Pairings announced for wrestling nationals

INDIANAPOLIS – South Dakota State University wrestlers Cody Pack and Nate Rotert are seeded in the top 15 of their respective weight classes as pairings for next week’s NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships were announced Wednesday.

Pack, a senior from Quincy, California, is seeded seventh in the 157-pound weight class and will meet Neal Richards of Virginia Military Institute in first-round action. A four-time national qualifier, Pack has compiled a 27-3 record this season. Richards enters the national tournament with a 21-9 overall record.

A sophomore from Spearfish, Rotert is making his second consecutive appearance at nationals and is seeded 15th at 197 pounds. Rotert has compiled a 26-9 record this season and will face Scottie Boykin of Chattanooga (Tenn.), 23-6 overall, in the opening round.

SDSU JackrabbitsThree other Jackrabbit qualifiers are unseeded and will face seeded wrestlers in first-round action. At 141 pounds, redshirt freshman Seth Gross will square off against 13th-seeded Steve Bleise of Northern Illinois, 26-8 overall. Gross has posted a 23-12 record this season and, like Pack and Rotert, is coming off a runner-up finish at last week’s Big 12 Championship.

At-large qualifier Alex Kocer, 24-10 overall, will meet sixth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern (Ill.) in the first round. Kocer is making his second career appearance at nationals after also qualifying in 2014. Tsirtsis holds a 13-7 record this season.

2016 NCAA DI National Championships Brackets

David Kocer, a sophomore from Wagner, has posted a team-best 28 wins against 11 losses this season while wrestling in the 174-pound weight class, and will meet seventh-seeded Cody Walters of Ohio, 26-4 overall, to close out the Jackrabbits’ first-round pairings.

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will be contested March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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