Wrestling Qualifies All Ten Starters for Nationals
COLUMBIA -- Coming off the program's first Big 12 Championship this past weekend, the Missouri wrestling squad accomplished another first on Wednesday afternoon, as the NCAA announced that all 10 of Missouri's starting grapplers have qualified for the NCAA Championship.
Last season, the Tigers set a program record when they earned nine bids to the national tournament. Mizzou is the only program in the country to qualify all 10 of their starters to this year's NCAA's.
Nine of the wrestlers earned automatic qualifier bids after their performance at Saturday's Big 12 Championship. The lone remaining non-qualifier, heavyweight Devin Mellon, landed one of the four remaining wild card spots at the weight. Mellon went 19-12 as a redshirt freshman, which included two wins over top-15 wrestlers.
He'll face the winner of No. 1 Ryan Flores (American) and Ernest James (Edinboro), who wrestle in the pigtail round. Two Tigers earned national seeds, with Alan Waters coming in at No. 3 at 125 pounds and Brent Haynes getting the No. 6 seed at 197. Waters will open up against Pat Rollins of Oregon State, while Haynes is paired up with Maxwell Huntley of Michigan in the first round.