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College Wrestling Weight Classes Explained

If you’re asking, “what are the college wrestling weight classes,” then you must be new to college wrestling.

Whether you’re already a high school wrestling fan interested in the next level of competition, an older wrestler who wants to jump back into the sport, someone in mixed martial arts wanting to watch the sport, or somewhere in between, this guide will help you understand the college wrestling weight classes.

Keep reading to learn about all ten weight classes, weight changes, and everything else you need to know about the college weights.

What are the college wrestling weight classes?

In NCAA D1 collegiate wrestling, there are ten official weight classes.

The lightest weight is 125 lbs and the heavyweight is maxed out at 285 lbs. Wrestlers compete in these ten official weight classes throughout the season. At the end of the year, an NCAA Wrestling Champion is crowned at every weight class.

Below are the official weight classes:

  • 125 lbs
  • 133 lbs
  • 141 lbs
  • 149 lbs
  • 157 lbs
  • 165 lbs
  • 174 lbs
  • 184 lbs
  • 197 lbs
  • 285 lbs

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    Weight changes over the years

    Until the NCAA created the current weight classes, which have been in effect since 1999, there have been multiple weight changes over the years.

    In fact, back in 1928 there was a 115 lbs weight class. Furthermore, the heavyweight class used to be known as “unlimited” until the 1980’s; this meant that there was literally no limit to the weight class.

    How do weight classes work?

    If you’re a true newbie to the sport, maybe you’re wondering how weight classes work.

    Basically, once a wrestler commits to wrestling a certain weight, let’s say 141 lbs, then he has the weigh in under that weight to compete. If he weighs even an ounce over 141 lbs, he is not allowed to compete. There are weigh-ins before every dual meet and tournament.

    Famous Wrestlers’ Weight Classes

    Even if you’re new to the sport, you’re likely to have heard about certain big-name wrestlers who have won multiple NCAA Championships. For example, Penn State Head Coach Cael Sanderson is the only collegiate wrestler to go undefeated (159-0), and he wrestled at 184 lbs and 197 lbs in the early 2000’s.

    Legendary Iowa Hawkeye Head Coach Dan Gable competed at 130 lbs and 137 lbs back in the 1960s and won two NCAA Championships. Another two time NCAA Champion is Olympian Jordan Burroughs. He won titles at 157 lbs and 165 lbs.

    In recent years, Kyle Dake became the only wrestler to win four NCAA Wrestling titles (141 lbs, 149 lbs, 157 lbs, 165 lbs). You may have also heard about Spencer Lee and Gable Steveson. They are on the book ends of the college wrestling weight classes; Lee is a 125 pounder and Steveson is a heavyweight.

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