Wednesday, February 22, 2023

NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Preview (Feb 24-25)


As I have for the Southeast Regional & the Upper Midwest Regional & as I will for the other Regionals in NCAA Division III wrestling, I am now going to take a look at the Mideast Regional. In all 10 weight classes, my goal is to try and determine who I think in each bracket will fight for a top 3 showing, which is also what gains one NCAA DIII tournament qualification. 

125 lbs 

While this weight class returns two NCAA qualifiers from last season, the guy to watch for here could very well be rookie Jack Thode of Centenary. The freshman currently holds a 22-3 record with a 7-6 victory over last year's Mideast Regional runner-up Joey Lamparelli of Muhlenberg.  Lamparelli himself carries a 25-6 record, with a 3-1 s.v. over Terry Adams of Ursinus, who finished 3rd in the Regional last season. Adams also owns a 3-2 victory over Lamparelli. To close out my thoughts via 125 lbs, the other guy in the fight for a top 3 showing is Ryan Rosenthal of TCNJ, who owns a 3-2 tiebreaker decision over Adams. 

133 lbs 

J.C. Cardenas of SUNY-Cortland returns to defend his 2022 Mideast Regional title. He is 26-2 on the season with a 10-5 win over Isaias Torres of Ithaca. He will be challenged by both Matt Caccamise of Brockport, a three time NCAA DIII qualifier who was R12 in last year's national championships & Zach Levey of Alfred State, who took 3rd in the Regional last season.  Caccamise owns a 3-2 victory over Levy.  

141 lbs 

A top three finish for NCAA Division III qualification at 141 lbs will be between four talented grapplers in my opinion.  2022 Mideast Regional 3rd place finisher Xavier Pena enters with a 23-1 record & a currently owns the only loss SUNY-Cortland's Cahal Donovan has thus far in his freshman season. Pena defeated Donovan 4-0, who has 18 wins himself.  Domenic Difrancesantonio, last year's Mideast Regional champion, is currently 11-2 on the season.  He owns a 6-0 decision over Chris Horton of RIT who was an NCAA DIII qualifier in 2020. 

149 lbs 

Tough, tough weight class. I said at the very beginning of the season in my pre-season previews, that I thought Ithaca's Matt Beyer was one of the best wrestlers in NCAA Division III last year to not make the tournament. As far as I'm concerned, he has been proving me right this year, as he owns a 22-6 record with two victories (3-1 & 9-3) over Michael Conklin of TCNJ who finished as the Mideast Runner-up last year & took 8th place at the D3 nationals.  As both will fight to make the finals this season, they'll have plenty of competition along the way.  Jeff Johnson of Jersey City at 16-1, already owns a 5-2 decision over Conklin.  Other contenders for that top 3 spot include freshman Thomas Monn who has been kicking rear-end all season at 29-0 as well as 2020 NCAA DIII qualifier Eli Simms who currently stands at 22-2. 

157 lbs 

*NOTE* - Ithaca has two standout wrestlers here at 149 lbs & they'd be justified in starting either one. Louis Pierre Wenchard is 19-5 on the season & he has a very nice 8-5 decision over Matt Sacco of TCNJ, but at the same time at 21-7, Travis Jones is a two time NCAA DIII qualifier. Not an easy pick & so help me if I'm wrong, but I think come Friday, we're gonna see Jones representing the Bombers. 

Sacco 16-4 on the season & one match shy of earning NCAA DIII All American honors last year, will contend for a Mideast Regional championship.  In the fight right there with him & Jones will be Elizabethtown's Dorian Gonzalez as well as NCAA DIII qualifier Brandon Bowles of Muhlenberg.  For the record, Sacco owns a 2-1 decision over Gonzalez. 

165 lbs 

It's pretty simple, we got 5 NCAA qualification material wrestlers at this weight. Three of them will be going to the NCAA Division III championships & two of them won't. 

Alex LaVeck of McDaniel is currently 20-6 on the season. 7th in the Mideast Regional last year, he currently owns two victories over Shawn Marchesano of Ursinus. A 5:59 fall & an 8-2 decision. 

Marchesano owns a 26-7 record as he was 5th at the Mideast Regional last season.  He owns an 11-5 decision over Nick Sacco of TCNJ. 

Jake Hoffman of Johns Hopkins is currently 24-12. He owns a 13-2 major decision over Marchesano. 

Jackson Gray of Ithaca is 27-7. He was 4th in last year's Mideast Regional. He owns a 4-2 decision over Sacco. 

Sacco at 18-3, owns both a 5-4 decision over Gray. 

174 lbs 

Another tough weight class featuring five tough wrestlers & again only three of them are going to the NCAA D3 championships. 

I think our forerunner for the Mideast Regional title here is two time NCAA DIII qualifier Charlie Grygas of Brockport. Currently 24-1, he was one match shy of All American honors last year. 

Grygas will be challenged by Anson DeWar of Muhlenberg who finished one match shy of NCAA DIII qualificaiton last season.  DeWar owns both an 8-4 as well as a 1-0 decision over Joe Paul. Paul for the record currently owns a 31-6 record. 

Brian Torres of SUNY-Cortland will also challenge for the Mideast Regional title. An NCAA DIII qualifier last year, he is 20-7 on the season with a 7-3 decision over Paul. 

Look for Reid Colella of TCNJ to also challenge for a top 3 spot. 

184 lbs 

My job here is try and narrow it down to who I think will finish top 3 at each weight & qualify for the NCAA DIII championships. Yet sometimes it is easy to narrow down & other times it isn't. 184 lbs Mideast Regional reflects the latter.  

First and foremost, I think for sure Demitreus Henry of SUNY-Cortland a two time NCAA DIII qualifier who was 8th in the D3 nation last season qualifies. At 15-2, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him win the tournament. 

As to who finishes runner-up? Who finishes 3rd?  Quinn Haddad of TCNJ seems like a likely pick. A two time NCAA DIII qualifier in his own right, he owns both a 5-4 decision over Colby Giroux of RIT & a 4-3 decision over Gary Nagle of of Ursinus. 

Michael Bromley of McDaniel was only 8th at last year's Mideast Regional, but since moving up to 184 from 174 back the first of January, has looked like a completely different wrestler. He's currently 30-5 on the season. 

Nagle is 16-2 on the season, one match from NCAA DIII qualification last season. 

Isaac Cory of Penn College is 13-1. He owns a 0:45 fall over Giroux. 

Giroux himself is 27-4. He owns two 3-1 sudden victories over Cory &  a 4-3 decision over Haddad. 

Then we also have Sean Malefant  of Alfred State. 35-3 on the season, he owns a 7-4 decision of Giroux. 

So you tell me, who's making it? 

197 lbs 

Gold here, without a doubt in my mind is going to three time NCAA DIII qualifier (5th in the D3 nation last season) Eze Chukwuezi of Ithaca. Currently 34-3 on the season he has tech'd, pinned & majored his way through Mideast Regional competition 

As to silver and bronze? Well, I think that'll come down to two out of the three wrestlers I have listed. 

Michael Sullivan of Brockport is 22-4.

Josh Harkless of RIT an NCAA DIII qualifier last season, is currently 24-4. 

Jaedyn Harris of McDaniel is 26-5. 


Don't have extremely strong feelings on Mideast Regional in concerns to HWT, but if I had to pick who I thought was gonna qualify for the NCAA D3's, these would be my picks. 

Dylan Waller of Elizabethtown 26-3 on the season.

Peter Wersinger of TCNJ 18-8 on the season. 

Joe Yanis of Brockport 18-10 on the season. 

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