After having its final match of the season against Maryland postponed, the Rutgers wrestling team now turns its focus to the upcoming Big Ten Championship this weekend.
The Scarlet Knights (0-4, 0-4) will travel to University Park, Pennsylvania where they will compete in the tournament from March 6-7. Rutgers was able to compete in just four matches during the shortened season, losing in each one of them, with two others getting postponed.
The Knights come into the tournament with two wrestlers seeded in the top three: sophomore 133-pounder Sammy Alvarez and graduate student 141-pounder Sebastian Rivera. Other top-seeded Rutgers players include freshman 184-pounder John Poznanski, sophomore 174-pounder Jackson Turley and fifth-year senior 157-pounder Michael VanBrill, who earned 5, 7 and 8 seeds respectively.
The Knights last competed on Jan. 31, when they lost to Minnesota at home. Since then, Rutgers has been on a month-long hiatus, which will come to an end on Saturday.
Standout wrestlers in their four matches include Alvarez who boasted an undefeated 3-0 record, Rivera who went 4-0 and Poznanski who achieved a record of 3-1. InterMat has also ranked each of them nationally, with Alvarez at No. 6 in the 133-pound class, Rivera at No. 3 in the 141-pound class and Poznanski at No. 18 in the 184-pound class.
In the four matches, the Knights competed against No. 2 Michigan, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 19 Purdue and No. 15 Minnesota.
The Big Ten Championship will begin at 10 a.m. this Saturday, starting with the first round and quarterfinals, after which the semifinals and wrestlebacks will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the same day. The consolation semifinals and seventh-place matches as well as the first, third and fifth-place matches are scheduled for Sunday at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. Coverage will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Looking beyond the Big Ten Championship, Rutgers also has its sights set on the NCAA National Championships, which will take place from March 18-20 in St. Louis. In order to qualify for that tournament, each wrestler from the Knights must finish this weekend within the threshold at his respective weight.
For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.