On Tuesday at 3 P.M. the NCAA D1 Wrestling Committee announced the 45 at-large selections to compete at the 2019 NCAA Championships March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. Three Pitt wrestlers were hopeful to receive one, but only Mt. Lebanon native Kellan Stout got the nod.
The criteria for calculating who is deserving of such a bid is as follows:
At the conclusion of the ACC tournament Pitt had garnered four automatic bids: Micky Phillippi at 133, Taleb Rahmani at 157, Nino Bonaccorsi at 184, and Demetrius Thomas at 285. LJ Bentley, Gregg Harvey, and Stout patiently waited for Tuesday to see the fate of their season. Unfortunately for Pitt fans, only Stout got in.
Kellan posted several high quality wins this year, including over Drew Phipps, Jake Woodley, and Malik McDonald. These most likely tipped the scales in his favor. Kellan had a resurgent year, improving from 4-16 to 12-8. He was an undefeated state champion his senior year in high school, and has all the pedigree to go far.
Senior LJ Bentley and sophomore Gregg Harvey were both in the top 33 in the last regular season version of the coaches’ poll and RPI. Seeing as there as 33 wrestlers in each field, it was quite possible they could have been picked. But, the final RPI and coaches’ ranking have yet to be released, so it is unclear where they currently stand. Once that information is made available, we will know how close they truly were. What we do know is that Pitt is sending five, and the hometown fans will be cheering them on towards that ever monumental top 8 finish.