Mizzou Qualifies All 10 Starters for NCAA Championships
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA announced all 330 qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Championships that will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, starting next Thursday, March 21. Of the 330 selected, ten bids were dealt to Tiger grapplers from the University of Missouri.
The NCAA began announcing the Division I Championship fields by weight class starting at 12 p.m. in 30-minute intervals. Following this past weekend's MAC Championships, eight of 10 wrestlers had received automatic bids to this year's national tournament. Senior Nicholas Hucke and junior Zach Toal were the only starters that were hoping for At Large bids into this year's field.
At 1 p.m., the 141-pound field wasannounced, with Hucke receiving one of the four wildcard spots. Hucke had an up-and-down year for the Tigers, finishing with a 14-14 record at 141. This is his second NCAA appearance after automatically qualifying in 2012.
At 2:30 p.m., the news became official. Toal squeezed his way into the competitive 165-pound bracket thatincludes Cornell's No. 1 Kyle Dake and Penn State's David Taylor, who's ranked second. Toal finished the year with a 23-16 record. This will be Toal's third appearance in the NCAA Championships in his third year as a starter with the Tigers.
For a second consecutive season, Tiger Style will showcase a starter in every weight class. Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech are a couple of other programs that have qualified all 10 starters this year. Mizzou was the only program in the nation to send all ten starters to the NCAA's last year, which were held in St. Louis.
The Tigers finished the regular season ranked No. 4 by the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. This past weekend in Buffalo, the program claimed their second consecutive conference title in its first year as an affiliate member with the Mid-American Conference. In 2012, Mizzou left their former conference, the Big 12, as conference champions as well.