first_imgRanked third in the nation in multiple preseason polls, the University of Wisconsin wrestling team has a great chance to build on the limited success they found in the NCAA Tournament last year.With a plethora of returning talent, excitement for Wisconsin wrestling leading into the 2019 season is the highest it has been in recent memory. The source of this excitement is Chris Bono, who is entering his second season as head coach for the Badgers.Bono has quickly become one of the Big Ten’s preeminent recruiters with his 2019 recruiting class ranked seventh nationally and third in the Big Ten behind only Rutgers and The Ohio State University — by feature recruits from the 2019 recruiting class include Peter Christensen, Eric Barnett and Kyle Burwick. ranked these three wrestlers No. 23, 36 and 48 in the class of 2019. But, top recruits weren’t the only highly sought after wrestlers Bono added to the Badger roster in the offseason.In a blockbuster transfer decision, senior Seth Gross, a star at South Dakota State under former Head Coach Bono, transferred to the Badgers. Gross sought out a transfer after a medical redshirt last season. After much speculation on where he might land, he announced in May he would be reuniting with his former coach in Madison.Other notable transfers joining the Badgers this year include senior Johnny Sebastian, two-time NCAA tournament qualifier for Northwestern, and senior Taylor Watkins from Mizzou. Sebastian was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after medically redshirting last season.Wrestling: Two All-American Badgers take on NCAA Championships to cap off successful seasonThe University of Wisconsin wrestling team’s season came to a close this past weekend at the NCAA Championships. Six wrestlers Read…Practice for the Badger wrestlers started Oct. 10, and their first tournament is Battle on the Midway in San Diego against Army, Fresno State and Navy on Nov. 1.The Badgers landed at No. 3 in the Wrestling Insider News 2019-2020 NCAA Tournament Pre-Season Rankings. Let’s take a weight-by-weight look at the Badgers’ potential line up for this upcoming year. Individual rankings referenced are from’s pre-season rankings.125: At 125, the Badgers have two options — senior Michael Cullen or freshman Eric Barnett. Cullen is a redshirt senior with a career record of 26-28 and the likely starter. Barnett would be more competitive for the Badgers but is likely redshirting this season, in preparation for his self-described quest for four individual national titles.133: Returning national champion and two-time finalist Gross will seek another title to end his storied career. Gross currently holds the No. 1 rank at 133. Gross’s path is slightly easier than it could be as defending 133-pound champion Nick Suriano of Rutgers is moving down to 125 in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.141: Senior Tristan Moran was the starter last year at 141 and managed to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Tristan is ranked No. 11 in preseason rankings but should be a significant threat for All-American status due to his dangerous style and notable wins last season over current No. 2 Nick Lee of PSU and overtime barn-burner pin of No. 3 ranked Mitch McKee of Minnesota.Wrestling: A conversation with Chris Bono in his first offseason as head coachSometimes you don’t have to sit down long with someone to tell what they are all about. For the University Read…149: Senior Cole Martin is another returning starter and mainstay of the Badger roster. Martin is coming off his third NCAA tournament and fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Ranked No. 12 in the preseason rankings, Martin looks to end his career on a high note with an All-American finish at the NCAA Championships.157: This is one of the big question marks on the Badger roster. Most signs point to sophomore Devin Bahr getting the start for the beginning of the season, but sophomore Garrett Model will be competing for his spot as well. Both have limited varsity experience.165: Two-time All-American junior Evan Wick has been a mainstay for the Badgers at 165 the past two seasons. Wick finished fourth and third at the 2019 and 2018 NCAA Championships respectively. He is ranked third in the nation to start the year and looks to make the finals to best his previous NCAA tournament finishes.174: Redshirt freshmen Tyler Dow and Jared Krattiger are likely contenders for the starting spot at 174 this season. Both posted competitive records in open competition last season with Dow finishing 27-3 and Krattiger 10-2. It will be interesting to see which one secures the starting spot come Nov. 1.184: Johnny Sebastian’s college resume is filled with competitions at 174, but he’ll shoot for success with a new team at a new weight. Sebastian transferred to UW for his sixth season and looks to contest for All-American status in his lone season with the Badgers.197: Taylor Watkins transferred to UW from the University of Missouri, and is likely to lock down the starting spot. It is unclear if freshman Peter Christensen will redshirt or not, but he would likely be competitive at 197 if he competed as he was the No. 1 high schooler in the country at 195 last year.285: Returning All-American sophomore Trent Hillger, who goes by the nickname “Thor,” is looking to improve on his eighth place finish at the NCAA tournament a year ago. Hillger is ranked sixth in the preseason rankings and should be very competitive this year.Wrestling: Head Coach Chris Bono already has eyes set on national titleChris Bono was introduced as the new head coach of the University of Wisconsin wrestling team last month, replacing Badger Read…The Badgers look to have an exciting year. There is plenty of action to watch in person, as the Badgers duel No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 7 Michigan at the UW Field House this year. Hopefully, the Badgers will come away with a top four team trophy to go with their first individual champion since 2010.last_img read more