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Rutgers wrestling has three top 10 seeds at NCAA Championships

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It’s the first time the Scarlet Knights earned that distinction under head coach Scott Goodale.

Sebastian Rivera earns the highest seed of the five Scarlet Knights headed to nationals.
Rutgers Athletics

The NCAA Championships seeding and brackets were announced on Wednesday night and Rutgers earned three top 10 seeds for the first time ever under head coach Scott Goodale. That’s a pretty remarkable achievement considering Rutgers was without returning national champion Nick Suriano and last year’s national qualifier at 133 pounds, Sammy Alvarez, was scratched from postseason consideration. Goodale continues to take this program to places that were not deemed possible when he took over more than a decade ago.

The Scarlet Knights will have five wrestlers at nationals for the seventh consecutive season. They earned three earned automatic bids and two earned at-large bids after their performances at the Big Ten Championships last weekend.

Sebastian Rivera earned a No. 3 seed at 141 pounds and will face No. 30 seed Dylan D’Emilio of Ohio State in the first round. Rivera is a three-time All-American and is 8-1 this season after finishing third at the Big Ten Championships.

Freshman John Poznanski is the No. 6 seed at 184 pounds and takes on No. 27 seed Taylor Brown of Army in the first round. He is 7-2 this season with five wins over ranked foes, including pinning no. 10 Owen Webster of Minnesota and winning a 3-2 decision over no. 16 Nelson Brands of Iowa to finish third at the Big Ten Championships.

Michael VanBrill is the no. 10 seed at 149 pounds and takes on no. 23 seed Tristan Lara of Northern Iowa in the first round. VanBrill stole the show at the Big Ten Championships last weekend in defeating four of the top six seeds in wrestlebacks to finish third in his weight class. It will be his first appearance at nationals after qualifying last season but the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Jackson Turley earned an at-large bid at 174 pounds and is the No. 26 seed set to face no. 7 seed Kaleb Romero of Ohio State in the first round. They did not face each other previously this season, as Romero defeated Joe Grello 15-5 in a major decision.

Billy Janzer also received an at-large bid at 197 pounds after qualifying last season but not getting a chance to wrestle due to the cancellation of the NCAA Championships. He will be in a first round pigtail as the No. 33 seed facing No. 32 seed Logan Andrew of Chattanooga.

The 2021 NCAA Championships begin Thursday, March 18 with Session I at 10 a.m. ET. The ESPN family of networks will broadcast the entire three day event.