Seven Huskers Qualify for NCAA Championships
Seven Husker wrestlers earned spots in the NCAA Championships field when the brackets were announced on Wednesday. The tournament is set for March 20-22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Big Ten champion James Green earned the No. 1 seed at 157 pounds to lead the way for Nebraska. Green heads into the NCAA Championships with a 29-1 record, having won four tournament titles on the season. Green, a junior, is a two-time All-American, having finished seventh in both 2012 and 2013.
Junior Robert Kokesh also won a Big Ten title on Sunday, and will represent the No. 3 seed at 174 pounds. Kokesh rides an 18-match winning streak into Oklahoma City, and holds a 32-1 record overall. His lone loss came to Andrew Howe of Oklahoma, the No. 2 seed, on Dec. 7. Last season, Kokesh finished third at the NCAA Championships. He will be making his third appearance in the tournament.
Big Ten runner-up Jake Sueflohn is the No. 6 seed at 149 pounds. The junior is 29-4 this season, and leads the team in major decisions with 10. Sueflohn is making his third NCAA Championships appearance after falling one match short of All-America status last season.
Redshirt freshman TJ Dudley (184) rounds out the list of Huskers with top-10 seeds, taking the No. 8 spot. Dudley is 25-6, and completed the dual season with a 13-1 mark. He has eight pins and seven major decisions in 2013-14.
At 125 pounds, Tim Lambert will be the 12th seed after a fifth-place showing at the Big Ten Championships over the weekend. He went 4-2 in Madison, Wis., and sits at 22-11 in his first year in the NU lineup.
Austin Wilson (165) and Collin Jensen (HWT) also qualified for the NCAA Championships. Wilson, a sophomore, is making his second NCAA appearance after taking sixth at the Big Ten Championships. Jensen, a redshirt freshman, is competing in the national tournament for the first time after compiling a 20-13 record.
The NCAA Championships will introduce a different finals match order for this year’s event; a change the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee believes will create the best possible live and broadcast event for the wrestling community, as well as enhancing the championship experience for the student-athletes. The order will be determined by the committee on Saturday afternoon after the completion of Session V.
NCAA Championships Qualifiers
125: #12 Tim Lambert
149: #6 Jake Sueflohn
157: #1 James Green
165: Austin Wilson
174: #3 Robert Kokesh
184: #8 TJ Dudley
HWT: Collin Jensen