2024 NCAA Championships Watch Party

2024 NCAA Wrestling Championship Preview & Predictions - 141 Pounds

2024 NCAA Wrestling Championship Preview & Predictions - 141 Pounds

A full preview, with predictions, for the 141-pound weight class at the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Mar 18, 2024 by Kyle Klingman
Is There A Clear Favorite At 141?

Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez took an Olympic redshirt, so there will be a new 141-pound NCAA champion. The field is wide open with no clear favorite and a handful of front runners. 

Ohio State’s Jesse Mendez and Penn State’s Beau Bartlett split 4-1 matches this season, but Mendez won in the Big Ten finals, which gave him the top seed over #2 Bartlett. The two could settle it in the finals if all goes according to seeds.

Iowa’s Real Woods, who fell to Alirez in last year’s finals, is seeded third after losing to Mendez and Bartlett during the season. 

Check out all the brackets below, including 141 pounds. 

Complete FloWrestling 141-pound rankings

2024 NCAA wrestling brackets

More NCAA Weight Class Previews: 125 lbs | 133 lbs | 141 lbs | 149 lbs | 157 lbs | 165 lbs | 174 lbs | 184 lbs | 197 lbs | 285 lbs 

Complete FloWrestling news coverage of the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships

2023 Place Winners

1. Andrew Alirez, Northern Colorado
2. Real Woods, Iowa
3. Beau Bartlett, Penn State
4. Lachlan McNeil, North Carolina
5. Clay Carlson, South Dakota State
6. Brock Hardy, Nebraska
7. Parker Filius, Purdue
8. Dylan D`Emilio, Ohio State

2024 Top Eight Seeds

1. Jesse Mendez, Ohio State, 25-2
2. Beau Bartlett, Penn State, 19-1
3. Real Woods, Iowa, 18-3
4. Ryan Jack, NC State, 18-3
5. Anthony Echemendia, Iowa State, 18-4
6. Lachlan McNeil, North Carolina, 21-6
7. Cael Happel, Northern Iowa, 20-7
8. Sergio Lemley, Michigan, 18-7

The Favorites — #1 Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) and #2 Beau Bartlett (Penn State)

Mendez and Bartlett have established themselves as the favorites following strong seasons. The two traded wins and Mendez had a 4-2 loss to Pitt’s Cole Matthews on Dec. 10, but these two Big Ten rivals have slightly separated from the pack. 

The Ohio State star moved up from 133 where he finished sixth at nationals last year, while Bartlett began his career at 149 and placed third at 141 in 2023. They could meet in the finals for the third time this season for college wrestling’s top prize. 

Bartlett has a deliberate style that makes him difficult to score on. Many of his matches are close, but he finds ways to win when it matters most. He has four losses since his move to 141, so there’s every reason to believe he will reach the finals — especially since Alirez is momentarily out of the picture. 

Mendez showed off his technical range with his match-winning takedown over Bartlett in the Big Ten finals. He transitioned from a foot sweep to a double-leg in the final 10 seconds for a 4-1 win. 

Both are a product of a strong freestyle background with World and Olympic aspirations. Bartlett was a 2021 Junior World bronze medalist, and Mendez was a 2023 U20 World silver medalist.  


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Jesse Mendez posted a semifinal win over Brock Hardy at the 2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational


#3 — Real Woods, Iowa
#4 — Ryan Jack, NC State
#5 — Anthony Echemendia, Iowa State
#6 — Lachlan McNeil, North Carolina
#7 — Cael Happel, Northern Iowa
#8 — Sergio Lemley, Michigan
#9 — Brock Hardy, Nebraska
#10 — Tagen Jamison, Oklahoma State
#18 — Cole Matthews, Pittsburgh

Woods reached the national finals last year but is seeded #3 behind Mendez and Bartlett after losses to both. The Iowa star avenged his 14-2 loss to Michigan’s Sergio Lemley with an 11-8 win at the Big Ten Championships. Other quality wins this season include Echemendia, McNeil, Hardy, and Jamison. 

