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Fans cheer as Bobcat freshman Jesse Webb pins Buffalo's Mike Silvis. Webb won in a 3-2 decision. 

‘Post’ reporters predict national wrestling tournament

An attempt to predict how six Ohio wrestlers will fare in this weekend’s NCAA Championships.

As the NCAA Championships kick into gear, The Post’s wrestling beat writers, Andrew Gillis and Ethan Felderstein, predict which Ohio wrestlers could be on their way to earning All-American honors.

Ohio has six qualifiers this year:

  • Redshirt junior No.11 Tywan Claxton (149 pounds)
  • Redshirt junior Spartak Chino (157)
  • Redshirt senior No. 16 Harrison Hightower (165)
  • Redshirt junior No. 9 Cody Walters (174)
  • Redshirt junior Andrew Romanchik (184)
  • Redshirt junior No.14 Phil Wellington (197)

149-POUNDS

Ethan Felderstein: Claxton will be my sleeper pick for Ohio in the tournament. He started off the season with a 13-0 record, but then started to lose just a bit of his mojo when he hit conference play. If he returns to early season form, I could definitely see him finishing as an All-American.

Prediction: 7th place; All-American

Andrew Gillis: Claxton is also my sleeper pick for the Bobcats. I think he got a favorable first round matchup and with the second round matchup possibly looming against No. 6 Alec Pantaleo, I think he’s primed for an upset and could make a run to Friday, where after that anything can happen.

Prediction: 6th place; All-American

157-POUNDS

EF: I’d love to pick Spartak Chino to make a run (mostly because he has the best name in all of Ohio Athletics), but I can’t see it happening. He’ll face a tough opponent in No. 16 Aaron Walker in the first round, but even if he does pull off the upset, he’ll then have to face No. 1 Isaiah Martinez. Sorry, Sparty.

Prediction: No place.

AG: If this bracket was based on who had the cooler name, Sparty would win, hands down. However, with a tough first round matchup and the No. 1 seed waiting in the second round, I can’t see him making it to Friday. I wouldn’t count him out of an All-American bid, though. Chino has fought his way out of tough situations before.

Prediction: 8th place; All-American

165-POUNDS

EF: It’s a tough draw for the redshirt senior. Hightower goes against the unseeded Max Rohskopf in the first round, but, if he wins, he faces No. 1 Alex Dieringer, who is undefeated. I don’t think he’s making a run for a title, but Hightower could definitely finish as an All-American in his final collegiate appearance.

Prediction: 8th place; All-American

AG: I’ll scream it from the top of Mt. Everest and I’ll scream it from the top of Morton Hill: Harrison Hightower will be an All-American. He will go out with a bang in his final tournament. He went to school for one year at Virginia Tech and, as we all know, people from Virginia are winners.

Prediction: 7th place; All-American

174-POUNDS

EF: Cody Walters came to St. Louis to become a National Champion and to chew bubblegum. And he’s all out of bubblegum. The redshirt junior finished as an All-American his freshman year, but was bounced from the first round last year. He’s back to finish what he started.

Prediction: 1st place; National Champion 

AG: Walters heads into the national tournament seeking redemption from last year’s first round upset. Although underseeded, I think Walters defeats unbeaten No. 1 Robert Kokesh on his way to Ohio’s only National Champion.

Prediction: 1st place; National Champion

184-POUNDS

EF: Coach Joel Greenlee told me that he thinks Romanchik has the toughest draw in the tournament of all his wrestlers, and I have to agree with him. I don’t think he is making it out of the first round.

Prediction: No place.

AG: Wow, what a great first name. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Ethan. Romanchik is in trouble with his seeding and it’s going to be tough for him to make it out of the first round. Also, just because I predicted him to lose in the first round, expect him to make a run to the championship.

Prediction: No place. 

197-POUNDS

EF: Like Bo knows football, Phil Wellington knows #MACtion. The redshirt junior nearly went undefeated in conference play, but lost in the conference championship against J’Den Cox for his lone loss. He goes up against a MAC opponent in the first round and I think he has a rematch opportunity against Cox with the national title on the line. Sadly, I don’t think he wins it.

Prediction: 2nd place; National Runner-up

AG: I like Wellington to make it out of the first round. Unfortunately, I don’t see him making it past that with 25-1 No. 3 seeded Kyven Gadson potentially waiting in the wings. I do think, however, he’ll be a competitor for an All-American spot.

Prediction: 5th place; All-American

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