OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – (March 19, 2014) – After two weeks of preparation, four members of the Rutgers wrestling team are set to join the 330-grappler field and compete at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships from March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Courtesy of unprecedented coverage by ESPN, Rutgers wrestling fans will be able to watch all four Scarlet Knight qualifiers – redshirt senior 133-pounder Vinnie Dellefave (Toms River, N.J.), sophomore 149-pounder Ken Theobold (Toms River, N.J.), redshirt sophomore 157-pounder Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.) and redshirt sophomore heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) – as they battle for a national championship.
For up to the minute results, fans are encouraged to follow @RUWrestling on Twitter throughout the tournament. By also following @RUWrestling on Instagram, fans will gain an inside look at the four RU grapplers as they fight to become All-Americans.
Schedule of Events (all times listed in EST)
Session I: March 20 12 a.m. - 4 p.m. Session II: March 20 7 - 11 p.m.
Session III: March 21 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Session IV: March 21 8 - 11:30 p.m.
Session V: March 22 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Session VI: March 22 8 - 11 p.m.
Session I: March 20 ESPNU Session II: March 20 ESPN
Session III: March 21 ESPNU Session IV: March 21 ESPNU
Session V: March 22 ESPNU Session VI: March 22 ESPN
Round-by-round mat links via ESPN3: CICK HERE
Play-by-Play: Adam Amin and Shawn Kenney
Reporter: Quint Kessenich
Color: Kyle Dake, Anthony Robles, Jim Gibbons and Tim Johnson
Scouting the Field
The NCAA Championships features a 33-wrestler bracket at all 10 weights. Seeds are awarded to the top 16 individuals, as decided by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Selection Committee. All four Scarlet Knights are set to compete as unseeded wrestlers in this season’s tournament.
Seven 2013 national champions return seeking another title this year in OKC. At 125 pounds, Illinois’s Jesse Delgado looks to defend his title, while Ohio State’s 141-pounder Logan Stieber will look to win his third straight title and first at 141 pounds after winning back-to-back 133 pound crowns in 2012 and 2013. Kendrick Maple of Oklahoma looks to win his second-straight title at 149 pounds after winning at 141 pounds last season.
Derrick St. John of Iowa goes for his second consecutive national championship at 157 pounds, while Chris Perry of Okahoma State looks to defend the 174-pound crown. At 184 pounds, three-time All-American Ed Ruth looks for his third consecutive title. Minnesota’s Tony Nelson is the other defending champion as he goes for his third consecutive championship at heavyweight.
Vinnie Dellefave | R-Sr.
At 133 pounds, Dellefave meets No. 1-seeded Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) in the first round. Colon narrowly edged Dellefave, 1-0, earlier this season at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and finished the 2013-14 season 30-1. With a win, Dellefave will take on either Missouri’s Matt Manley or No. 16-seeded Mackenzie McGuire (Kent State), who posted a 27-13 mark this season.
Ken Theobold | So.
Ken Theobold will take on No. 10 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) to begin his run at a 149-pound NCAA Championship. Neibert (20-7) was ranked No. 12/16/11 in the most recent polls and has never faced off against Theobold. A win could potentially setup a second-round meeting with Virginia’s No. 7 Gus Sako, who beat Theobold by a 5-2 decision earlier this season.
Anthony Perrotti | R-So.
157-pounder Anthony Perrotti will get a rematch in his opening bout of the tournament, as he faces No. 10 Blaise Butler (Virginia). Butler (20-6), who is ranked No. 11/14/13, topped Perrotti (18-12), 3-0, on Nov. 30, 2013, when Rutgers and Virginia squared off at the Asics/Journeymen Northeast Duals in Albany, N.Y. A win could potentially set Perrotti up with his fourth meeting this season against Cornell’s Brian Realbuto. Perrotti holds a 2-1 edge.
Billy Smith | R-So.
Heavyweight Billy Smith will take on No. 15 Adam Fager (Utah Valley) in his NCAA Championships opener. Smith (25-6) and Fager (20-12) will meet on the mat for the first time. In his second round match Smith is guaranteed for a rematch either Max Wessell (Lehigh), who he beat 5-3 in TB2 this season, or against No. 2 Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State), who beat Smith, 6-3.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding Rutgers wrestling, follow the program on Twitter (@RUWrestling) and Instagram (@RUWrestling). Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on our social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.