Picture taken by Kris Dufour

The NCAA Division 3 National Wrestling Championships will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this Friday and Saturday.  Williams will be sending three of it’s wrestlers to the big dance:  Corey Paulish ’11 at 149, Carl Breitenstein ’10 at 157 and Ryan Malo ’11 at 197. 

The brackets were released today and can be found at the following link:  http://www.ncaa.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/ncaa/sports/m-wrestl/auto_pdf/Wres-D3-2010Brackets

Paulish did not get seeded and through a random draw, was paired with the number one seed, Blaine Woszczak , of Ithaca in the first round.  Paulish and Woszczak met at the finals of the York Invitational in December with Woszczak winning a 5-4 nail biter.  Based on the brackets, there is a good likelihood that Paulish and Sutherland of Rhode Island College will meet in the second round (could be championship or consolation).

d3wrestle.com is doing an overview of each weight classes through Thursday.  Here is their take on the 149 pound class.  The 157 pound class will be published tomorrow and 197 on Wednesday.

Qualifiers at 149
Returning qualifiers in italics, All-Americans in bold, any year:
Emanuel Ajagbe (Delaware Valley)
Justin Berns (Concordia Moorhead)
Tye Boyer (Elizabethtown)
Isaiah Britton (Lycoming)
Mark Carey (Coe)
Richie Clark (Mount Union)
Charlie Curran (Elmhurst)
Isaac Dukes (Case)
Jacob Groth (Wartburg)
Andy Johnston (UW-Eau Claire)
John Marsh (Bridgewater State)
Matt Mauseth (UW-La Crosse)
Connor McCormick (Ursinus)
Corey Paulish (Williams)
Jason Pyle (Luther)

Kevin Sutherland (Rhode Island)
Tony Valek (Augsburg)

Blaine Woszczak (Ithaca)

Even though he is the returning champion, a few losses early in the season knocked Matt Mauseth of La Crosse from the top spot in the rankings, and Blaine Woszczak of Ithaca has held it for most of the year.  Woszczak is undefeated in DIII after coming from an unseeded spot to place 4th last year, beating the #8, #6, and #1 seeds along the way.  This is, however, a weight class where any number of wrestlers could take the title without it being a major surprise.  Tony Valek of Augsburg and Jason Pyle of Luther were the two entrants here that defeated Mauseth during the season, and each is coming off a win in their respective qualifier.  Pyle was 7th at this weight in 2009, while Valek lost in the All-American round at 141.  Isaac Dukes of Case is seeded this year after dropping from 157, and his speed will cause problems for his opponents just as it did in the first round last year when eventual champ Wernimont escaped with a 7-6 win.

Ten of the entrants at this weight will be making their first trip to the tournament, but a trio of New Englanders will all be making return appearances.  Marsh of Bridgewater State won the NEWA championship and was last seen here in 2007 at 141.  He is 30-1, and he has not lost since the first week of the season.  That loss was to Sutherland of Rhode Island, a qualifier from last season who has since dropped four in a row to Marsh.  Paulish of Williams made a surprise run to 4th place last year at 141 before moving up in 2009-2010.  He is 0-2 against Marsh and 1-3 against Sutherland.  Predictions for NEWA wrestlers can be tough, because most of the NEWA teams do not stray from from their conference, and that is why you see wrestlers matching up 3 and 4 times in a single season.  An unseeded wrestler to watch for is Lycoming’s Isaiah Britton.  In continuing a theme from the lower weights, he is not traditionally aged, graduating high school in 2004 and spending time at UNC before coming home to Williamsport.  He is wrestling well right now, though he does have a recent loss to Paulish.

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