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WVU’s Ryan Sullivan Earns At-Large Bid to 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships

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West Virginia redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan was selected to receive an at-large bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

The at-large selections join the 266 student-athletes that qualified through their conference tournament finishes over the last two weekends. The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I wrestling committee using the following selection criteria: head-to-head competition, quality wins (defined as wins against wrestlers already in the field), coaches ranking, results against common opponents, conference tournament placement and winning percentage. The committee was also able to use subjective criteria such as, but not limited to, historical performance. That complete list of at-large selections can be found here.

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Sullivan carries a 7-3 record into the national tournament, including three wins over opponents ranked by several wrestling publications this season. The Pittsburgh native earned himself a spot in the Mountaineers’ starting lineup on Jan. 31, pinning No. 20 Theorius Robison of Northern Colorado in 3:48. He also topped No. 16 Job Greenwood of Wyoming and No. 17 Jared Van Vleet of Air Force. Entering the Big 12 Championship, he was ranked No. 16 in the most recent NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released on Feb. 25. Sullivan needed the at-large bid after suffering an injury during the first round of the Big 12 Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March, 6. He did not wrestle again during the tournament.

With Sullivan’s ticket punched, WVU will send four or more Mountaineer grapplers to the national tournament for the first time since coach Tim Flynn’s inaugural season in 2019, when the squad sent a total of five to Pittsburgh. The 133-pound grappler joins redshirt-juniors Killian Cardinale (125) and Noah Adams (197) and freshman Peyton Hall (165), as they each earned automatic bids based on their performances at the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Championship last weekend.

You can read more of the Big 12 Championships coverage here: Day One Coverage and  Day Two Coverage. 

Sullivan and Hall set to make their first appearance on the national stage. Additionally, Adams punched his third ticket to nationals after earning the No. 2 seed in his weight last season, while Cardinale qualified for the national tournament for the second time in his career. The NCAA Championships will be held on March 18-20, at the Enterprise Center, in St. Louis, Missouri. The complete seeding list and brackets will be revealed during the NCAA Wrestling Selection Show broadcast online (NCAA.com) on Wednesday, March 10, at 6 p.m. ET. The first round of competition starts at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 18.

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