Izzak Olejnik steadily crept up in the rankings year after year as a 165-pound wrestler, but until this season a long run at the NCAA Tournament had always seemed to elude the Bakersfield High product.

When Olejnik burst onto the scene for Northern Illinois as the Mid-American Conference freshman of the year in 2020, the tournament got canceled. After qualifying for it each of the next two seasons, he went 2-2 both times.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.