The state of Nebraska will be have plenty of representation this year at Nationals. Six natives will be competing in Cleveland this weekend. Representing four colleges in Maryville, Central Missouri, St. Cloud State, and Nebraska-Kearney. There are currently 42 Nebraskans wrestling at the division two level, representing 11 schools in seven different states. There are currently 11 signee to join those wrestlers next season.
Starting off with the home state. Nebraska-Kearney is sending six wrestlers to Nationals, with two from Nebraska. Redshirt Sophomore, Wes Dawkins from Lincoln High is making his first appearance at Nationals. He finished second at regionals. Dawkins is 24-9 on the season and is ranked #12 in the Intermat D2 rankings.
The second Loper from Nebraska will be redshirt Junior, Jarrod Hinrichs from Fillmore Central. Hinrichs won four straight matches on the backside of the bracket after entering regionals as the top seed. Hinrichs finished in third place and will head to Cleveland with a 32-7 record. Hinrichs is currently ranked 5th overall at 285 pounds. He will be the five seed and wrestle Jacob Robb from Mercyhurst. Hinrichs was an All-American last year finishing eighth overall and leading Kearney with 40 wins last season.
Next up we head to Minnesota. St. Cloud State has two Nebraska natives competing at nationals. Lead by their coach, Bennington native and three time All-American at UNO, Steve Costanzo. His team is taking nine wrestlers to nationals overall. They are lead by redshirt Senior Brett Velasquez from Bennington. Velasquez has made an impressive career for his self. He is a three time All-American. He started out with a bang his redshirt Freshman season, winning the D2 national title at 125 pounds. He followed that up with third and fourth place finishes at nationals. Brett has a career varsity record of 100-12. His redshirt year he finished 20-6 as an unattached wrestler. He will be looking to bookend his career with his second national title. He won his regional and enters Nationals with a 20-3 record. He will be the second seed.
New to the St. Cloud lineup this year is Chadron State transfer Chance Helmick. Helmick is a Senior and former Nebraska State Champion from Beatrice, Nebraska. The 184 pounder is undefeated this season with a 14-0 record. He is ranked fifth in the country and will wrestle in one of the pigtails for his placing in the bracket.
Finally, we head to Missouri for our final two wrestlers. At Central Missouri is Junior, John Feeney. Feeney is 7-9 on the season at 133 pounds. He is riding a lot of momentum heading into the national tournament. At his regional tournament he defeated 10th ranked Charles McNeal from McKendree in the second round and made it to finals where he lost to seventh rated Tanner Hitchcock 4-2. Feeney will face Wes Dawkins in the first round.
The other Missouri wrestler is redshirt Sophomore Logan Radik from Gretna. Radik wrestles for former UNO coach, Mike Denney at Maryville. Radik is somewhat following his dads foot steps. Dan Radik was a two time All-American for Denney when he was at UNO. This is Logans first year of varsity competition. The heavyweight finished runner up at regionals losing in sudden victory. Radik is 27-11 on the year and will be the 8 seed.