Five Nebraska wrestlers received top five seeds in the preliminary seeding for this weekend’s 2021 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday afternoon. The two-day championship event is set to begin Saturday, March 6 from the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa. and will be carried entirely on the Big Ten Network.
Pre-seeds are determined by a vote by conference coaches and rank 14 wrestlers in all 10 weight classes. Nebraska received nine top ten pre-seeds.
Eric Schultz, currently rated No. 1 in the nation at 197 pounds, earns the top seed at the conference championships for the Huskers. He becomes the first Nebraska wrestler since 2015 to earn a one-seed at the event.
Both Liam Cronin (125 pounds) and Mikey Labriola (174 pounds) received No. 2 seeds for their respective weight classes. At 141 pounds, Chad Red Jr. enters the 2021 conference tournament seeded fourth. Christian Lance received a five-seed at heavyweight.
Rounding out the top 10 seeds for the Huskers are Taylor Venz, Ridge Lovett, Peyton Robb and Caleb Licking. Venz received a sixth seed at 184 pounds while Lovett and Robb are seeded seventh at 149 and 165 pounds, respectively. Licking is the 10-seed at 157 pounds.
Licking, Lance and Tucker Sjomeling, who is seeded 11 at 133 pounds, will make their first career appearances at the Big Ten Championships this weekend.
Last season at the Big Ten Championships, NU earned its best conference championship result since 2009 and best as a member of the Big Ten Conference with a second-place finish. Led by a second-place finish from Schultz, five Huskers finished in the top three while the entire lineup clinched automatic bids for the NCAA Championships. Six members of last season’s Big Ten Championships lineup will wrestle at this year’s event.