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Fletcher

2 returning champs out - ever happened before?

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17 minutes ago, Jimmy Cinnabon said:

It happened in 2020: Mekhi Lewis and Anthony Cassar were both hurt and out for the year.

Ultimately NCAAs got cancelled due to COVID but if they had been held Lewis and Cassar wouldn't have competed.

There were 4 returning champs from 2019 that did not  competing in 2019-2020.  Suriano, Yianni D, and Lewis as Olympic redshirts and Cassar pulled out mid season due to injury.  Mekhi Lewis was injured during the 2020-2021 NCAA season and ultimately didn't wrestle at the Olympic Trials in 2021, but he wasn't injured during what would have been the 2019-2020 season.  He got injured during the 2020-2021 NCAA season, but wrestlee at 2021 NCAAs nontheless.  So Cassar was absent from 2020 NCAAs due to injury and I suppose you could say 2021 NCAAs also due to injury, but I think he wasn't enrolled anywhere and had retired from NCAA competition the year before.  Irregardless, Lewis missed 2020 NCAAs for the Olympic redshirt (not injury) and did not miss 2021 NCAAs, though his performance suffered due to injury.  I would't consider them both "out due to injury" in either 2020 nor 2021.

Perhaps more unusual was the 4 defending champs from 2019 with remaining eligibility that didn't return in 2019-2020 for one reason or another.  I don't think that many returning champs have skipped the same season before.  Olympic redshirts are not often used by NCAA champs and I can't think of a cycle where 3 took them.

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