Brackets Released For 2011 Wrestling Championships
KEARNEY, Neb. – The NCAA has released the complete field and pairings for the 2011 Division II Wrestling Championships, set to be held on March 11-12 at the University of Nebraska at Kearney's Health & Sports Center.
UNCP qualified four wrestlers for the postseason gala for the third time under head coach Jamie Gibbs. All-American Mike Williams will make the trek to south central Nebraska following his perfect run through the 165-pound championship at the Super Region I Duals in Erie, Pa., while Timdarius Thurston (133 pounds), Brendon Parker-Risk (149) and fellow all-American Russell Weakley (125) punched their ticket to the national championships via fourth place finishes at the event.
Weakley (22-3), who dipped to fifth in the latest individual national rankings by NCAA Division II, will face top-ranked Trevor Franklin (23-2) of Upper Iowa in his opener in Kearney. Thurston (19-9), ranked fourth in the latest Super Region I listing, will take on top-ranked Todd Wilcox (32-3) from Grand Canyon in his NCAA Tournament debut, while Parker-Risk (23-8), listed third in the most recent Super Region I poll, will battle the nation's fourth-ranked wrestler, Nick Walpole of Indianapolis (37-3), in his tournament debut.
Williams (23-3), the nation's top-ranked wrestler at 165 pounds, will take on top-ranked Nebraska-Omaha's Nathan Sigman (23-23) in his opener at the event.
Two-time defending champion Nebraska-Omaha headlines the field with 10 wrestlers qualifying, the only team to place an individual in each weight class.
Four other schools - Central Oklahoma, Grand Canyon (Ariz.), Newberry (S.C.) and St. Cloud State - each tied for second with eight qualifiers heading to the mats at UNK's Health & Sports Center.
A total of 160 wrestlers were selected for the championship field after going through one of four Super Regional tournaments. UNO, Newberry, St. Cloud State and UNK won the team titles at the Super Regional. They are currently ranked Nos. 1, 3, 4 and t-8 in the most recent Division II coaches poll.
Other contenders sending a strong contingent to the NCAA Championships include No. 2 Augustana (S.D.), No. 5 Central Oklahoma, No. 6 Pittsburgh-Johnstown, No. 9 Minnesota State and No. 10 Upper Iowa.
Nebraska-Omaha has won five of the past seven NCAA team titles, including the past two. Nebraska-Kearney won the title in 2008 and Central Oklahoma took top honors in 2002, 2003 and 2007.