IRVING, Texas — South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan is the top seed at 197 pounds heading into this weekend’s Big 12 Wrestling Championship. The pre-seeds, which were announced Monday afternoon, were determined by an independent five-person panel for the first time.
A sophomore and returning NCAA qualifier from Alburnett, Iowa, Sloan enters the two-day tournament undefeated this season with a 13-0 mark, winning nine of his 13 matches by either fall (3) or technical fall (6). He finished as runner-up at 197 pounds in 2020, dropping a 5-1 decision in the championship bout to West Virginia’s Noah Adams, who is seeded third. Stephen Buchanan of Wyoming is the second seed, while A.J. Ferrari of Oklahoma State rounds out the top four in a highly competitive weight class.
Seven other Jackrabbit wrestlers are pre-seeded in the top eight of their respective weight classes, including No. 3 seeds Zach Price at 133 pounds and Clay Carlson in the 141-pound division. Price, a sophomore from Johnston, Iowa, has posted an 11-2 record so far this season and carries an eight-match winning streak into the postseason.
Carlson, a sophomore from Willmar, Minnesota, has put together a 13-4 record thus far in 2021. His older brother, Colten, is pre-seeded at No. 8 in the 165-pound weight class.
Also holding a top-four pre-seed is redshirt freshman Cade DeVos, who is fourth at 157 pounds. The Altoona, Iowa, product enters his first Big 12 Wrestling Championship with an 11-7 overall record.
Danny Vega, who was named an alternate to the 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, is pre-seeded fifth at 125 pounds. After a tough start to the 2021 season, the senior from Tucson, Arizona, has reeled off 12 consecutive victories for a 12-4 mark.
Completing the contingent of pre-seeded wrestlers for the Jackrabbits are Cade King, seventh at 174 pounds, and Blake Wolters, eighth at heavyweight. King, a sophomore from Waseca, Minnesota, is 9-7 this season.
Wolters, a senior from Pipestone, Minnesota, enters his third Big 12 Wrestling Championship with a 4-8 mark, but with four of his losses coming in overtime.
Unseeded wrestlers expected to compete for the Jackrabbits are Hunter Marko (149 pounds) and Jacob Schoon (184 pounds).
Iowa State and defending champion Oklahoma State each have three wrestlers as top pre-seeds. Northern Iowa has a pair of wrestlers seeded first, with Utah Valley and SDSU each having one.
Pairings for the Big 12 Wrestling Championship are scheduled to be announced Wednesday. Big 12 Now on ESPN+ will broadcast the first three sessions of the event at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while Sunday’s championship round will air on ESPN2.
BIG 12 TOP PRE-SEEDS
125 (4): Brody Teske, Northern Iowa
133 (4): Daton Fix, Oklahoma State
141 (3): Ian Parker, Iowa State
149 (4): Boo Lewallen, Oklahoma State
157 (2): David Carr, Iowa State
165 (4): Travis Wittlake, Oklahoma State
174 (3): Demetrius Romero, Utah Valley
184 (3): Parker Keckeisen, Northern Iowa
197 (4): Tanner Sloan, South Dakota State
285 (4): Gannon Gremmel, Iowa State
Note: Number of pre-allocations for NCAA Championships in parentheses
Session I – 11 a.m. Saturday (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)
Session II – 5 p.m. Saturday (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)
Session III – 10 a.m. Sunday (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)
Session IV – 5 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2)
All times Central