Jump to content

  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Ranking the 2023-24 Weight Classes

    We’re just about two full months into the 2023-24 season, which is the halfway point for a collegiate wrestling campaign. With that much time under our belts, it’s the appropriate time to make some judgments about this season, rather than using data from past years. 

    What we’re doing today is comparing and ranking the ten 2023-24 weight classes against each other. 

    How do you do such a thing? We have some numbers and then frankly, a lot of it is in the eye of the beholder and what you like as a fan. Do you prefer chaos and unpredictability, as opposed to a solid top-eight that looks destined to meet in the national quarterfinals? Would you rather see a potentially all-time great solidify himself as one or new blood in a talented freshman? Do you like seeing a returning champion dominate the field or be seriously tested by another great? Those are all questions you have to ask yourself as you make your own list or critique this one. 

    So, a primer on how we’ve ranked the weights:

    Returning NCAA Champions, finalists, and All-Americans are all self-explanatory categories. The credentials are not limited to the 2023 NCAA Tournament, but throughout these wrestlers' careers. 

    Impact freshmen refer to true or redshirt (grayshirt) freshmen who are currently ranked in the top-30. Occasionally, some freshmen come in and establish themselves as contenders immediately (think Ryan Crookham). Other times, freshmen take their time and maybe a couple of lumps before emerging as one of the best wrestlers in the country. (think Aaron Nagao, RBY, Mekhi Lewis). Had we done this last year at this time, NCAA finalist Levi Haines would be still unranked as Penn State was weighing whether to redshirt him or not. So, that’s why we’ve included freshmen in the top-30, because it may not be evident right away. 

    We also have “new contenders.” Those are wrestlers who were not a part of this weight class at the NCAA tournament in 2023, possibly because of redshirt status, not starting, injuries, or weight class changes. Whatever the reason, they have injected new life into their respective brackets. For these, we've listed wrestlers currently ranked in the top-20. 

    Now getting into the more intangible criteria. Some of the questions I’ve asked doing this exercise are:

    Does this weight class have depth? Depth of All-American contenders. Depth of possible qualifiers.

    Is there intrigue around this bracket? Does one wrestler appear to be above the rest of the field? Are two wrestlers on a collision course for the finals?

    If you aren’t a part of the top 1% of wrestling nerds (I say nerds with love and reverence), what is the first round of the NCAA Tournament at that weight class that is “must watch.” Some weights, it’s the semis. Others are the quarters or Round of 16. 

    Hopefully, this makes some sort of sense and we’ll get on to the actual weights themselves. 

    10) 149 lbs

    Returning NCAA Champions: 0

    Returning NCAA Finalists: 1( Ridge Lovett)

    Returning NCAA All-Americans: 6 (Lovett, Caleb Henson, Kyle Parco, Dylan D’Emilio, Austin Gomez, Jaden Abas)

    Impact Freshmen: #11 Nash Singleton (Oregon State), #19 Ty Watters (West Virginia), #20 Jordan Williams (Oklahoma State), #25 Finn Solomon (Pittsburgh)

    New Contenders: #7 Casey Swiderski (Iowa State), #9 Gomez, #16 Nate Pulliam (Missouri), #18 Drew Roberts (Minnesota)

    To see the full article purchase an InterMat Premium membership for $10 per month or $50 per year. This gives you access to the top coverage of wrestling throughout the season.
    Click here to purchase your Premium membership today!

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Create New...