The States that Produced the Most 2024 NCAA DI Standouts
Posted by eric.gerold on Monday, April 1, 2024 2:51 PM UTC

The 2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships concluded this past Saturday night in Kansas City, Missouri. Three hundred and thirty-three wrestlers qualified for the NCAAs. Eighty wrestlers earned All-America honors and 10 won NCAA titles. Penn State claimed its 11th national championship over the past 13 seasons.

So where did the 2024 NCAA Division I national qualifiers, NCAA All-Americans, NCAA finalists and NCAA champions come from? Let's look at the data.

2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Champions
NAIA Men's Wrestling National Championships
NCAA Division I national qualifiers

Grand View has been the dominant program in NAIA men's wrestling for more than a decade. The Vikings have won 11 national

Forty-two different states produced NCAA Division I national qualifiers. Pennsylvania led the way with 43 NCAA Division I national qualifiers, which is 13% of the tournament field. The Keystone State had at least two NCAA qualifiers in all 10 weight classes, including eight NCAA qualifiers at 197 pounds and seven at 149 pounds. 

Ohio came in second with 28 NCAA qualifiers. New Jersey was third with 26 qualifiers, while Illinois (22) and California (21) rounded out the top five. Minnesota and Wisconsin were tied for sixth with 16 NCAA qualifiers each. Other states with 10 or more NCAA qualifiers included New York, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma and Indiana.

Four NCAA qualifiers came from outside the United States. Two of those wrestlers hail from Cuba, one from Canada and one from Belarus.

NCAA Division I national qualifiers by home state (states with more than 10):
  • Pennsylvania 43
  • Ohio 28
  • New Jersey 26
  • Illinois 22
  • California 21
  • Minnesota 16
  • Wisconsin 16
  • New York 15
  • Iowa 13
  • Michigan 12
  • Oklahoma 11
  • Indiana 10
NCAA Division I All-Americans

The National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships (NCWWC) is the annual national championship event for NCAA women's wrestling programs. One of the major storylines in the division this season has been the much-anticipated arrival of the University of Iowa women's wrestling program, coached by 2012 Olympic bronze 6medalist Clarissa Chun. Iowa became the first

Eighty wrestlers across 10 weight classes earned All-America honors at the 2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. All-Americans came from 29 different states and four different countries. Pennsylvania, the state with the most NCAA qualifiers, also produced the most All-Americans with 10, which accounted for 12.5% of the total All-Americans. Pennsylvania was the lone state with double-digit All-Americans. 

Ohio was second in the All-American count with seven. California, New Jersey and Wisconsin tied for third with five. Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota tied for sixth with four All-Americans each. 

Missouri and New York both had three All-Americans, while Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Oklahoma each had two. The following states produced one All-American: Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. All-Americans came from three counties outside the United States: Belarus, Canada and Cuba.

All-Americans by home state:
  • Pennsylvania 10
  • Ohio 7
  • California 5
  • New Jersey 5
  • Wisconsin 5
  • Colorado 4
  • Illinois 4
  • Iowa 4
  • Minnesota 4
  • Missouri 3
  • New York 3
  • Georgia 2
  • Indiana 2
  • Maryland 2
  • Michigan 2
  • Oklahoma 2
  • Arizona 1
  • Connecticut 1
  • Idaho 1
  • Kansas 1
  • Kentucky 1
  • Louisiana 1
  • Nebraska 1
  • New Mexico 1
  • North Carolina 1
  • North Dakota 1
  • Utah 1
  • Virginia 1
  • West Virginia 1
All-Americans from countries outside the U.S.
  • Belarus 1
  • Canada 1
  • Cuba 1
NCAA Division I finalists

Thirteen different states produced a national finalist. Pennsylvania produced 20% of the NCAA finalists with four. Four states produced two NCAA finalists: Indiana, New York, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The other NCAA finalists came from Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and Ohio.

NCAA champions

Pennsylvania produced two of the 10 NCAA champions and was the only state to produce more than one NCAA champion this season. The other NCAA champions came from California, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

NCAA champions and their hometowns:

125: Richard Figueroa of Arizona State (Sanger, California)

Figueroa, a three-time California state champion, became Arizona State's first NCAA champion since 2019. He topped Iowa's Drake Ayala 7-2 in the finals. 

133: Vito Arujau of Cornell (Syosset, New York)

Arujau, a four-time New York state champion, repeated as NCAA champion at 133 pounds, defeating four-time NCAA finalist Daton Fix 5-3 in a finals match that lasted 21 minutes long and included multiple challenges and stoppages. He entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed after losing twice during the regular season to Lehigh freshman Ryan Crookham. 

141: Jesse Mendez of Ohio State (Crown Point, Indiana)

Mendez, a four-time Indiana state champion with a high school career record of 157-1, won the NCAA title at 141 pounds, defeating Big Ten rival Beau Bartlett of Penn State 4-1 in the finals. He became Ohio State's first NCAA champion since Kyle Snyder won his third title in 2018.

149: Caleb Henson of Virginia Tech (Cartersville, Georgia)

Henson became Georgia's first-ever NCAA Division I wrestling champion. He defeated Michigan's Austin Gomez in the finals at 149 pounds to become the second Virginia Tech wrestler win a national title, joining teammate Mekhi Lewis, who won the 165-pound title in 2019.

157: Levi Haines of Penn State (Arendtsville, Pennsylvania)

Haines, a Pennsylvania state champion and three-time state finalist, came through to win the title at 157 with a 5-0 shutout over Arizona State's Jacori Teemer. It was the second NCAA finals appearance in two seasons for Haines after he fell in the finals last season as a true freshman.

165: David Carr of Iowa State (Canton, Ohio)

Carr, a four-time Ohio state champion, won a 9-8 thriller over previously unbeaten freshman Mitchell Mesenbrink of Penn State. The victory came a day after topping two-time NCAA champion Keegan O'Toole of Missouri in the semifinals. Carr closed out his Cyclone career by winning his second NCAA title in his third finals appearance. He became the first five-time All-American in Iowa State wrestling history and finished with a career record of 120-5.

174: Carter Starocci of Penn State (Erie, Pennsylvania)

Starocci, a two-time Pennsylvania state champion, claimed his fourth national title with a 2-0 win over true freshman Rocco Welsh of Ohio State. 

184: Parker Keckeisen of Northern Iowa (Glendale, Wisconsin)

Keckeisen, a Wisconsin native who trained at the Askren Wrestling Academy, moved up a step on the podium, winning the NCAA title at 184 pounds after finishing as an NCAA runner-up last season to Brooks. He dominated Oklahoma State's Dustin Plott 14-5 in the finals. Keckeisen earned bonus-point victories in all five of his wins at the NCAAs and capped off an undefeated season.

197: Aaron Brooks of Penn State (Hagerstown, Maryland)

Brooks, like his Nittany Lion teammate Starocci, won his fourth NCAA title, becoming just the seventh wrestler to accomplish the feat. He handled NC State's Trent Hidlay 6-1 in the finals at 197 pounds. 

285: Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State (Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota)

Kerkvliet, a four-time Minnesota state champion, was dominant in claiming a 13-4 victory over Michigan's Lucas Davison in the finals at 285 pounds. Like Haines and Keckeisen, Kerkvliet lost in the finals a year ago. This season he went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 heavyweight, finishing the season 20-0 and becoming a four-time All-American. He placed seventh at the NCAAs in 2021, fourth in 2022 and runner-up last season.