Utah Valley's Hunsaker qualifies for NCAAs as injury replacement

INDIANAPOLIS -- Originally named an alternate for next week's 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Utah Valley University sophomore Cameron Hunsaker has officially been named an injury replacement and will now also compete at nationals as UVU will now send four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

Cameron Hunsaker
He will join the two-time Big 12 champion and second-seeded senior Demetrius Romero at 174 pounds, the seventh-seeded junior Taylor LaMont at 125, and the redshirt freshman and No. 28 seed Ty Smith at 133 pounds. Hunsaker's seed and updated 149-pound bracket will be announced at a later time.

Hunsaker will enter his first trip to the NCAA Championships off of a seventh-place finish in his weight class at the Big 12 Championships last week. He holds a 9-7 overall record on the year and is currently ranked 31st in the latest NCAA Coaches Panel Ranking.

The NCAA previously released seeding and brackets for the rest of the field on Wednesday and the No. 2 seed that Romero was awarded is UVU's highest national seed in program history. LaMont's No. 7 seed also matches for the second highest seed, as he was previously also the No. 7 seed at 125 pounds during his freshman season in 2018.

This marks the third time that both Romero and LaMont have qualified for nationals and the first for both Hunsaker and Smith. It is also the second time in program history that a UVU grappler has been named an injury replacement to compete at nationals, as former three-time NCAA qualifier Tanner Orndorff qualified that way in 2018.

The four qualifiers marks the most qualifiers for Utah Valley since 2019 when the Wolverines sent a program best six that season.

The 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will run Thursday to Saturday, March 18-20, at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. All seven sessions of this year's championship event will be televised live on the ESPN Family of Networks.


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