Here is a closer look at the 157-pound competition at the 2022 Big Ten Championships, which will be held March 5-6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Previews: 125 | 133 | 141 | 149 | 157 | 165 | 174 | 184 | 197 | HWT
2022 Big Ten Championships — 157 pounds
NCAA automatic qualifier allocation: 7.
Pre-seeds: 1-Ryan Deakin, Northwestern; 2-Kaleb Young, Iowa; 3-Will Lewan, Michigan; 4-Kendall Coleman, Purdue; 5-Peyton Robb, Nebraska; 6-Chase Saldate, Michigan State; 7-Garrett Model, Wisconsin; 8-Robert Kanniard, Rutgers; 9-Bryce Hepner, Ohio State; 10-Brady Berge, Penn State; 11-Derek Gilcher, Indiana; 12-Joe Roberts, Illinois; 13-Lucas Cordio, Maryland; 14-Sebas Swiggum, Minnesota.
The favorite: Northwestern’s No. 2 Ryan Deakin, the reigning conference champion, is unbeaten this season with wins over Nebraska’s No. 11 Peyton Robb, Purdue’s No. 12 Kendall Coleman (twice), Michigan State’s No. 16 Chase Saldate and Wisconsin’s No. 31 Garrett Model.
Top contenders: This weight was shuffled a bit when Minnesota All-American Brayton Lee suffered a season-ending injury. Iowa’s No. 9 Kaleb Young has wins over Robb and Model. Michigan’s No. 10 Will Lewan has beaten Robb and Saldate. Robb has beaten Model (who beat Lee, so he can’t be overlooked). Penn State’s No. 13 Brady Berge recently cut down, so he has no priors this season. Coleman beat Model and Saldate.
Rutgers outlook: If Rob Kanniard can wrestle, he enters the tournament on a hot streak and has a chance to battle his way into an AQ spot. But his status is up in the air after breaking his nose in the Princeton match. Al DeSantis would take Kanniard’s place if he needs season-ending surgery.
Other New Jersey ties: None.
The pick: Deakin.
2022 BIG TEN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
When: March 5-6.
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
TV: BTN, BTN+.
Reigning team champion: Iowa.
Returning champions (2022 weight in parentheses): Nick Suriano, Michigan (125); Roman Bravo-Young, Penn State (133); Jaydin Eierman, Iowa (141); Stevan Micic, Michigan (141); Sebastian Rivera, Rutgers (141)*; Sammy Sasso, Ohio State (149); Ryan Deakin, Northwestern (157)*; Alex Marinelli, Iowa (165)**; Michael Kemerer, Iowa (174); Myles Amine, Michigan (184); Aaron Brooks, Penn State (184)*; Gable Steveson, Minnesota (HWT)*.
* — two-time Big Ten champion
*** — three-time Big Ten champion
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James Kratch may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.