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Eight Head to St. Louis for 2021 NCAA Championships

Mar 16, 2021

Sun Devil Wrestling Media Guide 20/21 | Sun Devil Wrestling's Postseason Finishes | 2021 D1 Wrestling Championships | Wrestling D1 NCAA Championship Bracket

TEMPE, Ariz.-- After winning their third team Pac-12 title in four years, eight Sun Devils along with the best collegiate wrestlers from all over the country travel to St. Louis for this week's 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. (Mar. 18-20).

Trey Munoz (174) qualified as a Pac-12 finalist while Brandon Courtney (125), Jacori Teemer (157), Anthony Valencia (165), Kordell Norfleet (197) and Cohlton Schultz (285) won Pac-12 titles, all to qualify for the first NCAA Tournament since 2019.

Michael McGee (133) and Cory Crooks (149) also qualified with at-large bid nominations from the NCAA Wrestling Committee. 

"We're excited and ready to go. We're focused, staying in the moment, and not looking too far ahead," head coach Zeke Jones said. "One match at a time. We have to be ready to fight and take the battle to them. Our main men have been training for this moment and now it's just calm before the storm."

Four wrestlers are seeded in the top five of their weight classes -- Valencia (165) will be No. 2, Courtney (125) and Norfleet (197) will be No. 3 and Schultz (285) will be No. 4. 

McGee (133) will be No. 9, Teemer (157) will be No. 11, Munoz (174) will be No. 20 and Crooks (149) will be No. 31 in their respective weight classes.

This is the third time in twenty years that the Sun Devils have sent eight wrestlers to represent Arizona State ('03 and '01). 

HOW TO WATCH

Live scoring throughout the championship is available on Trackwrestling.com

The first round of the NCAA DI Wrestling Tournament on Thursday, March 18 and quarterfinals on March 19 will be broadcasted on ESPNU. 

Primetime coverage will begin on Thursday, March 18 with the second round and will continue into the semifinals on Friday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN2/ESPN.

The Championships will be broadcasted on ESPN on Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. EST. 

Fans can follow along on Twitter via @ASUWresting and on @NCAAWrestling for updates throughout the three-day event. 

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Thursday, Mar. 18

First Round - 11 a.m. ET (ESPNU)

First Round - 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Consolations - 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Consolations - 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Friday, Mar. 19

Quarterfinals - 11 a.m. ET (ESPNU)

Consolations - 3 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Semifinals - 8 p.m. ET (ESPN or ESPN 2)

Saturday, Mar. 20 

Medal Round - 11 a.m. ET (ESPN2)

Championship - 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
 

First-Round Matchups: 

125: #3 Brandon Courtney vs. #30 Micah Roes (BING) 6-2

133: #9 Michael McGee vs. #24 Richie Koehler (RID) 9-2

149: #31 Cory Crooks vs. #2 Austin O'Connor (UNC) 8-0

157: #11 Jacori Teemer vs. #22 Benjamin Barton (CAMP) 10-2

165: #2 Anthony Valencia vs. #31 David Ferrante (NW) 4-8

174: #20 Trey Munoz vs. #13 Jackson Hemauer (UNCO) 5-2

197: #3 Kordell Norfleet vs. #30 Trey Rogers (HOF) 6-3

285: #4 Cohlton Schultz vs. #29 Jon Spaulding (EDIN) 11-4
 

WHO TO WATCH

Brandon Courtney 

The No. 3 seed in the 125-pound weight class, Brandon Courtney, will start his quest for his first National Championship against the No. 30 seed Micah Roes. This season, Courtney finished with an 11-0 record, capped off with his second-straight Pac-12 Championship.

Courtney is tied second in the country for his six wins via decision and claimed seven takedowns at the Pac-12 Tournament.

Roes finished his freshman campaign at Binghamton with a 6-2 record. Throughout his high school career, he posted a 162-17 record en route to being a two-time New York State finalist.

If Courtney defeats Roes and advances, he will face the winner of Eric Barnett and Jaret Lane. Barnett, a sophomore at Wisconsin, clinched his first NCAA tournament appearance after going 6-6 in the Big Ten last year. For the junior from Lehigh, Lane has continued his dominance with an 8-0 record on the season.

Michael McGee

The Old Dominion transfer Michael McGee is making his third NCAA Championships appearance as he sits the ninth seed in the 133-pound weight class. McGee has been impressive in his first season with the Sun Devils winning his first eight matches and has earned six bonus points overall. 

In his previous two appearances, McGee wrestled for Old Dominion in the 125 weight class.

McGee claimed third place in his first Pac-12 Tournament and had seven takedowns in his Corvallis journey.

To open up the tournament, McGee will take the mat against Richie Koehler from Rider. The redshirt sophomore is making his first appearance and in his first two seasons, Koehler won 29 matches.

