By Bret Strelow for App State Sports. BOONE, N.C. — The at-large selections for the NCAA Championships announced March 7 included App State’s Will Formato, making him a three-time national qualifier.
Formato (165 pounds) joins automatic qualifiers Caleb Smith (SoCon champion at 125 pounds), Jon Jon Millner (SoCon champion at 149 pounds), Tommy Askey (SoCon champion at 157 pounds) and Will Miller (SoCon finalist at 174 pounds) to give the 20th-ranked Mountaineers at least five qualifiers for the fourth straight season.
The NCAA Championships run from March 16-18 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., and seeding will be announced Wednesday during the NCAA selection show at 8 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Formato has a career record of 90-35, including a 28-7 mark this season with three ranked victories. He reached the SoCon final before dropping a 3-1 decision against another ranked wrestler, but the SoCon was allocated only one automatic qualifier at 165 pounds.
Smith (26-5) and Askey (30-11) both enter the NCAAs with 14-match winning streaks. With a 121-24 career record, Millner is 29-3 this season with his only losses coming in close matches to wrestlers ranked No. 3, No. 4 and No. 7 nationally.
Miller is 24-10 this season with an 18-5 mark since he took the mat before a win against returning All-American Clay Lautt from North Carolina. App State’s 19-16 dual victory over the Tar Heels propelled the Mountaineers into the top 25.
Ethan Oakley (20-11) is among the highest-ranked wrestlers in the 133-pound weight class who wasn’t chosen for an at-large berth. It’s unclear at this point if he will be named an alternate and travel to Tulsa in case any wrestlers drop out of the 133-pound bracket.