IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 Conference has released the pre-seeds and tentative brackets for the Big 12 Wrestling Championship set to take place on March 9-10 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Utah Valley has six of its 10 grapplers pre-seeded in the top six of their respective weight class.
Juniors Demetrius Romero (165 pounds, 22-3) and Kimball Bastian (174, 16-8) lead the way for the Wolverines by each being pre-seeded second in their respective weight class, while sophomore Matt Findlay (141, 14-2), junior Tanner Orndorff (197, 15-9) and redshirt freshman Tate Orndorff (285, 21-6) are all pre-seeded fourth, and senior Will Sumner (17-9) is sixth at 184.
With the conference only pre-seeding eight of the 12 wrestlers at each weight class, senior Mitch Brown(125, 7-7), freshman Isaiah Delgado (133, 7-15), senior Matthew Ontiveros (149, 3-11) and junior Grant LaMont (157, 3-9) will all enter the tournament unseeded.
The pre-seeds were voted into their positions by the leagues 12 head coaches and are subject to change. Final seeds will be confirmed at Friday's pre-championship coaches meeting.
All six of UVU's pre-seeded grapplers are ranked in the latest NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings and RPI. Romero and Findlay are both 10th in the Coaches' Panel ranking, while Bastian is 12th, Tanner Orndorff15th, Tate Orndorff 20th and Sumner 25th. In the RPI, Romero is 12th, while Bastian, Sumner and both Orndorff brothers are all 16th. Findlay just missed out on qualifying for the RPI by not competing in 17 matches on the season.
Bastian and Romero both earned podium finishes for UVU at the 2018 Big 12 Championships by placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Bastian, Romero and Tanner Orndorff are all returning NCAA qualifiers for the Wolverines.
The 2019 Big 12 Championships will get underway on Saturday, March 9 at 10 a.m. MT/11 a.m. CT and will be streamed live on FloWrestling.org. Sunday evening's final session will then be televised live on Fox Sports Regional Networks (AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain in Utah).
For more information on the Big 12 Championship, visit Big12Sports.com.