NCAA Championships Preview
March 19, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Five Hoosier wrestlers begin their quest for national championships and All-America status on Thursday (March 21) as competition at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships gets underway at noon eastern time. Indiana's five student-athletes qualified for nationals mark the most since IU sent a half dozen to the 2010 NCAAs.
INDIANA'S REPRESENTATION AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (bios below)
125 lbs. - Joe Duca (15-16)
157 lbs. - #18 Taylor Walsh (29-10)
165 lbs. - #17 Ryan LeBlanc (22-8)
184 lbs. - Luke Sheridan (22-14)
285 lbs. - #10/12th-seeded Adam Chalfant (26-9)
The ESPN family of networks will be in the house, providing video coverage throughout the championships. Here is the video schedule:
Thursday, Noon & 7:30 pm - Session I & II - ESPN3.com
Friday, 11 am - Quarterfinals - ESPNU & ESPN3.com
Friday, 7 pm - Semifinals - ESPNU & WatchESPN.com/app
Saturday, 11 a.m. - Medal Round - ESPNU & ESPN3.com
Saturday, 8 p.m. - ESPN & WatchESPN.com/app
Hoosiers can also keep tabs on how IU is faring by following the team's official Twitter account (@IUWrestling1).
Under head coach Duane Goldman, three Hoosiers have been named national champions and 25 have reached the All-America stand.
The championships are being held in Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena. Wells Fargo Arena is a 17,000 seat arena that opened July 12, 2005. The arena has been a consistent top-100 concert facility as ranked by Pollstar Magazine, hosts the Iowa High School State Wrestling and Basketball Tournaments annually, and is the home for the NBA D-League's 2010 Champion Iowa Energy and the AFL's Iowa Barnstormers.
Joe Duca 125 lbs
Placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships to qualify for the NCAAs ... defeated Northwestern's Dom Malone for the second time in three weeks and #19 Camden Eppert at the conference tournament ... advanced to the semifinals and placed fourth at the Hokie Open ... finished the regular season with a win over #22 Dominick Malone of Northwestern ... swept the SIUE Duals ... tied for the team lead with two tech falls ... sat out Midlands with the flu ... started all 19 duals.
Taylor Walsh 157 lbs
Ranked 18th nationally entering the NCAA Championships (at-large bid) ... finished 14th/12th in the final RPI/Coaches Panel Rankings ... defeated three seeded (two nationally-ranked) wrestlers en route to a fourth-place showing at the Midlands ... advanced to the championship bout of the Hokie Open ... placed fifth at the Keystone Classic ... has totaled five victories over nationally-ranked competition ... paces the team with 29 wins, eight pins and a +50 dual match point differential ... tied for team lead with a pair of tech falls ... swept both the Huskie and Hoosier Duals and finished with 14-2 mark in dual-match competition (6-2 Big Ten).
Ryan LeBlanc 165 lbs
Ranked 17th nationally entering the NCAA Championships, qualifying for nationals with a seventh-place showing at the Big Tens ... finished 11th/19th in the final RPI/Coaches Panel Rankings ... runner-up at the Hokie Open, picking up three pins en route to the championship bout ... placed third in the Keystone Classic ... sat out the Midlands with the flu ... swept the Huskie Duals ... returned to the line-up at Purdue.
Luke Sheridan 184 lbs
At-large selection to the NCAA Championships ... ranked 31st in the final Coaches Panel Rankings ... placed sixth at the Hokie Open ... concluded the regular season a winner of five consecutive Big Ten duals and eight bouts overall ... the eight-match win streak included a pair of triumphs over nationally-ranked opponents (#12 Tony Dallago - Illinois; #25 Patrick Kissel - Purdue) ... started all 18 duals ... swept the Hoosier Duals and SIUE Duals.
Adam Chalfant 285 lbs
Ranked 10th nationally entering the NCAA Championships, where he will be the 12th-seeded heavyweight ... qualified for nationals by placing fifth in the Big Ten Championships ... finished 18th/15th in the final RPI/Coaches Panel Rankings ... the 2012 Keystone Classic heavyweight champion ... also advanced to the finals of the Hokie Open ... owns five wins over nationally-ranked opponents ... won two bouts before bowing out of the Midlands with an injury ... leads the team with seven major decisions ... swept both the Huskie and Hoosier Duals.
Complete Indiana Notes
Adam Chalfant, Ryan LeBlanc and Taylor Walsh are each making their second straight trip to the NCAA Championships, competing last season in St. Louis. Here are their results from the 2012 NCAAs:
149 lbs. - Bryce Busler (Bloomsburg) dec. #11 Taylor Walsh (IU), 10-9
174 lbs. - Ryan LeBlanc (IU) dec. #10 Te Edwards (Old Dominion), 4-1
285 lbs. - #4 Zachary Rey (Lehigh) dec. Adam Chalfant (6-4), 6-4 (SV1)
149 lbs. - #11 Taylor Walsh (IU) pins Dean Pavlou (Chattanooga), 1:02
174 lbs. - #7 Jordan Blanton (Illinois) dec. Ryan LeBlanc (IU), 6-1
285 lbs. - Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State) dec. Adam Chalfant (IU), 6-4 (SV2)
149 lbs. - Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) dec. #11 Taylor Walsh (IU), 7-4
174 lbs. - Ryan LeBlanc (IU) dec. Patrick Martinez (Wyoming), 5-3 (SV2)
174 lbs. - Curran Jacobs (Michigan State) pins Ryan LeBlanc (IU), 4:47
Three Hoosiers have been ranked amongst the country's elite all season long. Here's where they stack up this week entering NCAAs:
#10 Adam Chalfant (285 lbs.)
#17 Ryan LeBlanc (165 lbs.)
#18 Taylor Walsh (157 lbs.)
SPEAKING OF RANKINGS
Four Hoosiers could be found in the final NCAA RPI & Coaches Panel Rankings. Here's how they shook out (RPI/Coaches Panel):
Taylor Walsh (14/12)
Ryan LeBlanc (11/19)
Adam Chalfant (18/15)
Luke Sheridan (-/31)
BEAT THE BEST TO BE THE BEST
Taylor Walsh and Adam Chalfant have combined to defeat 10 nationally-ranked wrestlers this season, each recording five triumphs over fellow ranked opponents. Luke Sheridan and Joe Duca both posted a pair of wins over nationally-ranked opponents during the second half of the season.
COACHING STAFF CREDENTIALS
Indiana's full-time coaching staff is comprised of three four-time All-Americans. The only school in the country which can make that claim.
Head Coach Duane Goldman was not only a four-time All-American, but also a four-time NCAA finalists. He capped off his career at Iowa by winning the 190-pound National Championship in 1986. Assistants Nick Simmons and Joe LeBlanc also found their way to the stand in each of their collegiate seasons.
ON PACE TO BE REMEMBERED
Amid just his second season competing for the Cream and Crimson, Taylor Walsh is racking up career win and fall totals that could etch his named into the all-time record books at IU.
Entering the NCAAs, Walsh owns 58 overall victories and 21 pins. The top-10 starts at 114 career wins and 31 falls.