MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 9, 2021) – Redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan of the West Virginia University wrestling team was selected to receive an at-large bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, as announced by the NCAA on Tuesday.
With Sullivan’s ticket punched, WVU sends four or more Mountaineer grapplers to the national tournament for the first time since coach Tim Flynn’s inaugural season in 2019, when the squad sent a total of five to Pittsburgh. The 133-pound grappler joins redshirt juniors Killian Cardinale (125) and Noah Adams (197) and freshman Peyton Hall (165), as they each earned automatic bids based on their performances at the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship last weekend.
Sullivan and Hall set to make their first appearance on the national stage. Additionally, Adams punched his third ticket to nationals after earning the No. 2 seed at his respective weight last season, while Cardinale qualified for the national tournament for the second time in his career. The NCAA Championships will be held on March 18-20, at the Enterprise Center, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sullivan carries a 7-3 record into the national tournament, including three wins over opponents ranked inside several wrestling publications this season. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native earned himself a spot in the Mountaineers’ starting lineup on Jan. 31, pinning No. 20 Theorius Robison of Northern Colorado in 3:48. He also topped No. 16 Job Greenwood of Wyoming and No. 17 Jared Van Vleet of Air Force. Entering the Big 12 Championship, he was ranked No. 16 in the most recent NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released on Feb. 25.
The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee using the following selection criteria: head-to-head competition, quality wins (defined as wins against wrestlers already in the field), coaches ranking, results against common opponents, conference tournament placement and winning percentage. The committee also was able to use subjective criteria such as, but not limited to, historical performance.
The complete seeding list and brackets will be revealed during the NCAA Wrestling Selection Show broadcast online (NCAA.com) on Wednesday, March 10, at 6 p.m. ET. The first round of competition starts at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 18.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia Athletics Communications