Harvard is sending four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2007 (OAC).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The brackets for the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships were revealed on Wednesday with four Crimson grapplers in the field.
Walter Peppelman, Corey Jantzen and Steven Keith each received automatic bids to the tournament by virtue of their placements at the EIWA Championships, and were joined in the field of 330 by freshman James Fox who received one of 43 at-large selections. Harvard will be sending four qualifiers to Nationals for the first time since 2007.
Peppelman was one of two Crimson to receive a top 12 seed in the tournament and will enter as the fourth seed at 157 lbs. The junior placed second at the EIWA Championships and has posted a record of 25-5, including 10 falls and five major decisions. This will mark Peppelman’s second trip to the NCAA Championships after placing eighth a year ago to earn All-America honors. Peppelman will face Northern Iowa’s David Bonin in the first round.
Keith, the 11th seed at 133 lbs., will have a slightly longer road to travel to get to center mat as he will open his tournament in the pigtail round against Maryland’s Geoffrey Alexander. Keith led the Crimson with a 30-8 record this season, and also posted a team-high 10 major decisions. He placed third at the EIWA Championships and will be making his trip appearance at Nationals.
Jantzen will also be making his third appearance at Nationals after going 9-5 at 149 lbs. while battling through injuries. The senior placed sixth at Eastern’s to earn his qualification, and despite his limited schedule has recorded two wins over opponents ranked in the InterMat top seven. That experience will be key when the tournament begins as Jantzen’s first opponent is 10th-seeded Cam Tessari from Oklahoma State.
Fox turned in an impressive campaign and was one of only four true freshman to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. He went 21-12 on the year, becoming the first freshman to post 20 wins and qualify for Nationals since Keith did so in 2009-10. His resume includes a seventh-place finish at the EIWA Championships, a seventh-place finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, and a third-place finish at the Keystone Classic. Fox will square off with eighth-seeded Matthew Powless of Indiana in his opening bout.
The 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships will take place March 15-17 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. For complete tournament details, click here.