If McGee moves onto the second round, he will face the winner of the eighth seed, Chris Cannon, and the No. 25 seed Jacob Rundell. Cannon won 19 of his first 21 matches with Northwestern. Rundell, the freshman from Purdue, joined the Boilermakers as a top-10 recruit at 126 pounds.

Cory Crooks

Arizona native and senior Cory Crooks secured himself an at-large bid, sending him to his first NCAA Championships. After placing third in his final Pac-12 Tournament, Crooks was awarded the 31st seed in the 149-pound weight class. He will take on the second seed, Austin O'Connor from North Carolina.

O'Connor is a two-time All-American and he finished in the top five at the 2018-2019 season Championships in Pittsburgh. With an upset victory in the first round, Crooks would take on the winner of Griffin Parriott and Jarrett Degen. 

Parriott, another Purdue Boilermaker, is competing in his third NCAA Championships and is a Honorable Mention by NWCA as an All-American during the 2019-2020 season. Degen, a redshirt senior at Iowa State, has had a decorated career. He transferred to the Cyclones from Virginia Tech and has become a two-time All-American and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier.

Jacori Teemer

The No. 11 seed in the 157-pound weight class, Jacori Teemer, shined in Corvallis at the Pac-12 Championships winning his second consecutive title. Teemer had fourteen takedowns alone in his appearance at the Pac-12's. The 2019-2020 NWCA All-American will begin his quest to a placement in Nationals with a matchup against Benjamin Barton. 

The redshirt senior from Campbell University qualified for his second NCAA Championships this year with a 10-2 record. With a win, Teemer would face the winner of Justin Ruffin and Brayton Lee. 

Ruffin led the SIUE Cougars in overall wins, dual meet wins, and MAC wins a year ago en route to qualifying for his second NCAA Championships. Brayton Lee, the sixth seed in the weight class, became a star last season being a NCAA qualifier and a First-Team All-American.

Anthony Valencia

Four-time Pac-12 Champion in two weight classes (165/174) Anthony Valencia will make his third appearance at the NCAA Tournament--his fourth berth overall--this week. Valencia's four titles make him the third Sun Devil in history to accomplish the feat. 

The 2020 First Team All-American lead the team in decisions (7).

The undefeated ASU wrestling legend begins his journey towards a national title with David Ferrante of Northwestern. The freshman was named the 2020 Class 3A Outstanding Wrestler of the year in Illinois. 

Looking ahead, Valencia will take on the winner of Dan Braunagel and Izzak Olejnik with a win over Ferrante. Braunagel qualified for his second straight NCAA Championships this year and Olejnik won the MAC Conference Freshman of the year last year. 

Trey Munoz

Redshirt freshman Trey Munoz, qualified for the NCAA's in his first full season in a Sun Devil singlet. Munoz earned second place in his first Pac-12 Tournament and pinned one of his opponents. 

Munoz, the No. 20 seed, will battle the 13th seed Jackson Hemauer. Hemauer, a redshirt junior, qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second time in his first season at Northern Colorado, following a transfer from Fresno State. 

With a win in the first round, Munoz will face the winner of Lance Runyon and Mikey Labriola. Runyon, a redshirt freshman at Northern Iowa, recorded 122 pins in high school and finished the shortened season last year with a 5-0 record. 

As for Labriola, who is the No. 4 seed in the 174-pound weight class, is a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA qualifier at the University of Nebraska.

Kordell Norfleet

Senior Kordell Norfleet won his third Pac-12 Championship in Corvallis, but his sights are now set on a national championship. Norfleet claimed 26 takedowns and six bonus point victories in his undefeated 2021 campaign. 

The third seed in the 197-pound weight class enters the NCAA's with an undefeated record as he takes on Trey Rogers from Hofstra.

Rogers hit his stride last season, going 13-3 in dual matches en route to a 15 win season. If Norfleet advances, he will lock horns with Greg Bulsak or Thomas Penola. 

Bulsak was a 2020 NWCA All-American and MAC Champion. Penola was a NCAA qualifier in his redshirt freshman season a year ago. 

Cohlton Schultz

Redshirt freshman phenom Cohlton Schultz won his first Pac-12 Championship and has been a force all season long in the heavyweight division. In his undefeated year, Schultz has led the team in wins with 12. 

Schultz will take on Jon Spaulding, who led the Edinboro Fighting Scots in wins last season and was a NCAA qualifier. Spaulding has 11 wins this season and looks to make one last run before his senior year ends.

With a win, Schultz will advance to take on the winner of Brian Andrews and Quinn Miller. Schultz and Andrews have met before as Schultz defeated him earlier this season, while Miller is appearing in his second straight NCAA Championships.