AMES, Iowa ? Chris Drouin's addition to the NCAA Wrestling Championship as a "wild card" selection brings to five the Iowa State wrestling contingent that will compete at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will take place in Philadelphia, Pa., March 17-19. Iowa State*already had*four automatic qualifiers in Jon Reader (174 lbs), Cole Shafer (184 lbs), Jerome Ward (197 lbs) and Kyle Simonson (HWT). The brackets were announced Wednesday.
Drouin, a senior from Temecula, Calif., will wrestle against ninth-seeded Cole VonOhlen of Air Force in the first round. The winner of that match will likely face Big 12 runner-up Zack Bailey in the second round of the tournament.Reader, who earned the first seed at 174 pounds, brings a record of 34-0 to the table. He will face Justin Zeerip of Michigan in the first round, with another unseeded wrestler awaiting the victor in the second round.
Shafer needed to win one match at the Big 12 tournament to earn an automatic bid, and used a powerful neck wrench to pin Missouri?s Mike Larson and earn the spot at 184 pounds. Shafer will wrestle Arizona State?s Jake Meredith in the first round. Meredith was defeated by Jon Reader 14-3 earlier this season. The winner of this match will likely face third-seeded Steve Bosak of Cornell in the next round. Shafer and Bosak were knotted at four points apiece in the second period before Bosak hit a big move for the fall earlier this season in the dual between Iowa State and Cornell.
Ward*earned the 11th seed at 197 pounds. He will compete against Erik Schuth of Ohio in the first round. The two are familiar with each other, having wrestled at the Hokie Open in November. Ward won that matchup 3-1. The winner will likely face sixth-seeded Micah Burak of Penn in the second round.Kyle Simonson drew a familiar foe in the first round, Iowa's seventh-seeded Blake Rasing. Rasing beat Simonson, 2-0 in their match in Iowa City in December. The road does not get any easier for the winner with 10th-seeded and Big 12 runner-up Nathan Fernandez of Oklahoma likely waiting in the second round.