LaCROSSE, Wisc. – Ursinus College senior wrestler Derek Arnold will begin his journey at the Division III wrestling championship on Friday morning, as the NCAA released its 18-man brackets for the tournament to be held Friday and Saturday at the LaCrosse Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Arnold, ranked fifth in the final d3wrestle.com rankings, is seeded fourth at 157 pounds and will meet Augsburg's Grant Parker in an opening-round bout. The Bears' senior is one of the nation's hottest wrestlers, having won his last 28 matches after falling to WPI's Tyler Marsh in his first bout of the season.
An All-American in 2015, Arnold recently became the first wrestler in Ursinus history to win three NCAA East Regional championships and garnered his third consecutive title at the Centennial Conference tournament. He is competing at the NCAA championship for the third time in his career.
Parker comes in with an overall record of 22-10 and is making his second NCAA championship appearance after a repeat third-place showing at the West Regional. Augsburg, ranked No. 2 in the country, claimed its 15th consecutive regional crown.
A win over Parker would send Arnold into a matchup with Oswego State's Rocco Russo, who is 11-2 on the season. Springfield's Zach Joseph, sporting a 27-2 mark and ranked second in Division III by d3wrestle.com, is a possible opponent in the quarterfinals.
Cortland's Robert Dierna (17-0) is the top seed in the 157-pound bracket, with Wartburg's Logan Thomsen (30-2) seeded second and Wabash's Nick Bova (31-2) third.