COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the seventh time in program history, Mizzou Wrestling has qualified nine of a possible 10 wrestlers for the NCAA Championships, as the entire field of at-large entries was announced Tuesday afternoon (March 12) by the national seeding committee. This marks the second straight year that Mizzou has sent at least nine to the national tournament.
Mizzou earned eight automatics spots at least week’s Mid-American Conference Championships and RS junior Connor Flynn (165) was awarded a wild card selection Tuesday. Below is the complete list of NCAA qualifiers:
– 125 Pounds – RS Freshman Dack Punke (first appearance)
– 133 Pounds – RS Senior John Erneste (third appearance)
– 141 Pounds – RS Junior Jaydin Eierman (third appearance) – Two-time All-American
– 149 Pounds – Freshman Brock Mauller (first appearance)
– 157 Pounds – Freshman Jarrett Jacques (first appearance)
– 165 Pounds – RS Junior Connor Flynn (second appearance)
– 174 Pounds – RS Senior Daniel Lewis (fourth appearance) – Three-time All-American
– 184 Pounds – RS Junior Dylan Wisman (first appearance)
– 285 Pounds – Freshman Zach Elam (first appearance)
Of the nine who qualified, five are headed to the NCAA Championships for the first time in their careers, displaying the incredible program depth that head coach Brian Smith has established at Mizzou. The feat is even more impressive considering Mizzou lost defending All-Americans at 149 and 197 pounds in Grant Leeth (shoulder injury) and Willie Miklus (transferred to Iowa State to be closer to his ill father), respectively. Four of Mizzou’s five first-time qualifiers are freshmen, including three true freshmen, the most ever for the Mizzou program.
Erneste and Eierman are each making their third appearances while Lewis is headed to the NCAA Championships for the fourth time. Already a three-time All-American, Lewis will look to become just the third four-time All-American in program history next week, which would join Ben Askren and J’den Cox. Lewis is currently ranked second nationally and is 24-1 on the season while taking a 16-bout win streak into the national tournament. Eierman is a two-time All-American and enters the national tournament at 23-3 on the year.