photo courtesy of Corbey R. Dorsey; UNK Athletics
2020 Super Regional VI Preview
Where: Colorado Mesa University
Brackets (when available): TrackWrestling
2020 Champions - University of Nebraska-Kearney
#7 Adams State University
Chadron State University
#18 Colorado School of Mines
#15 Colorado Mesa University
#3 University of Nebraska-Kearney
Western Colorado State University
The western regional was a victim of the pandemic with three teams opting to skip this wrestling season. Simon Fraser, San Francisco State, and New Mexico Highlands all decided to sit this one out and it is going to cost the rest of the region dearly. Only the champion at each weight class is guaranteed a trip to the national tournament. The regional will have seven wildcard allotments for the best second-place athletes, but that still means that only 17 athletes will be headed to St Louis from a regional that had some of the most active teams during the regular season. Even the NWCA Coaches poll recognizes how good this super regional is; they have 23 wrestlers ranked.
While I fully expect Nebraska-Kearney to walk away with the team title, there are some more prominent storylines at play. Adams State has wrestlers who are All-Americans, but they cannot stumble this Sunday. I believe that Kearney will need to send at least seven or eight wrestlers through to the national tournament to have a chance at unseating St Cloud and bringing the team trophy back to Nebraska. How will the Colorado schools shake out? Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Mesa are both strong at the same weights. Given the reduced number of national qualifiers, there will be some absolute dogfights to advance wrestlers and control the rivalry. This tournament typically has a razor-thin margin for error and it has gotten even smaller in 2021. And perhaps the most significant thing to watch is the rust. Nearly all of these teams have been inactive since the last week of January, which is more than 30 days without a college weigh-in and live competition. There is going to be some serious rust and very little time to knock it off.
Follow along as I take a look at every weight and make my predictions for Top Four and the one wrestler who will automatically represent SRVI at each weight. I will even make my best attempt at figuring out who the lucky seven wildcards could be.
#3 Josh Portillo (Nebraska-Kearney) 2019 & 2020 champion
#4 Isaiah Delacerda (Adams State)
#14 Cian Apple (Colorado Mesa)
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