CLEVELAND – Three days in March. That is all that remains in the season for seven Purdue wrestlers. The NCAA Championships open with the first of six sessions over the course of three days at noon ET on Thursday from Quicken Loans Arena.

Luke Welch (125), Nate Limmex (141), Dylan Lydy (174) and Shawn Streck (285) secured their first NCAA appearance with their performances at the Big Ten Championships. Welch is the first Boilermaker to qualify at 125 pounds since Camden Eppert in 2012, while Streck snaps a 14-year absence of a Purdue heavyweight at NCAAs; Israel Blevins was the last heavyweight NCAA qualifier in 2004.

Christian Brunner qualified for his second NCAA trip at 197 pounds thanks to a fifth-place showing at Big Tens. Purdue has qualified its 197-pounder 11 of the past 12 years.

Ben Thornton received one of five at-large bids that were awarded at 133 pounds to advance to his first NCAA Championships. Jacob Morrissey became a two-time qualifier after receiving one of the four at-large bids that were available at 165 pounds. The redshirt senior qualified at 174 pounds in 2017.

The seven qualifiers are the most since 2015 when Purdue sent eight wrestlers to NCAAs.

For the first time since 1950 and matching a program high, four Boilermakers are seeded in their respective brackets. Welch is seeded 14th, followed by both Limmex and Lydy at No. 15 and Brunner at No. 16.

First round opponents for Limmex and Lydy are all too familiar. For a fourth time this season, Limmex will square off with Wisconsin’s Eli Stickley. The 141-pounders split matches during the regular season and Limmex took the edge with a 3-2 Big Ten consolation semifinal victory. Lydy is set for a fourth showdown with Johnny Sebastian of Northwestern. Their last meeting came in the opening round at Big Tens, with the Wildcat taking the series’ second 2-1 decision.

Welch also has a familiar foe in the first round, South Dakota State’s Connor Brown. The redshirt senior Boilermaker major decisioned Brown 13-4 in wrestleback action at Midlands.

Click here to see all of Purdue’s first round matchups.

ESPN continues its long-standing tradition of airing the NCAA Championships, when it televises 19 hours of competition during six highly competitive sessions, including three in prime time. For the fourth consecutive year, ESPN will stream every mat, every match via the ESPN app in addition to the television programming, resulting in more than 640 matches available for fans, marking unprecedented coverage of the sport’s pinnacle event.

125 14 Luke Welch RS Sr. 29-9 Newburgh, Ind.
133 Ben Thornton RS Jr. 26-11 Stoddard, Wis.
141 15 Nate Limmex RS So. 25-14 Ada, Mich.
165 Jacob Morrissey RS Sr. 21-18 Oconto Falls, Wis.
174 15 Dylan Lydy RS So. 32-12 Indianapolis, Ind
197 16 Christian Brunner So. 23-9 East Dundee, Ill.
285 Shawn Streck RS Fr. 28-13 Merrillville, Ind.