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Seeds released for NCAA Championships, Mountaineers with two ‘top 10’seeds

BOONE, N.C. — The NCAA Championships selection show on Wednesday revealed the seeds and first-round opponents for App State Wrestling’s five national qualifiers, highlighted by top-10 seeds for Caleb Smith and Jon Jon Millner.

Smith is seeded No. 5 in his 33-wrestler bracket at 125 pounds. Millner, a two-time All-American, is seeded No. 9 at 149 pounds.

Tommy Askey is seeded No. 24 at 157 pounds, at-large qualifier Will Formato is No. 27 at 165 pounds, and Will Miller is No. 32 at 174 pounds.

Ethan Oakley will travel to Tulsa, Okla., as an alternate at 133 pounds. If any wrestlers aren’t able to compete due to injuries or failing to make weight, Oakley would compete in Tulsa.

The NCAA Championships run from March 16-18 (Thursday-Saturday) at the BOK Center. The top eight finishers in each weight class earn All-America recognition.

Below are the first-round matchups, which are subject to change if any wrestlers drop out.

  • 125: #5 Caleb Smith vs. #28 Killian Cardenale (West Virginia)
  • 149: #9 Jon Jon Millner vs. #24 Victor Voinovich (Oklahoma State)
  • 157: #24 Tommy Askey vs. #9 Will Lewan (Michigan)
  • 165: #27 Will Formato vs. #6 Patrick Kennedy (Iowa)
  • 174: #32 Will Miller vs. #33 John Worthing (Clarion)*

* Pigtail match for opportunity to face #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

Smith (26-5) and Askey (30-11) both enter the NCAAs with 14-match winning streaks. Another SoCon champion, Millner is 121-24 in his career and 29-3 this season with his only losses coming in close matches to wrestlers seeded No. 3, No. 4 and No. 7 in their NCAA bracket.

Formato has a career record of 90-35, including a 28-7 mark this season, and 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.

Last year, Smith made his NCAA debut as a No. 25 seed that upset No. 8 seed Patrick McKee of Minnesota. Now, he’ll arrive as a single-digit seed with a talented first-round opponent — Cardenale is a four-time national qualifier who was an All-American in 2021 and a Round of 12 finisher in 2022.

Voinovich is 15-11 this season, and Lewan’s 21-6 record includes a win by decision against Askey in Las Vegas. Formato beat Kennedy (19-3) in overtime during the 2022 season at the Southern Scuffle, and Worthing has a 19-9 record this season.

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