2022-23 NCAA Weight Class Previews

2022-23 NCAA 149-Pound Preseason Preview: Yianni On The Cusp Of History

2022-23 NCAA 149-Pound Preseason Preview: Yianni On The Cusp Of History

Prepare for the upcoming NCAA D1 wrestling season with our 149-pound preview.

Aug 9, 2022 by Kyle Klingman
2022-23 NCAA 149-Pound Preseason Preview: Yianni On The Cusp Of History

There are lots of familiar faces in this weight with Yianni Diakomihalis leading the way. The Cornell senior won a pair of NCAA titles at 141 pounds (2018-19) before moving up to 149 for the 2022 campaign where he won his third championship. 

Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett and Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso are returning finalists but Diakomihalis defeated them twice each during the season. Lovett took the Big Red superstar into sudden victory during the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational but fell 11-5 in the national finals. At this point, it’s Yianni’s weight to win with everyone else fighting for the highest national placing possible. 

History is on the line here: Diakomihalis could become the fifth wrestler to win four Division I NCAA titles and Cornell could be the first D1 program to have multiple four-time NCAA champions (Kyle Dake won titles from 2010-13).


Kanen Storr, Michigan

Mike Van Brill, Rutgers

PJ Ogunsanya, Army

Cory Crooks, Oregon State

John Arceri, Buffalo

Tariq Wilson, North Carolina State

Lukus Stricker, Harvard

Jaron Jenson, Wyoming

Jonathan Miranda, Navy

Alex Madrigal, George Mason

Jarrett Degen, Iowa State

Kaden Gfeller, Oklahoma State

Christian Kanzler, Illinois

Chris Sandoval, Northern Colorado

Cristiaan Daley, Franklin & Marshall

Josh Heil, Campbell

There are a few key departures, but many of the best wrestlers from the weight are back. All-Americans Tariq Wilson and Jarrett Degen and All-American threat Kaden Gfeller are gone. Other than that, expect this to be a highly competitive weight. Cal Poly’s Legend Lamer is moving up two weights and will compete at 165 pounds this season while Penn State’s Beau Bartlett is likely moving down to 141 pounds. 

Returning 2022 All-Americans

Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell (1st)

Ridge Lovett, Nebraska (2nd)

Austin Gomez, Wisconsin (4th)

Sammy Sasso, Ohio State (5th)

Jonathan Millner, Appalachian St. (6th)

Kyle Parco, Arizona State (8th)

Six of eight 2022 place winners return to the weight with third-place finisher Bryce Andonian bumping up to 157 pounds and seventh-place finisher Tariq Wilson of North Carolina State graduating. Three wrestlers — Diakomihalis, Sasso, and Lovett — have reached the NCAA finals. 

That doesn’t include Missouri’s Brock Mauller (sixth in 2019 and fifth in 2021), Stanford’s Jaden Abas (seventh in 2021), Cal Poly’s Dom Demas (fourth at 141 in 2019 for Oklahoma), Northwestern’s Yahya Thomas (third in 2021), and North Carolina’s Zach Sherman (seventh in 2021 at 141).

There are 11 returning All-Americans at the weight with Max Murin (Iowa) and Anthony Artolona (Penn) reaching the Round of 12 at least once. Penn State’s Shayne Van Ness should be a factor as should Michigan’s Chance Lamer and Oklahoma State’s Victor Voinovich. This year’s 149-pound field will be one of the most congested and competitive weights in the country. 


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Austin Gomez defeated Sammy Sasso, 6-5, in the consolation semifinals at the 2022 NCAAs

Bumping Up From 141 pounds

Quinn Kinner, Rider

Ryan Anderson, Binghamton

Kinner won a MAC title in 2022 but went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships at 141 pounds. He competed at 157 pounds the season before so 149 could be his ideal weight. Anderson missed out on the NCAA Championships at 141 but won two matches at the EIWA Championships before dropping three close matches in a row. 

Moving Down From 157 pounds

Kyle Schickel, Clarion

Schickel competed at 141 pounds as a freshman and at 157 pounds as a sophomore. He lands at 149 pounds for his junior campaign after posting a 19-19 career college record during his first two seasons of competition. 

Coming Off Redshirt

Brock McMillen, Pittsburgh

Chance Lamer, Michigan

Anthony White, Rutgers

Victor Voinovich, Oklahoma State

Shayne Van Ness, Penn State

Benjamin Alanis, Northern Colorado

Kaleb Burgess, Buffalo

Luke Ahrberg, North Carolina State

Avery Clark, Franklin & Marshall

Brock Mauller, Missouri

This is where the weight gets interesting. A handful of redshirt freshmen could make noise at the national tournament. Lamer went 17-2 during his redshirt year while Voinovich went 16-1. Van Ness only wrestled twice during redshirt but history proves that Nittany Lion wrestlers are typically ready to go when inserted into the line-up. 

Brock Mauller has a good wrestling name, but he also has a good chance of placing in the top four at nationals. He placed sixth in 2019 and fifth in 2021 after qualifying for the COVID-canceled 2020 NCAA Championships. Mauller doesn’t lose often, but when he does, it’s against quality opponents. Expect Mauller to be a factor this season. 


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Penn State's Shayne Van Ness could electrify fans this season

True Freshmen In The Mix

Paniro Johnson, Iowa State

Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech

It’s difficult to know how true freshmen will adjust to college competition, but Henson and Johnson could be difference-makers for their programs and at the weight. Keep on an eye on both throughout the season. 


Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell

There is only one favorite here. Diakomihalis has one loss during his college career — and that came on December 30, 2017, to Missouri’s Jaydin Eierman. Expect a standing ovation when the Big Red star earns his fourth NCAA title in Tulsa.


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Yianni Diakomihalis won his third NCAA title with an 11-5 win over Ridge Lovett during the 2022 NCAA finals


Ridge Lovett, Nebraska

Sammy Sasso, Ohio State

Austin Gomez, Wisconsin

Yahya Thomas, Northwestern

Brock Mauller, Missouri

Lovett and Sasso get contender nods here since they have reached the NCAA tournament finals and because they have proven skills that can push Diakomihalis to deep waters. Gomez lost twice to Andonian at the national tournament (who departed from the weight) and once to Diakomihalis during the season. Thomas proved he can go with anyone after his third-place finish in 2021 and Mauller found the podium twice. 

All-American Threats

Jonathan Millner, Appalachian State

Kyle Parco, Arizona State

Jaden Abas, Stanford

Dom Demas, Cal Poly

Zach Sherman, North Carolina

Max Murin, Iowa

Anthony Artolona, Penn

Shayne Van Ness, Penn State

Chance Lamer, Michigan

Victor Voinovich, Oklahoma State

Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech

The second round of the NCAA Championships will feel like the quarterfinals with so many good guys fighting for eight spots. Millner, Parco, Abas, Demas, and Sherman have all reached the podium while Murin has reached the Round of 12 three times. 


Colin Realbuto, Northern Iowa

Willie McDougald, Oklahoma

Michael Blockhus, Minnesota

There are a few landmines in the weight, but there are 16 wrestlers who are legitimate All-American threats so keep your head on a swivel and take no one lightly here. This weight is deep. 


1. Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell)
2. Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)
3. Ridge Lovett (Nebraska)
4. Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)
5. Brock Mauller (Missouri)
6. Dom Demas (Cal Poly)
7. Max Murin (Iowa)
8. Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)