BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo wrestling team has qualified six for the upcoming NCAA Championships beginning on Thursday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The six wrestlers ties the most national qualifiers for UB since 2011.
Beginning at 133 lbs., Derek Spann is seeded 25th and will wrestle eighth-seeded John Erneste of Missouri. It will be a rematch of the finals of the Mid-American Conference Championships where Erneste earned a 6-2 decision. Spann is having a breakout season for the Bulls. He is 21-4 on the year and went 16-1 in duals on the season.
Bryan Lantry will be making his school-record fourth appearance at the national tournament. The redshirt-senior is the first wrestler in school history to qualify for nationals four times. Lantry is seeded 18th and will wrestle 15th-seed Kaid Brock. The two have not wrestled this season, but did meet in the quarterfinals of the 2017 NCAA Championships where Brock earned a 7-3 decision.
Alex Smythe finished fifth at the MAC Championships and will be the 29th seed at 157 lbs. The redshirt-senior will open against fourth-seeded Alec Pantaleo of Michigan. The two have never met.
Troy Keller enters his first national tournament as the MAC Champion at 165 lbs. The junior from North Tonawanda is seeded 27th and will face sixth-seeded Logan Massa of Michigan. Keller enters the NCAA Championships winner of 11 of his last 12 contests. This will be the first meeting between Keller and Massa.
Like Keller, Brett Perry was also a MAC Champion and will be wrestling at the NCAA Championships for the first time. Perry is coming off his first MAC title at 197 lbs. The redshirt-senior is seeded 31st and will take on second-seeded Kollin Moore of Ohio State.
Jake Gunning is the first heavyweight to be a three-time national qualifier for the Bulls. He also enters the national tournament as just the fourth wrestler in school history with 50 career duals wins. Gunning earned the 23rd seed and will face 10th-seeded Youssif Hemida of Maryland in the opening bout.
The NCAA Championships run March 21 through 23 in Pittsburgh.
Click here for the complete brackets.