Five KSU wrestlers gear up for NCAA National Championships in St. Louis

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Junior Mack McGuire tries to escape the hold of Northern Illinois’ Jordan Northrup during their meet in the M.A.C. Center on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.

Zac Sommer

This year’s NCAA Wrestling Championships will feature five Kent State wrestlers amongst the nation’s best at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 19-21.

Sophomore Mimmo Lytle (285) and juniors Ian Miller (157) and Mike DePalma (149) earned automatic bids to Nationals after their performances at the Mid-American Conference Championships on March 8.

Lytle (28-18) will make his NCAA Championships debut against Appalachian State’s Denzel Dejournette (32-4), who earned the No. 12 seed in the 285-pound weight class.

Miller (12-4) earned the No. 7 seed in the 157-pound weight class after winning his third consecutive MAC title this season and finishing fourth at last season’s NCAA Championships. Miller will face Purdue’s Doug Welch (27-11) in the opening round Thursday morning.

This will be DePalma’s (21-17) second NCAA trip after finishing 2-2 last season, and he prepares to face Penn State’s Charles Cobb (20-5). DePalma leads the Flashes this year with 14 bonus-point victories following two pins at the MAC Championships.

Junior Mack McGuire (141) and fifth-year senior Tyler Small (141) were both awarded at-large bids, making this their third appearance in the NCAA Championships.

McGuire (29-11) earned the No. 16 seed after finishing third at the MAC Championships, and will face Oklahoma State’s Gary Wayne Harding (28-11).

Small (32-13) will face No. 4 seed Devin Carter (29-3) of Virginia Tech in the opening round Thursday morning. Small won three open tournaments this season (EMU, Mercyhurst and Ashland) and placed fifth at the MAC Championships.

This is the ninth time in 10 years that Kent State has sent five or more wrestlers to the national tournament. This year’s tournament will include all 10-weight classes with 33-man brackets competing for All-America (top 8) awards.

Contact Zac Sommer at [email protected].