The 2023-24 season is right around the corner! We have evidence of this as InterMat hit the road for the first time in the preseason and did a bit of a college visit yesterday. The University of Maryland held their Fall Media Day and included wrestling in the mix. Terps head coach Alex Clemsen and NCAA Round of 12 finisher Jaxon Smith were made available for interviews along with coaches and athletes from a handful of other sports.
Maryland is coming off a 2022-23 season that saw a freshman-laden team amass a 10-9 record with wins over Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, along with the program's first Big Ten win (Purdue) since the 2016-17 season. That also marked the first conference victory during Clemsen's tenure as head coach. Maryland sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in Tulsa; four of which were freshmen. Big Ten third place finisher, Smith, was the Terrapin that advanced the farthest, coming up a match shy of All-American status.
The 2022-23 season has provided Maryland supporters with plenty of reason for optimism as the team's four freshman qualifiers are back, along with a national qualifier from 2022 and an impact transfer at heavyweight. Yesterday also saw InterMat release our first edition of preseason rankings. Those rankings saw six Maryland wrestlers featured. Looking ahead to March, the school will host the Big Ten Championships for the first time.
While proud of the progress his team has made, Clemsen and his team still feel as if they have plenty to accomplish in 2023-24 and beyond.