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also returns at 125 along with Virginia Tech’s Jarrod Garnett, who redshirted last season.
Ohio State’s Logan Stieber knocked off returning NCAA champion Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State in one of the best finals matches last year.
With Oliver bumping up at least one weight class, Stieber is the clear pick to repeat at 133. Stieber, a past Junior World silver medalist who placed sec- ond at the Olympic Trials, will be pushed by past All-Americans Tyler Graff of Wisconsin and Tony Ramos of Iowa. Stieber earned two close wins over Ramos last season. Graff returns after taking an Olympic redshirt last season. Minnesota sophomore Chris Dardanes could be a factor as
well after he placed fourth at NCAAs this past March. Central Michigan’s Scott Sentes, who redshirted last year, is a dangerous wrestler capable of making an impact. 141 pounds
Oliver looks to return to the top of the podium this year after being upset by Stieber in the 133 finals last season. Oliver will bump up at least one weight class, and possibly two, for his senior season. Oliver is a past Junior World bronze medalist who looks to have a bright future ahead on the Senior level in freestyle. Four All-Americans – Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple, Oregon
State’s Mike Mangrum, Ohio State’s Hunter Stieber and Cornell’s Mike Nevinger – are back in this division. Illinois junior B.J. Futrell bumps up to 141 after placing sixth in the nation at 133 last season. Minnesota sophomore Nick Dardanes is another top wrestler in this class. 149 pounds
Boise State senior Jason Chamberlain is back after redshirt- ing last season. He is a past Junior World and University World Team member for the U.S. in freestyle. Chamberlain placed third in the 2011 NCAAs. His top challenger is expected to be Minnesota’s Dylan Ness, an NCAA runner-up as a freshman this past March. Five other All-Americans – Binghamton’s Donald Vinson, Ohio
State’s Cam Tessari, Hofstra’s Justin Accordino, Oregon State’s Scott Sakaguchi and Oklahoma’s Nick Lester – also return here. Air Force senior Cole VonOhlen is looking to finish strong
after just missing out on All-American honors this past season. Penn State’s Andrew Alton also will be in the mix. Alton red- shirted last season after qualifying for the 2011 NCAAs at 141. 157 pounds
Dake will be looking to join Oklahoma State’s Pat Smith and
Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson as the only four-time champions in NCAA history.
Dake became the first wrestler to win three NCAA titles in three different weight classes last season. He may try to do it in four classes with talk he may move up from 157 to 165. Seven of the eight 157-pound All-Americans from 2012 return. Dake beat Iowa’s Derek St. John in the finals last year. St. John, a junior, is back healthy again after being hampered by injuries last season. Penn State sophomore Dylan Alton is back after placing third last year.
There also are All-Americans back in Northwestern’s Jason
Welch, Clarion’s James Fleming, Nebraska’s James Green and Harvard’s Walter Peppelman.
165 pounds Taylor simply decimated the competition in rolling to his first
NCAA title last season. That may change if Dake bumps up to this weight class.
Another top contender is Oklahoma State junior Tyler
Penn State’s David Taylor won his first NCAA title and cap- tured the Hodge Trophy in 2012. Larry Slater photo.
Caldwell, who finished second in the 2011 NCAAs for Oklahoma. Caldwell took an Olympic redshirt last season. Three other All-Americans – Virginia Tech’s Peter Yates, Maryland’s Josh Asper and Illinois’ Conrad Polz – are back. 174 pounds
Oklahoma’s Chris Perry appears to be the favorite here. He is the top returning finisher after placing third at the 2011 NCAAs. Jordan Blanton of Illinois placed fourth last season, followed by Ohio State’s Nick Heflin, Minnesota’s Logan Storley and Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse. Penn State sophomore Matt Brown could make a big impact in this class as well. Brown went 19-2 last season and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in freestyle. 184 pounds
Penn State’s Ed Ruth bumps up a weight class after cruising to the NCAA title last year at 174 while going unbeaten.
Continued on page 37 USA Wrestler 9
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