INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis. Columbia's conference, the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) has the second-most automatic qualifying spots with 46.
For each weight class, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships feature 33 wrestlers with 29 auto qualifiers from the conference tournaments and four at-large qualifiers selected by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee. In the final NCAA Division I Coaches' Panel Ranking of individual wrestlers, five Columbia wrestlers were ranked in the top 33 in their respective divisions: Kyle Gilchrist (133, 30th), Steve Santos (149, 23rd), Jake O'Hara (157, 33rd), Stephen West (174, 32nd) and Kevin Lester (285, 27th).
Columbia (8-5, 3-2 Ivy League, 4-3 EIWA) finished its dual season last week and tied with Penn for second place in the Ivy League. The Lions are now preparing for the 2012 EIWA Championships on March 3-4 at Princeton's Jadwin Gym.
The breakdown for the automatic-qualifying spots by conference is as follows:
|Atlantic Coast Conference||4||3||4||2||3||3||2||2||1||1||25|
|Big 12 Conference||4||3||3||3||3||4||3||3||3||2||31|
|Big Ten Conference||6||7||5||9||6||8||9||7||7||10||74|
|Colonial Athletic Association||1||2||2||2||2||4||2||2||3||3||23|
|Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association||3||5||6||6||6||4||4||4||5||3||46|
|Eastern Wrestling League||2||3||2||2||2||1||3||3||3||3||24|
|TOTAL AUTO QUALIFIERS||29||29||29||29||29||29||29||29||29||29||290|
Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.
For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament, with automatic qualifying status, was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 7. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.