Sunday, December 10, 2023

44th Midwest Classic Preview (Sat-Sun 12-16/17-2023) 149 lbs


Now here's a tough weight class. If you can finish top 8 within this field of talent, you did something in your wrestling career worth doing. We're talking six of the 2023 NCAA DII All Americans. Add in a 2023 NAIA finalist from last season. IF that's not enough five more NCAA DII qualifiers, one of which was R12 at the NCAA DII championships. Three Midwest Classic place-winners, plus two more who were one match shy of placing. We have ourselves a very, very competitive weight class.

Wyatt Turnquist
Northern State

3rd in the DII nation this past season, Wyatt Turnquist looks to try and bring home a Midwest Classic title this weekend. He certainly has the resume to suggest that he'll do so. 10-5 & 8-4 decisions over Jalen Spuhler, he also owns an 8-4 decision over last year's Midwest Classic Champion Jacob Ealy. A 7-2 decision over Jake Piccirilli he defeated Dallas Wilson 21-2 technical fall. 

Christian Small
Lake Erie

The 2023 Johnnythompsonnum1 Sportsmanship Award Winner is up a weight class after finishing 2nd in the DII nation at 141 lbs last year. This year he's on a search for gold & he's starting his expedition here in Indianapolis. He hasn't faced a lot of competition yet at 149 lbs, but a recent 9-3 decision over Jalen Spuhler s indication enough of what he's capable of. 

Jalen Spuhler

It really goes to show you just how tough the Midwest Classic truly is when you take into consideration that Jalen Spuhler was 7th here last year, yet 4th in the DII nation. The Ranger has a lot going for him, including the fact that he's beaten Turnquist on two occasions by scores of 4-3 & 3-2 tiebreaker.  He also owns a 6:43 fall over Devan Moore & a 12-11 decision over Dallas Wilson.  A 7-4 decision as well as a 5:39 fall over Jackson Hoover. 

Zeth Brower

Zeth Brower has yet to compete this season, yet you know good and well that if he shows up here, he'll be a force to be reckoned with. Winning an NCAA DII title in 2022 & finishing 5th this past year is all the proof I need to convince me he'll be a title contender, even if he is a bit rusty.  Amongst the competition he has a 6-0 win over Devan Moore. 

Chris Donathan
Grand Valley State

Within the shadow of Zack, Chris Donathan is now at a new school, with a new attitude. He's looking to make the name Chris as well known as Zack when you say the name Donathan & he's looking to help his new school to achieve monumental statuses in it's first season back on the mat in decades. To come in here and have a great Midwest Classic would do wonders for him and his team.  An NCAA qualifier in 2020, what better way to reinvent yourself than at the toughest in season tournament of the year? 

Jacob Ealy
Pittsburgh Johnstown 

It's asinine to think that Jacob Ealy could be seeded as low as *6 this tournament. We're talking about a guy that won the Midwest Classic last year & finished 5th here two seasons ago. Regardless of where he's seeded, it doesn't matter. Jacob Ealy is a tournament wrestler & he's proven that by earning All American status three times in a row. The guy knows how to perform at tournaments & I wouldn't wanna be the guy facing him in the quarters or the semis. Against the competition he has a 12-1 major over Jake Piccirilli and a 7:00 fall over Ethan Hardy. 

Ryan Moore
Thomas More

Here's our bracket buster ladies and gentlemen. Ryan Moore has been one of the top wrestlers in the NAIA for quite some time. 2nd in the NAIA nation last season, he is bound and determined to show the world of DII wrestling he can do just as much damage in the NCAA as he did in the NAIA. This will be his greatest opportunity. His greatest time to shine and his greatest time to prove himself. 

Devan Moore

If I haven't gotten it through your head that the Midwest Classic in many ways is just as tough if not tougher than the NCAA DII national tournament, try this on for size.  Devan Moore was 8th in the DII country last season, but one match shy of a top 8 finish at the Midwest Classic.  This season he looks to collect medals from both.  An 8-2 victory over Jake Piccirilli on his resume. 

Jake Piccirilli

Things didn't quite go the way for Jake Piccirilli the way he wanted them to last season. An NCAA DII qualifier in 2022, he finished one match shy of a second qualification. He also finished one match shy of a top 8 showing here at the Midwest Classic. It'll be every bit as challenging as it was last year, & he'll probably have to pull off an upset or two to do it. Nevertheless he is very capable of earning a medal here. A 7-3 decision over Devan Moore & a 7-3 decision over Ethan Hardy among his noteworthy wins. 

Cody Thompson
Colorado School Of Mines

Cody Thompson has switched weight classes and he's now trying his luck at 149 lbs. He hasn't faced any of the top competition he'll see here yet, but it's wise to think he'll be among those looking to finish in the top 8. 

Dean Noble
Western Colorado

Dean Noble was an NCAA qualifier for the Mountaineers last season competing at 141 lbs. Like Thompson, we really haven't seen him much against the top foes at 149. The Midwest Classic will give us a good indication of where he stands. 

Jackson Hoover

Being right here in Indianapolis, competing for the host team, you know good and well that Jackson Hoover wants to earn a top 8 finish. A junior this season this will be his first time competing in the tournament. 

Dylan Brown
Central Oklahoma

Dylan Brown is yet another NJCAA superstar from last season, who is now showcasing his talents and skills at the NCAA Division II level. An NJCAA runner-up for Northeast Oklahoma A&M, he'll have plenty of opportunity to show what he's got against some of the best in the world of DII here at the Midwest Classic. 

Dallas Wilson
Mount Olive

Dallas Wilson is one of those wrestlers that you have to go beyond results & beyond his ranking when really evaluating him. As mentioned in weights 125, 133 & 141, we are going to see upsets. That's just all there is to it. You can't have a tournament of this caliber without upsets. Trying to predict them is like trying to say who's gonna win the world series in 2043.  Nevertheless, you try and make our like Miss Chole, look into your crystal ball & make a prediction anyway.  Here at 149 lbs, I wouldn't put it past Dallas Wilson to pull off an upset or two.  He was 8th here last year & he was also one match shy of NCAA DII All American honors. He obviously knows how to compete at tournaments.  Among his victories a 7-2 decision over Devan Moore, a 10-9 decision over Ethan Hardy, and both a 4-3 as well as a 4-0 decision over Jake Piccirilli. 

Ethan Hardy
Glenville State

An NCAA DII qualifier for the Pioneers last season, Ethan Hardy will be among those looking for a top 8 showing here at the Midwest Classic. 

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