The Buena Vista wrestling team will look to match last year's total of three All-Americans as Jestin Hulegaard (133 pounds), Aaron Cook (149), and Julian Mancha (165) are set to compete at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships tomorrow and Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
Cook and Mancha earned automatic bids into the Championships following their second and third place finishes, respectively at the Iowa Conference Wrestling Championships, as Hulegaard received the wild card berth following a fifth-place finish.
Hulegaard will look to become the first four-time All-American in the program's history as the other two compete in the Championships for the first time in their respective careers. The senior has already become only the third three-time All-American, but the first to do so at the same weight class each year.
In the opening round, eighth-seeded and seventh-ranked Hulegaard will face sophomore Phillip Greene from the Merchant Marine Academy.
The Anoka, Minn., native heads into the championships with a 22-6 overall mark, including three pins. The senior placed fifth as sophomore, third as a sophomore, and fourth a year ago.
Greene comes to Cedar Rapids following his second straight Centennial Conference individual championship.
Cook (30-4), ranked eighth and seeded eighth, receives a bye in round one and will meet up with 10th-ranked Matt Mauseth from UW-LaCrosse in round two.
The Waconia, Minn., native comes in having won 11 of his last 12 matches. His only loss during that stretch came to top-ranked Jacob Naig of Wartburg, 5-1, during their IIAC championship match.
Mancha (21-10), also received a bye in round one and will take on top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Tim Palmer of UW-LaCrosse in round two.
The St. Paul, Minn., native has won seven of his last 10 matches overall, including two pins and a technical fall.
Palmer enters at 32-3 and is fresh off a second straight conference championship.
The senior also placed third at last year's NCAA Championships.
Competition is scheduled to begin with Session 1 at 11 a.m. on Friday with Session 2 scheduled for later that night at 6 p.m. Session 3 will kick-off the day on Saturday at 10 a.m. before the final session begins at 7 p.m.