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NWCA/InterMat releases Preseason Division I wrestling rankings

MANHEIM, Pa. - The National Wrestling Coaches Association and its media web site, InterMat, have released the Division I preseason wrestling rankings for the 2006-07 wrestling season.

Minnesota garnered all 12 first-place votes among coaches to earn the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Coach J Robinson returns nine starters from a team that ended the regular season in 2005-06 as the top-ranked team but finished second behind Oklahoma State at the 2006 Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City in March.

Led by returning national champions Dustin Schlatter (149) and Cole Konrad (285), the Gophers have nine wrestlers ranked. Schlatter and Konrad are No. 1, while two-time All-American Mack Reiter is ranked second at 133 pounds.

Defending national champion Oklahoma State is second and went 16-2 last season with both losses coming at the hands of the Gophers.

Missouri earns its highest preseason ranking in school history at No. 3. Last year, Ben Askren won the first national championship in school history en route to an undefeated season and named the Division I Championships Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Coach Brian Smith returns Askren, All-American Tyler McCormick and past All-American Matt Pell.

The third Big 12 team in the top five is Oklahoma. The Sooners, led by last year's NWCA Division I Coach of the Year Jack Spates return All-Americans Sam Hazewinkel (125), Matt Storniolo (149), and Joel Flaggert (197).

Iowa rounds out the top five, returning All-Americans Alex Tsirtsis (141), Mark Perry (165) and Eric Luedke (174).

Iowa State, Michigan, Penn State, Cornell and Northwestern round out the Top 10.

Last season's only unbeaten team, Edinboro, starts the year ranked 13th.

All five Big 12 wrestling programs are represented in the Top 25, while the Big Ten has five of its 11 teams in the Top 10 and nine ranked overall. Three Ivy League schools are ranked, Cornell is ninth, followed by Penn at 14 and Harvard starts the year 22nd.

Among the individuals returning, national champions Matt Valenti of Penn (133), Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota (149), Johny Hendricks of Oklahoma State (165), Askren and Konrad are all ranked atop their weight classes.

This season, there are five more teams eligible for the Division I post-season. North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Northern Colorado will compete in their first full season as a championship-eligible Division I member after moving up from Division II, while Liberty and Bucknell re-instated their varsity wrestling programs last year and will compete this season.

The USA Today/InterMat/NWCA team rankings are voted on by Division I coaches weekly, while the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA individual rankings are voted on by members of the National Wrestling Media Association.

Rankings Link:

USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Preseason Division I Coaches Poll
Rank Team (First) Record Points NCAA Finish
1. Minnesota (12) 20-1 480 2
2. Oklahoma State 16-2 468 1
3. Missouri 13-4-1 441 15
4. Oklahoma 10-6-1 432 3
5. Iowa 11-7 431 4
6. Iowa State 11-7 426 13
7. Michigan 16-2 415 7
8. Penn State 13-4 400 t9
9. Cornell 10-4 390 5
10. Northwestern 10-5 358 13
11. Hofstra 11-8-1 347 11
12. Central Mich. 13-4 335 26
13. Edinboro 12-0 326 8
14. Penn 11-5 324 12
15. Ohio State 3-13 319 45
16. Illinois 9-2-1 290 25
17. Michigan State 7-10 283 t18
18. Nebraska 12-5 279 16
19. Indiana 11-6 251 t18
20. Cal Poly 10-7 249 23
21. Lehigh 13-5-1 241 t9
22. Harvard 5-9-1 226 t31
23. Arizona State 14-7 216 6
24. West Virginia 6-6 210 27
25. Pittsburgh 4-9 128 35
Others receiving votes: Northern Iowa, Rider, Wisconsin

InterMat/NWCA/NWMA Division I Pre-Season Individual Rankings
October 19, 2006

125 pounds
1. Sam Hazewinkel, Sr. Oklahoma
2. Troy Nickerson, So. Cornell
3. Nick Simmons, Sr. Michigan State
4. Chad Mendes, Jr. Cal Poly
5. Tanner Gardner, Jr. Stanford
6. Paul Donahoe, So. Nebraska
7. Obe Blanc, Jr. Lock Haven
8. Mike Sees, Jr. Bloomsburg
9. Luke Smith, Jr. Central Michigan
10. Pat Castillo, Jr. Northern Illinois
11. Mark McKnight, Jr. Penn State
12. Mark Moos, Sr. Michigan
13. Javier Maldonado, Sr. UT-Chattanooga
14. Gabe Flores, So. Illinois
15. Chad Sportelli, Sr. Kent State
16. Tim Kephart, Sr. Missouri
17. Collin Cudd, Jr. Wisconsin
18. Christian Staylor, Sr. Old Dominion
19. Travis Lang/Jayson Ness, So./Fr. Minnesota
20. Dave Tomasette, Jr. Hofstra

133 pounds
1. Matt Valenti, Sr. Penn
2. Mack Reiter, Jr. Minnesota
3. Tyler McCormick, Jr. Missouri
4. Matt Keller, Sr. UT-Chattanooga
5. Coleman Scott, Jr. Oklahoma State
6. Darrell Vasquez, Sr. Cal Poly
7. Evan Sola, Sr. North Carolina
8. Jake Strayer, So. Penn State
9. Rob Preston, Sr. Harvard
10. Drew Headlee, Jr. Pittsburgh
11. Mark Budd, Sr. Buffalo
12. Patrick Aleksanyan/Mike Rowe, So./Fr. Nebraska
13. Joe Baker, So. Navy
14. Andrae Hernandez, So. Indiana
15. Adam Frey, Fr. Cornell
16. Nick Gallick, Fr. Iowa State
17. Zach Tannelli, So. Wisconsin
18. T.J. Enright/Reece Humphrey, Jr./So. Ohio State
19. Sean Clair, So. Eastern Michigan
20. Eric Albright, So. Virginia

