The 20 teams comprising DODDS-Europe’s far-flung wrestling ranks have been sorted into three sectional meets for Saturday’s opening round of the postseason. Wrestlers advancing through this weekend’s meet will secure spots in the European championship meet set for Feb. 19-20 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Lakenheath, last year’s runner-up at the Division I level, will play host to the northern sectional. Regional neighbors AFNORTH, Alconbury, Brussels and SHAPE will join the Lancers, while Rota’s small squad will make the trip up from Spain, and Wiesbaden will journey north from Germany.

Host Kaiserslautern and local archrival Ramstein headline the central sectional, which also features Baumholder, Bitburg, Hohenfels, Incirlik and Munich International.

German squads Stuttgart and Vilseck, meanwhile, traverse the Alps to flesh out a southern sectional that holds all of DODDS-Europe’s Italian contingent, including host school Aviano, Naples, Sigonella and Vicenza.

With coveted spots in the European tournament on the line, DODDS-Europe annually attempts to equally distribute its larger programs among the sectionals, an effort to give schools big and small a reasonably equal chance of pushing its wrestlers through to the finals.

“Most of the assignments were made due to geography,” DODDS-Europe Athletic Director Karen Seadore said. “But in some cases, teams were assigned to a sectional to balance out the overall total number of wrestlers.”

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