Two NIU wrestlers qualify for NCAA Championships

By Mike Romor

NIU Wrestlers Brad Dieckhaus and Bryan Deutsch had successful regular seasons which carried over into the MAC Championships, where they qualified for the NCAA Championships.

The two grapplers are represent the Huskies in the Division I field of 330 participants.

Deutsch, a senior, is no stranger to the NCAA Championships. This is his third time qualifying in as many years. He is one of three MAC wrestlers to qualify at the 157-pound weight class.

In order to reach his preseason goal of making it to the national finals, Deutsch knows he must elevate his wrestling to another level.

“If I can just go in there and wrestle the best that I’ve wrestled all season, then I will be good,” Deutsch said. “It’s just trying to make sure that I peak, that I don’t come up short.”

Deutsch also recognizes that this is his last chance to make an impact at the NCAA Championships. He acknowledged that he is a little desperate this year because he doesn’t want to end his career at NIU with an unfulfilled goal.

He also explained what he sees as the major difference between the regular season and nationals.

“The regular season is kind of like eating at McDonald’s,” Deutsch said. “The national finals, that’s like eating at Johnny’s [Charhouse]. It’s the pinnacle, this is it.”


Dieckhaus, a junior, will be making his first NCAA Championship appearance. He was awarded the only bid allotted to the MAC at 184 pounds after winning the conference title, which is also a first for Dieckhaus. He is going into nationals hoping to win the tournament.

Dieckhaus is preparing for the championships both mentally and physically in order to gain any type of edge over his opponents.

“I want to keep my body fresh and loose, and stay positive,” Dieckhaus said. “I am going to be studying a little bit of film and work on closing the gap in terms of getting my offense going. I am just going one day at a time.”

Being a newcomer to the tournament has Dieckhaus feeling anxious. He said he feels that this appearance is long overdue for him and he will be ready to go when he steps on the mats.

“Going out there will be great,” Dieckhaus said. “After missing the championships last year, I have been waiting for this for a while.”