• BAMF

197 Preview: Cody Baldridge - North Central - looks to defend his NWCA title against a poised field.



Brief Weight Class Outlook:

Graduation took its toll on the 197 pounds weight class in 2020 & 2021. The #1, #2, #3, #4, #6 seeds from the 2020 National Championships have all moved on. However, a new crop of talent looks to take over led by multiple time National Qualifiers and 2020 NCAA seeded wrestlers in Cody Baldridge - North Central College, Isaac Lahr - Wisc.- La Crosse, Michael Dooley - Stevens Tech, Luca Colestock - Muhlenberg, and Tommy Wrzesien - Johnson & Wales. Baldridge is one of the top seeds returning having moved up from 184 (#3 seed in 2020) for his 2021 campaign and brought home the 2021 NWCA National Championship. The rest of the seeded wrestlers did not have the opportunity to compete at the 2021 NWCA Championships so this will be an interesting weight as new blood looks to mix it up for the top of the podium.


Top Returners

  • Cody Baldridge - North Central College - #3 seed at the 2020 NCAA National Championships (184), 2x NCAA National Qualifier (2020, 2019-184), 2021 NWCA National Champion.

  • Isaac Lahr - Wisc.- La Crosse - #5 seed at the 2020 NCAA National Championships

  • Michael Dooley - Stevens Tech - #7 seed at the 2020 NCAA National Championships, 2x NCAA National Qualifier (2020, 2019-184)

  • Luca Colestock - Muhlenberg - #8 seed at the 2020 NCAA National Championships.

  • Tommy Wrzesien - Johnson & Wales University - 2x NCAA National Qualifier (2020, 2019)


Notable Returners

  • Kobe Woods - Wartburg College - National Qualifier (2018)

  • Quinn Haddad - TCNJ - National Qualifier (2020), defeated Dooley in 2021

  • Cash Thompson - Ohio Northern - National Qualifier (2020)

  • Tonee Ellis - Alvernia - National Qualifier (2020)

  • Logan Hagerbaumer - Millikin - National Qualifier (2020)

  • Braden Homsey - Ferrum - National Qualifier (2020)

  • Gabriel Zierden - Concordia (MN) - National Qualifier (2020)

  • Beau Yineman - Wisc. - Osh Kosh - defeated Isaac Lahr in 2021


2021 NWCA Nationals Placers

  1. Cody Baldridge - North Central College

  2. Gabriel Zierden - Concordia (MN)

  3. Logan Hagerbaumer - Millikin

  4. Donovan Corn - Luther College

  5. Jonathan Wagner - Coast Guard

  6. Bentley schwanebeck-Ostermann - Augsburg

  7. Chris Nielsen - University of Dubuque

  8. Don Phillips, II - Buena Vista University


Notable Transfers

If you know of notable transfers entering Division III at 197lbs, please comment below or DM us on Instagram (@d3wrestling) and we will work to confirm the news with the individual’s new institution.


Notable Roster Omissions:

Missing someone? Transfer out of Division III or perhaps returning for the second semester? Feel free to let us know who we missed or break some news on the whereabouts of those you think should be noted here.