Northern Iowa Prepped for 2018 NCAA Championships

By Michelle Van Dorn, UNI Sports Information


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI wrestling fans unable to join the Panther Train at the Division I championships will be able to follow the action through live ESPN3 streams, Trackwrestling results and ESPN broadcasts.

General coverage of each morning session will be broadcast on ESPNU. The evening sessions will be aired on ESPN. The finals will be shown on ESPN2.

Each mat will have a live stream on ESPN3. An Off the Mat special will be featured on ESPN3 during the championships matches. Fans can follow alerts on Twitter at UNI_wrestling or use Trackwrestling.com to track which mat UNI wrestlers will be competing throughout the day.

PANTHERS AT 2018 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

UNI is sending six Panthers to the NCAA tournament, down just one from last year when UNI had the most qualifiers since 2014.

  • 124 – Jay Schwarm (1x qualifier)
  • 141 – Josh Alber (3x qualifier)
  • 149 – Max Thomsen (1x All-American, 2x qualifier)
  • 174 – Taylor Lujan (2x qualifier)
  • 184 – Drew Foster (1x All-American, 2x qualifier)
  • 197 – Jacob Holschlag (2x qualifier)

The Panthers are looking to improve on an 18th-place finish from last year, which produced two All-Americans who return for a second trip this year.

Max Thomsen took fifth last year at 149 pounds while Drew Foster was seventh at 184 pounds. The last time UNI had two returning All-Americans was in 2005 when the Panthers finished 15th.

The Panthers' highest finish under Schwab has been in 2014 and 2013 when UNI took 15th. In 2013, UNI qualified four wrestlers and crowned two All-Americans.

In 2014, UNI qualified seven wrestlers and returned with three All-Americans.

UNI wrestling at the NCAA in the Schwab era:

YEAR RETURNING NCAAQ RETURNING AA QUALIFIERS THAT SEASON ALL-AMERICANS
2011 2 1 3 0
2012 2 0 5 0
2013 5 0 4 2
2014 3 1 7 3
2015 4 1 4 0
2016 3 0 5 1
2017 4 1 7 2
2018 6 2 6


SEEDED PANTHERS / FIRST ROUND MATCHES

Big 12 champion Taylor Lujan leads the team, seeded No. 7 at 174 pounds. Lujanwas the first Panther to earn Big 12 honors and win a Big 12 title for UNI. Having won the MAC Championship last year, he is the only Panther with two conference titles. Lujan will face Will Schany of Virginia in the first round.

Drew Foster earned the No. 8 seed at 184 pounds. He won his first conference title with a Big 12 win last weekend. He faces Arizona State's KordellNorfleet in the first round. Foster is 1-0 against Norfleet, beating him by major decision (9-1) at the Virginia Duals.

All-American Max Thomsen grabbed the ninth seed at 149 pounds. Thomsen was second at the Big 12 Championships. He faces Khristian Olivas of Fresno State in the first round. Olivas earned an at-large bid to the tournament.

Also seeded ninth from UNI is Josh Alber at 141 pounds. He will face Eastern Michigan's Sa'Derian Perry. Alber was third at the Big 12 Championships.

Jay Schwarm is seeded 16th and will face Drew Mattin of Michigan. Schwarm avenged a loss to No. 17 Christian Moody en route to a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships.

Jacob Holschlag opens the national tournament with a familiar foe. He will get a rematch with Willie Miklus of Missouri. Miklus is up 1-0 on the series with an 8-4 win at the Panthers' final dual of the season.

RECORDS TO WATCH / MILESTONES

Just 33 Panthers have earned multiple Division I All-America honors. Drew Foster and Max Thomsen have the chance to join that elite group. The last Panther to join the list was Dylan Peters with his 2016 finish.

Jay Schwarm has notched at team-high of 15 falls this season, cracking the top 10 twice this year for most falls among all Division I wrestlers in the nation. He needs one more to finish in the top 10 among all Panthers in the history of UNI.

1. Kirk Myers (1981-82) 21
2. Justin Greenlee (1994-95) 20
3. Rich Powers (1991-92) 19
4. Joel Greenlee (1988-89) 18
Rich Powers (1989-90) 18
Dylan Peters (2013-14) 18
7. John Kriebs (1981-82) 17
8. Tony Koontz (1985-86) 16
Justin Greenlee (1993-94) 16
Blayne Beale (2009-10) 16