Much has happened since the 2021 NCAA Championships, but Woods has an interesting first-round match-up against South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson — an opponent he lost to 11-4 during his final match of the tournament. Woods should feel confident if he wins against Carlson. He could meet North Carolina’s Lachlan McNeil in the quarterfinals and Bartlett in the semis. 

Although he has a 7-2 loss to Bartlett this season, he also had a 6-4 win last year and defeated McNeil 8-4 at Soldier Salute. 

McNeil has wrestled a mixed folkstyle and freestyle season and is seeking an Olympic berth for Canada at 65 kg. He won the Canadian Olympic Trials but did not qualify for the weight at the recent Pan-Am Olympic Qualifier. He has an additional opportunity to become an Olympian at the last-chance qualifier. 

The Tar Heel star is 21-6 on the season but lost four of his last eight, and has a pair of losses to Matthews and a 4-2 loss to Jack. 

Matthews is 16-10 but has won eight of his last ten matches. He has wins over #1 Mendez and #4 Jack but took several puzzling losses — like a 12-4 setback to Maryland’s Kal Miller on November 12. 

Jack has a pair of losses to Mendez and a loss to Matthews that he vindicated at the ACC Championships. The Wolfpack junior would meet Mendez in the semis if the seeds hold. 

Echemendia continues to prove he’s a factor by winning the Big 12 Championships with a win in the finals over Happel. Happel notched a 9-3 win over Echemendia at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite but the Cuban-born star has two wins since the December loss. 

The Cyclone sophomore will win and lose on his feet. He has explosive shots and finishes quickly. Look for him to choose neutral in close matches so he doesn’t have to score from underneath. Echemendia has all the tools to make a deep run and win the tournament. 

Lemley put college wrestling on notice with his 14-2 win over Woods in the dual, and he’ll need to rely on his high-octane pace to win matches at nationals. He should face #9 Brock Hardy in the second round in one of the best day-one matchups of the championships. 

The two exchanged victories to close the season, with Hardy winning 13-9 during a February 9 dual and Lemley winning 4-2 at the Big Tens. The Nebraska sophomore finished sixth at the 2023 NCAA Championships and has a shot at the podium again this year. 

Happel has seven losses on the season but, like all the contenders in the weight, has a nice collection of wins. His hit list includes #5 Echemendia, #8 Lemley, #9 Hardy, and #10 Jamison. 

The same goes for Jamison. He has wins over #5 Echemendia, #8 Lemley, #9 Hardy, and #18 Matthews.

This weight isn’t as chaotic at 125 pounds, but it’s wide open after the top three. Don’t be surprised if a lower seed reaches the podium or places high. Parity equals excitement — and this should be a 141-pound party. 


Watch highlights from Real Woods' quarterfinal win over Allan Hart at the 2023 NCAA Championships

Sleepers And Landmines

#12 — Wyatt Henson, Lock Haven
#30 — Clay Carlson, South Dakota State

The entire weight is a landmine, but here are two worth mentioning. 

Henson enters with a 35-2 record but doesn’t have the signature wins like those seeded above him. He has 24 combined falls and tech falls and can score points in bunches. We’ll find out soon if he can make the magic happen at the NCAA Championships. 

Carlson has a win over Woods from three years ago. He is a two-time All-American, placing eighth in 2021 and fifth in 2023. His 13-7 record isn’t indicative of what he can do.


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Clay Carlson had a 10-7 shootout with Garrett Kuchan of Air Force during a Jan. 26 dual in Brookings


Mendez, Bartlett, and Woods have separated themselves from the pack this season and all three should place high. Matthews placed fifth at the 2022 NCAA Championships and has taken double-digit losses this season, but expect him to right the ship as the 18th seed. 

McNeil and Hardy have a proven track record that will make them a tough out regardless of who they face.

1. Beau Bartlett, Penn State
2. Jesse Mendez, Ohio State
3. Real Woods, Iowa
4. Lachlan McNeil, North Carolina
5. Brock Hardy, Nebraska
6. Ryan Jack, NC State
7. Sergio Lemley, Michigan
8. Cole Matthews, Pittsburgh