#AskNWW Wrestling Q&A No. 8: Father/son duos and NCAA allocations

My apologies for the two-week gap between Q&A sessions. Had to put this on the back burner while I powered through some other priorities. Your patience is appreciated.

A big thanks to those who submitted questions this week. As a reminder, you can join the conversation any time by using #AskNWW on Twitter, emailing me at nwwrestle@gmail.com or by using the comment section on any of my posts throughout the week.

Alright, let’s get after it:

From Steve Clark (via Twitter): 

Caleb Meunier of Winneconne has a chance to win a state title this season in D2. Not a given, but he’s in the discussion I would think. His dad, Mike Meunier, won a state title for Manitowoc Lincoln in 1990, I believe. 

My question would be: How many father/son state champions have there been [in Wisconsin]? I know wrestling is often a family sport so maybe there are a ton, but the Meuniers are the first potential one I’ve encountered. 

Hi Steve, thanks for the question. I always appreciate your thoughtful queries.

So I did a bit of digging. And while I must concede I do not have an exact total, there are a lot of father/son tandems to win WIAA state wrestling titles.

Rather than rattling them all off, here’s a thread from the Wisconsin Wrestling Online forum discussing this very topic. It’s a bit dated, but it gives a good starting point.

One of the more recent examples I could find was that of Mason McMillen of Reedsburg and his father Tim.

Mason won his title in 2018. Tim was a state champ for the Beavers in 1985.

From David Hensely (via Twitter): 

My question is regarding AQs for D1 wrestling. Is there a set number for the winning percentage, RPI, or coaches ranking that gets a spot allotted to that conference? Or do those numbers vary year-by-year or weight-by-weight? 

Hey David, great to hear from you. I love this question.

I’ll start by saying I know enough to be dangerous. I’m not as much of an expert on this topic as I should be. But here is how I understand allotments of automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament:

You listed the three criteria that are used to evaluate wrestlers for AQ spots: winning percentage, coaches ranking, and RPI.

The committee uses, what they call, a “sliding scale.” To earn an AQ spot for his conference, a wrestler must meet two of the following three criteria:

  • Winning percentage of at least .700 against Division I opponents
  • Coaches ranking in the top-30
  • RPI ranking in the top-30

Also, every conference is guaranteed a minimum of one automatic qualifier spot at each weight class.

These criteria do not vary by weight class. Though I am unclear an how often this is updated. Here’s a link to the selection process presentation that was included in last year’s allocation announcement.

It’s also important to remember, we’re just talking about allocated spots here. Just because a wrestler earns a spot for his conference, he’s not assured the right to fill that spot.

For instance, if there are 8 AQ spots at a weight a wrestler needs to finish top-8 at the conference tournament to earn an NCAA bid, even if he was one of the eight to earn an allocation for his conference.

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