Breaking down the field
Top returnees, talented newcomers highlight national meet
TCNJ, 184 pounds, Senior
Denver, a native of Bayville, N.J., brings a 32-2 mark to La Crosse and is coming off the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the Metropolitan Conference Championships. His 138 career victories are a school record. Denver was seventh at the 2010 Division III Championships and sixth a year ago.
Ithaca, 174 pounds, Junior
A two-time junior college All-American, Doliscar transferred to Ithaca from Nassau Community College and has gotten off to an impessive start in Division III. A native of Trinity, N.Y., Doliscar has 19 pins this season, tying a school record, and owns a stellar 33-2 record.
Ithaca, 133 pounds, Senior
As a freshman 125-pounder at the 2009 DIII Championships, Ecker finished sixth. Two years later as a junior 133-pounder, Ecker went 33-4 and claimed a national championship. A product of Pottstown, Pa., Ecker brings a 26-4 mark into the 2012 Championships and is now 104-20 in his career.
North Central (Ill.), 125 pounds, Junior
Making his third consecutive trip to the DIII Championships, Fitzenreider returns after going 37-3 and earning third in 2011 at 133 pounds. This year, he is 31-4 and ranked first at 125. Fitzenreider, who was 12-3 as a freshman before an injury ended his season, is now 80-10 in his career.
Augsburg, 285 pounds, Sophomore
As a freshman a year ago, Johnson finished seventh at the Division III Championships. He takes a 32-1 mark and the No. 1 ranking into his second NCAA tournament appearance.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 157 pounds, Sophomore
Kulchytskyy, a native of the Ukraine, is 40-2 after earning a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Conference title, the first for Wisconsin-Oshkosh in a decade. His short career already includes a 52-2 record with 24 pins. He was injured last season and missed the 2011 Division III Championships.
Coe, 165 pounds, Senior
An NCAA runner-up last season and All-American in 2010, LeClere has missed part of the 2012 season due to injury. He returned to the Kohawk lineup at the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament and beat Wartburg’s Landon Williams in the final.
Augsburg, 157 pounds, Senior
A two-time Division III national runner-up, Ponce, from Hialeah, Fla., will take a 20-0 mark to the national meet. The four-time NCAA qualifier is 112-31 in his career.
Wisconsin-La Crosse, 174 pounds, Senior
A four-time conference champion, Schmitz was a Division III national champion in 2010 and third in 2011. The Eagles' 174-pounder is a three-time All-American who brings a 24-1 season mark into his fourth NCAA meet. Schmitz is 99-20 in his career, going a combined 72-12 the last three years.
Ithaca, 149 pounds, Senior
Two-time national runner-up Stierly has just nine matches under his belt in 2011-12 due to injury. Last year, he was 22-2 including losing in the national final to Bebeto Yewah of UW-L. As a sophomore, Stierly was 36-5 with his first loss in the championship bout.
Wartburg, 197 pounds, Senior
The leader of a powerful 10-man Wartburg contingent heading to La Crosse, Tate was the 2010 and 2011 Division III national champion at 197 pounds. This season, he is 37-3, improving his mark to 134-14 during his fabulous career. Tate, a native of Clinton, Iowa, was 42-1 last season.
Gettysburg, 165 pounds, Freshman
Freshman 165-pounder Thomson is 40-2, setting a school record for victories in a season. From Mechanicsburg, Pa., Thomson was second at the Centennial Conference Championships, losing for just the second time this year in the final to Joey Favia of Stevens Institute.
Augsburg, 149 pounds, Senior
One of three Auggies ranked No. 1 entering the Division III Championships, Valek is a two-time Divsion III finalist and four-time NCAA qualifier. A native of Belle Plaine, Minn., he is 29-0 with 25 bonus-point victories this season. Valek brings a 131-24 career mark into his final collegiate tournament.
UW-La Crosse, 141 pounds, Senior
Yewah is 28-2 and has already won two national titles while running his record to 79-5 during the last three seasons. His only two losses this year have come against Division I competition, both at the Midlands Championships where he finished fifth. He is 86-7 during his career.
• Top wrestlers back from 2011