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Early 141lbs Big 12 Wrestling Preview

A breakdown of individual wrestlers inside the Big 12 Conference at the 141lbs weight class and where they stand going into the 2022-23 wrestling season.

@MizzouWrestling on Twitter

Jumping from one season to the next comes with its lineup changes and depth chart shuffles. With seniors graduating and recruits/transfers coming in and out, among other changes, teams will be looking to improve their roster. In a series of articles, I will be breaking down individual wrestlers within each weight class and where they stand inside the Big 12 Conference.


141lbs Conference Overview:

The 141lbs weight class will be returning seven of its top eight Big 12 finishers from the 2021-22 season. Six of the returning starters have qualified for the NCAA Championship multiple times and only one has made it onto the podium. With the majority of the weight class back for the upcoming season, two teams, Iowa State and West Virginia, will be looking at different names among their lineup to start the season. 141lbs runs through the top three returning Big 12 finishers, with the rest of the class falling in line behind them. This is a group that has respectable talents and could be experienced enough to pull off an upset under the spotlight.

Anticipated Matchups:

Andrew Alirez (UNC) vs. Clay Carlson (SDSU) vs. Allan Hart (MIZ)

The top three wrestlers (Alirez, Carlson, Hart) could all be capable of coming out on top inside the 141lbs weight class. Between these three wrestlers, they have matched up evenly amongst each other. Carlson and Alirez have defeated one another twice and Hart has defeated Carlson and fallen short to Alirez twice by no more than two points.

141lbs Sleeper:

Casey Swiderski (ISU)

Casey Swiderski is a top recruit coming out of high school and has a good chance to crack the starting lineup as a true freshman. He is an extremely talented wrestler with multiple accolades to his name. He will also be battling out with former 2021 NCAA qualifier Zach Redding. After a 2021-22 season in the back seat, Redding is back to compete for the 141lbs weight class job for the Cyclones.


Returning 2021-22 Starters:

Andrew Alirez (Jr.) - Northern Colorado - NCAA Championship Seed: 5 - Record: 25-5

Finished the season with an 11-2 conference record and a first-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Alirez is a returning two-time NCAA qualifier and has reached as far as the round of 12 (Blood Round). He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 3-2 after getting knocked out by decision (3-2) to No. 10 Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota) in the fourth round consolation.

Allan Hart (Jr.) - Missouri - NCAA Championship Seed: 9 - Record: 16-7

Finished the season with an 8-5 conference record and a second-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Hart is a returning three-time NCAA qualifier and has reached as far as the Blood Round. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 1-2, getting knocked out by decision in overtime (7-5) to No. 7 Clay Carlson (South Dakota State) in the second-round consolation.

Clay Carlson (Jr.) - South Dakota State - NCAA Championship Seed: 7 - Record: 33-6

Finished the season with a 12-4 conference record and a third-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Carlson is the only returning former All-American (8th in 21) and is a two-time NCAA qualifier. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 3-2, getting knocked out by decision (6-2) to No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) in the fourth round consolation.

Dylan Droegemueller (Jr.) - North Dakota State - NCAA Championship Seed: 21 - Record:17-10

Finished the season with a 5-8 conference record and a fourth-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Droegemueller is a two-time NCAA qualifier reaching the round of 16 one time. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 2-2, getting knocked out by decision (7-6) to No. 19 Chad Red (Nebraska) in the third-round consolation.

Jacob Butler (Jr.) - Oklahoma - NCAA Championship Seed: 30 - Record: 9-15

Finished the season with a 4-8 conference record and a sixth-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Butler is returning from his first Championship appearance. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 1-2 getting knocked out by a major decision (14-5) to No. 14 Dresden Simon (Central Michigan) in the first-round consolation.

Carter Young (So.) - Oklahoma State - NCAA Championship Seed: 26 - Record: 12-9

Finished the season with an 8-4 conference record and a seventh-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Carter returns for his second season with the Cowboys after an NCAA qualification as a true freshman. He ended the 2022 NCAA Championship going 0-2, getting knocked out by decision (7-4) to No. 24 Stevan Micic in the first-round consolation.

Ty Smith (Jr.) - Utah Valley - Record: 5-10

Finished the season with a 4-7 conference record and an eighth-place conference finish in the 21-22 season. Ty Smith is a one-time NCAA qualifier (2021) and will be returning after failing to reach the championships in the previous season.

Cael Happel (So.) - UNI - Record: 17-10

Finished the season with a 9-5 conference record and did not place at the conference championship in the 21-22 season.

Cody Phippen (Sr.) - Air Force - Record: 15-14

Finished the season with a 1-8 conference record and did not place at the conference championship in the 21-22 season.

Darren Green (So.) - Wyoming - Record: 17-7

Finished the season with an 8-5 conference record and did not place at the conference championship in the 21-22 season.


Other Potential Starters:

Mosha Schwartz (Jr.) - Oklahoma
  • Transfer out of Northern Colorado
  • 2x NCAA Qualifier
  • Will challenge Jacob Butler for starting spot
Zach Redding (So.) - Iowa State
  • 2021 NCAA Qualifier (133lbs)
  • 3rd place finish at 2021 Big 12 Tournament (133lbs)
  • Will be competing for starting job
Sam Hillegas (So.) - West Virginia
  • Transfer out of Virginia Tech
  • Projected Starter at 141lbs

Departures:

Ian Parker (Iowa State): Graduate

Caleb Rea (West Virginia): Transfer


Notable Recruits: (FloWrestling, MatScouts)

Casey Swiderski - Iowa State
  • #2 Overall Recruit (FloWrestling)
  • #3 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 4x High School State Champion (Michigan)
Garrison Dendy - Wyoming
  • #88 Overall Recruit (FloWrestling)
  • #73 Overall Recruit (MatScout)
  • 4x High School State Champion (Tennessee)
Maxwell Petersen - North Dakota State
  • 4x High School State Finalist (1x Champ), (Minnesota)
  • #98 Overall Recruit (MatScout)

Big 12 Tournament Prediction:

  1. Allan Hart (MIZ)
  2. Clay Carlson (SDSU)
  3. Andrew Alirez (UNC)
  4. Dylan Droegemueller (NDSU)
  5. Casey Swiderski (ISU)
  6. Darren Green (WYO)
  7. Carter Young (OKST)
  8. Jacob Butler (OU)

Previous Overviews:

125lbs - 133lbs