photo courtesy of Navy athletics
Conference season is upon us. This week we have five DI conferences in action and each day, we’ll bring a new preview. After starting with the Pac-12, we’ll go cross-country to preview the EIWA.
This will be a new-look EIWA tournament as it does not include the Ivy League schools and Franklin & Marshall, who have schools that have opted out of winter sports. Keeping national title contender Cornell and new power Princeton on the sidelines changes the conference’s entire dynamic. Despite the absence of the Ivy’s, the NCAA still used the school’s past history in determining NCAA qualifier allocations. That led to plenty of hand-wringing nationwide and a few weight classes that will award more automatic berths at nationals, than ranked wrestlers at the weight. All-in-all, 45 automatic bids to St. Louis will be handed out Friday as the EIWA Championship is decided.
The big question is, without Cornell and Princeton, who comes away with the conference championship? Perennial power Lehigh doesn’t necessarily have the star power they usually have, but they still have a strong nucleus capable of winning a title for head coach Pat Santoro. Speaking of head coaches, Navy has a new one in Cary Kolat. The Kolat effect has already taken place in Annapolis and the Midshipmen finished the season ranked 20th in the dual meet format. With an increased recruiting presence already intact, Navy could end up much higher in the future. Rival Army West Point, is consistently good and could challenge for the title with a break or two. Other programs like Binghamton, Drexel and Hofstra, may not be ready to contend for the championship, but are much improved and dangerous.
Below, we’ve gone through each weight class and previewed its competitors and made predictions for the top four placewinners, along with national qualifiers, and the team race.
When: Friday, February 26th
Where: Manheim, Pennsylvania
How to Watch: FloWrestling
1st - #32 Jaret Lane (Lehigh)
2nd - #33 Logan Treaster (Navy)
3rd - #16 Gage Curry (American)
4th - #30 Dylan Ryder (Hofstra)
5th - #31 Micah Roes (Binghamton)
6th - Brandon Seidman (Bucknell)
7th - Bryce Cockrell (Long Island)
8th - Ryan Chauvin (Army West Point)
9th - Kyle Waterman (Drexel)
10th - Cole Meyer (Sacred Heart)
Automatic NCAA Qualifying Spots Available (3)
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