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College Wrestling: UNI sends six to NCAA Championship

This news story was published on March 17, 2021.
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CEDAR FALLS – Six Panther wrestlers head to St. Louis to take the mat at the NCAA Championship at the Enterprise Center. Big 12 champions Parker Keckeisen and Brody Teske lead the contingent for UNI. Keckeisen is the fourth seed and Teske is the fifth seed. The tournament begins Thursday at 11 a.m. with the first round. The tournament will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

• Keckeisen is 13-0 on the season with 5-0 record against wrestlers in the field. He opens the tournament against Iowa State’s Samuel Colbray. The two wrestled on Feb. 14 and Keckeisen picked up a 4-3 win over Colbray on his home mat in Hilton Coliseum.

• Teske is 12-1 on the year with his only loss a 5-3 decision against Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney, the No. 3 seed in the tournament. Teske opens the weekend against Oregon State’s Brandon Kaylor who is 9-5 on the year. Six of Teske’s 12 wins were bonus-point victories, including two in the Big 12 Championship.

• Triston Lara finished fifth in the Big 12 Championship. Lara is 6-6 on the season and faced one of the toughest schedules of any Panther wrestler. He wrestled nine bouts against wrestlers in the field and went 3-6, including a pin over Iowa State’s Jarrett Degen on Feb. 14. He opens the tournament as the No. 23 seed and face 10th seeded Mike VanBrill from Rutgers. VanBrill lost his opening round match and battled back through the consolation bracket to win third-place.

• Austin Yant overcame injuries and setbacks throughout the season to get on to the mat for the Big 12 Championship. He wrestled just one bout prior to taking the mat in Tulsa, but went 3-2, including a 9-3 win over Oklahoma’s Troy Mantanona in the fifth-place match. Because of his limited resume, he received the 33rd seed and wrestles in the pigtail against Hofstra’s Ricky Stamm for the chance to go up against No. 1 seed Alex Marinelli (Iowa).

• Lance Runyon received an at-large bid after withdrawing from the Big 12 Championship with an injury. He enters the tournament as the No. 29 seed and will wrestle Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola. Runyon started the season with a 5-1 record but struggled over the final weeks of the season with an injury. He is 1-3 against the field, most of the bouts coming toward the end of the season.

• Carter Isley earned an at-large bid after finishing sixth at the Big 12 Championship. He was a qualifier a year ago before the tournament was canceled. He had nine matches this season against wrestlers in the field and ended with a 4-5 record. Three of his five losses came in overtime. He is the #15 seed and wrestles No. 18 Hunter Calka (Virginia Tech) who is 9-2 on the season.

• The Panthers qualified six or more wrestlers for the fifth time in a row and the sixth time in Doug Schwab’s career. The Panthers have now qualified 60 wrestlers for the NCAA Championship in Schwab’s 11 years as head coach.

• For the second consecutive year and the third time in four seasons, UNI recorded two Big 12 Champions. Brody Teske and Parker Keckeisen took home titles for the Panthers. Teske was the first 125 lb wrestler to bring home a Big 12 title. Keckeisen brought home the fourth consecutive title for UNI at 184 (Drew Foster 2018, 2019; Taylor Lujan 2020).

• Triston Lara and Brody Teske both hail from Fort Dodge High School in central Iowa. Lance Runyon and South Dakota State’s Cade DeVos are both alumni of Southeast Polk HS just north of Des Moines. Five of UNI’s six qualifiers hail from Iowa. Parker Keckeisen, from Wisconsin, is the lone exception.

• The Panthers have dominated the 184 weight class. Drew Foster was the 2019 National Champion at 184, Taylor Lujan was the No. 1 seed in the bracket at 184 in 2020 before the tournament was canceled. Parker Keckeisen enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed as a redshirt freshman.

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