ROSEMONT, Ill. – Redshirt senior Billy Rappo (133), redshirt sophomore Alfred Bannister (149) and sophomore Youssif Hemida (285) earned top-eight pre-seeds for the 2017 Big Ten Championships in a release made by the conference offices this afternoon. The tournament is set to start this Saturday, March 4 in Bloomington, Ind.
The pre-seeds, as voted on by the conference’s coaches, rank the top eight wrestlers in five weight classes, along with all 14 starters in five weight classes due to the Big Ten receiving nine or more NCAA Championships qualifier allocations in those classes.
Maryland’s entries are as follows (with tournament seed if available):
125: Michael Beck
133: #6 Billy Rappo
141: #13 Ryan Diehl
149: #4 Alfred Bannister
157: #13 Justin Alexander
165: Patrick Gerish
174: #13 Josh Ugalde
184: #14 Idris White
197: David-Brian Whisler
285: #7 Youssif Hemida
Rappo earned the #6 seed in the 133-pound bracket after finishing the regular season 13-11 with a 5-3 mark in Big Ten duals. Rappo bumped down to 133 before the Midlands Championships, and has gone 9-5 since then with his five losses all coming to wrestlers ranked inside the top-11 nationally. Rappo closed out the regular season with three straight Big Ten dual wins, and ended the year tabbed 32rd in the NCAA Coaches Rankings.
Bannister received the #4 seed at 149 pounds after finishing the regular season 21-3 and undefeated 11-0 mark in duals. Despite missing a the last month and a half due to injury, Bannister amassed four wins over ranked opponents and is currently ranked 15th in the country at 149 via InterMat Wrestling.
Hemida put together a stellar second half of his sophomore campaign, going 9-2 over the months of January and February to nab the #7 seed in the heavyweight division. Hemida’s lone losses over that stretch came at the hands of #1 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) and #3 Nick Nevills (Penn State), while the Mamaroneck, N.Y. native is 17-9 overall on the year.