where he beat Va Tech’s Cooper Flynn, 1-0.

10. Braeden Davis, Penn State, Fr., Belleville, Mich.

Notes: Looking to become PSU’s first AA at 125 since Nico Megaludis in 2016 (1st).

Season/Career Record: 16-2/16-2

NCAA Resume: first national tournament

Regular-Season Notes: won his first 14 matches, including 5-1 over Michigan’s Michael DeAugustino.

Other Notes

• Michigan’s Michael DeAugustino should qualify for his fifth NCAAs, including his first in a Wolverine singlet. Spent five years at Northwestern, where he placed fouth in 2022.

• Another former  AA includes Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor (a three-tiume national qualifier who finished 8th in 2022).

• NC State’s Jakob Camacho is a four-time NQ (reaching R12 in 2021 and R16 in 2022) who redshirted in 2023.

• Nebraska junior Caleb Smith is a transfer from Appalachian State, where he qualified for two NCAAs (2022 and 2023).

• Stanford sophomore Nico Provo won the Las Vegas Invite in December.

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