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Another NCAA Wrestling Championships has come and gone. Like all NCAA Championships, it leaves behind a treasure trove of thrilling memories, as well tournament results for 330 wrestlers to analyze. Today's analytical tool of choice will be the celebrated heat map.
Yes, the very same cutting-edge technology we used to dig in to the 2019 NCAA qualifiers, only now we will apply it to the champions, All-Americans, and point-scorers from Pittsburgh.
Below is a map of the hometowns of all the All-Americans from the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Before we go any further, it's important to note that we used whatever hometown is listed in a wrestler's school bio page. So Mark Hall gets listed under Apple Valley, Minnesota, because that's what Penn State and Mark Hall say his hometown is. Bo Nickal's hometown is Allen, Texas, for the same reason. Plain and simple, end of story (that means the topic is now closed for discussion).
Below, we have highlighted the hometown of the 10 NCAA champions of 2019.
Four from New Jersey and three more from neighboring states. That's a good haul for the Northeast (and areas that are Northeast adjacent).
Now to break out the heat map, but here, instead of using our space-age technology on just the location of the hometowns of the national qualifiers, we will assign points to those locations according to how many placement and advancement points those qualifiers earned. The more points coming from a hometown, the more heat that shows up on the map below.
Being a national champ will help put your hometown on the map, as Yianni Diakomihalis did for Rochester, New York (look for the red dot just below Toronto), and Drew Foster did for Burlington, Iowa (the red dot right on the Iowa-Illinois border).
The points earned by Bo Nickal and Jack Mueller are helping North Texas become a wrestling hot spot, where before, Oklahoma was the only wrestling oasis in the old Southwest. Zahid Valencia and others are keeping Southern California in the red.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are almost completely covered in red, thanks to the abundance of talent found in those states. The areas surrounding Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis concentrate their Midwestern talent, whereas wrestlers are more spread out in Iowa and Missouri.
Two fertile recruiting grounds to keep an eye on are Atlanta and Denver. It's only a matter of time before we start seeing more All-Americans and champions on a consistent basis from Georgia and Colorado.
To get a better look at the wrestling belt, we can zoom in on the part of the country that stretches from Long Island to Kansas City.
Yes indeed, there were a lot of good wrestlers from that region this year.
But our amazing mapping technology can do more than make regular heat maps. It can also make, well, different kinds of heat maps, but now in the shape of states instead of amorphous blobs. Behold.
We can go even more granular than that, breaking down the placement and advancement points by county.
That may be too granular. One alternative would be to map the points using metro areas, which we can also do with our super computing powers.
This map uses the Metropolitan Statistical Areas as determined by the U.S. government. If you don't agree with the boundaries, take it up with them!
But, since we don't necessarily agree either, we did a quick and dirty headcount of All-Americans. Below is a list of metro areas and the number of AA hometowns contained therein, at least as best as we can eyeball it.
|New York City||12|
Before we wrap things up, let's go back to the counties map and zoom in on the Northeast and Midwest to get a closer look at those hotbeds. Northeast is below.
And here is the Midwest.
That concludes our heat map sessions for now. Hope you enjoyed!