The seeds for the NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championships were announced on Wednesday night, and there are a few locals to keep your eye on in the brackets when the tournament kicks off on March 20 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Somers grad Brian Realbuto, who is currently wrestling in his freshman season for Cornell, is seeded seventh at 157 pounds. The three-time New York state champ was the only former Section 1 wrestler to get seeded. He will wrestle Eastern Michigan’s Brandon Zeerip in the first round.
Two other locals will be competing in the D1 tourney—former teammates, in fact. Fox Lane grads Steven Rodrigues (Illinois) and Sam Speno (NC State) each qualified, and in a strange twist, will be competing in the same weight class at 141 pounds. They’re on opposite sides of the bracket, though, so the only time they could run into each other would be in the finals or wrestlebacks. In the first round, Rodrigues will wrestle Hofstra’s Luke Vaith, who is the eighth-seed, and Speno will wrestle Northern Illinois’ Joey Lazor, who is seeded 11th.
I browsed through the D2 and D3 brackets, and spotted two former Section 1 wrestlers in D3. Yorktown grad Jimmy Kaishian (Ithaca) is unseeded at 125 pounds, and John Jay grad Henry Stauber (Johns Hopkins) is unseeded at 141.
Finally, it’s worth noting that New Rochelle grad Malcolm Allen (Iowa Central CC) took second at 285 pounds in the NJCAA National Championships, upsetting the top seed along the way and losing his finals match by a point on a late takedown. The former state champ has a flair for the dramatic.
I may have missed someone in either D2 or D3, so I posted links to each bracket below. If you find any other locals, drop a line in the comments section.