Four Broncs Compete at Nationals Thursday-Saturday

Courtesy: Matt St. Onge
         
Release: March 14, 2017
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Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
ST. LOUIS, MO - With the EWL Championships closed and the at-large qualifiers announced, the dust has settled and the Broncs have qualified four wrestlers for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Live video coverage will be provided on the ESPN family of networks, ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app. 

The Broncs left the EWL Championships with three qualifiers. These qualifications were given to their three EWL champions, juniors at 157 and 165 B.J. Clagon (Toms River, NJ/Toms River HS South), Chad Walsh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic), and senior 197 Ryan Wolfe (New Castle, DE/Caravel Academy).

During the at-large selection process, one Bronc managed to hit the selection lottery with Michale Fagg-Daves (Somerset, NJ/Franklin) receiving a bid at 184 pounds for his third place finish at EWLs. 

While the Broncs may not be seeing great quantity, they make up for the lack of wrestlers with great quality. The Broncs drew two top 10 seeds with Walsh seeded 5th overall at 165 and Wolfe seeded 8th at 197. Clagon and Fagg-Daves are both unseeded. 

Clagon carries a tough draw at 157 pounds, being placed in the bracket’s single pigtail match against Colt Shorts of Cal Poly. Clagon must win this match in order to continue wrestling, as losing a pigtail eliminates you from the tournament. If Clagon were to win, he’d draw 8th-seeded Jake Short of Minnesota in the round of 32.

Walsh’s 5th seed set him up against unseeded Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern, where a victory will reward him with a possible rematch against Edinboro’s Austin Matthews for the third time this year. Walsh lost to Matthews in last year’s EWL finals, but has defeated him in both their meetings this year including for the 2017 EWL title.

Fagg-Daves is the only qualifier this year on his first trip to NCAA’s, and will have to learn on the fly with a tough round one matchup against 2016 NCAA finalist and 7th seed at 184 pounds T.J. Dudley of Nebraska.

Wolfe will begin his quest for an NCAA title with Jacob Holschlag of the University of Northern Iowa. Wolfe would draw two-time NCAA champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox of Missouri if seeds were to hold through the round of eight.

Wrestling starts at the Scottrade Center Thursday morning with the first matches being kicked off at 11 a.m. CT/12 p.m. ET, while All-American matches at the championship finals will take place on Saturday.
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