141 pounds
1. Ryan Lang, Jr. Northwestern
2. Andy Simmons, Sr. Michigan State
3. Brandon Rader, So. West Virginia
4. Alex Tsirtsis, Jr. Iowa
5. Nathan Morgan, Jr. Oklahoma State
6. Jeff Jaggers, So. Ohio State
7. Don Fisch, Jr. Rider
8. C.J. Ettelson, Jr. Northern Iowa
9. Max Meltzer, Jr. Harvard
10. Manuel Rivera, Jr. Minnesota
11. Derek Moore, Sr. UC-Davis
12. Cassio Pero, Sr. Illinois
13. Michael Keefe, Sr. UT-Chattanooga
14. Charles Griffin, Jr. Hofstra
15. Dave Roberts, Sr. Cal Poly
16. Dominick Moyer, Sr. Nebraska
17. Matt Ciasulli, Sr. Lehigh
18. Keith Dickey, Sr. Cornell
19. Cesar Grajales, So. Penn
20. Mitch Mueller, Fr. Iowa State

149 pounds
1. Dustin Schlatter, So. Minnesota
2. Matt Storniolo, Sr. Oklahoma
3. Gregor Gillespie, So. Edinboro
4. Matt Dragon, So. Penn
5. Tyler Turner, Sr. Wisconsin
6. Josh Churella, Jr. Michigan
7. John Cox, Sr. Navy
8. David Jauregui, So. West Virginia
9. Trevor Chinn, So. Lehigh
10. Robert Sanders, So. Nebraska
11. Aaron Martin, Sr. UT-Chattanooga
12. Troy Tirapelle, So. Illinois
13. Jordan Leen, So. Cornell
14. Matt Coughlin, Fr. Indiana
15. Joey Ecklof, So. Pittsburgh
16. Mike Grimes, Sr. Northern Illinois
17. Jason Knipp/Aron Scott/Cyler Sanderson, Jr./Jr./Fr. Iowa State
18. Morgan Atkinson, Jr. Cal State-Fullerton
19. Jason Johnstone/Lance Palmer So./Fr. Ohio State
20. Mike Kessler, So. Rider

157 pounds
1. Brian Stith, Sr. Arizona State
2. Trent Paulson, Sr. Iowa State
3. Brandon Becker, Jr. Indiana
4. Matt Kocher, Jr. Pittsburgh
5. Andrew Flanagan, So. Harvard
6. C.P. Schlatter, Jr. Minnesota
7. Mike Poeta, So. Illinois
8. Travis Piccard, Sr. The Citadel
9. Tyler Sherfey, Jr. Boise State
10. Michael Chandler, Jr. Missouri
11. Nathan Galloway, Sr. Penn State
12. James Strouse, Sr. Hofstra
13. Chris Oliver, So. Nebraska
14. Chris Vondruska, Sr. Ohio State
15. Ryan Hluschak, Jr. Drexel
16. Seth Martin, Sr. Lock Haven
17. Matt Hill, Sr. Edinboro
18. Kurt Gross, Jr. Kent State
19. Will Rowe, Jr. Oklahoma
20. Jake Yost, Sr. UT-Chattanooga

165 pounds
1. Johny Hendricks, Sr. Oklahoma State
2. Mark Perry, Jr. Iowa
3. Mike Patrovich, Sr. Hofstra
4. Deonte Penn, Sr. Edinboro
5. Travis Paulson, Sr. Iowa State
6. Eric Tannenbaum, Jr. Michigan
7. Nick Baima, Sr. Northern Iowa
8. Matt Pell, Sr. Missouri
9. Pat Pitsch, Jr. Arizona State
10. Johnny Galloway, Jr. Northern Illinois
11. Larry Hall, Jr. West Virginia
12. Marc Harwood, Jr. Nebraska
13. Steve Anceravage, Jr. Cornell
14. Max Dean, Jr. Indiana
15. Jarrod King, So. Oklahoma
16. Dan Bedoy, Jr. Purdue
17. Jake Donar, Jr. Wisconsin
18. Rocky Cozart, Fr. Michigan State
19. Trevor Stewart, So. Central Michigan
20. Mitch Kuhlman, Jr. Minnesota

174 pounds
1. Ben Askren, Sr. Missouri
2. Matt Herrington, Sr. Penn
3. James Yonushonis, Sr. Penn State
4. Matt Palmer, Sr. Columbia
5. Ken Cook, Sr. UC-Davis
6. Brandon Mason, So. Oklahoma State
7. Ken Robertson, Sr. Eastern Illinois
8. David Helfrich, Sr. Lehigh
9. Kurt Brenner, Jr. West Virginia
10. Steve Luke, So. Michigan
11. Eric Ring, Sr. Edinboro
12. Gabe Dretsch, Jr. Minnesota
13. Blake Maurer, Jr. Ohio State
14. Donny Reynolds, Sr. Illinois
15. Brandon Sinnott, Jr. Central Michigan
16. David Bertolino/Grant Turner, Jr./Sr. Iowa State
17. Josh Weitzel/Shane Seibert, Sr./Sr. Oklahoma
18. Chad Beatty/Eric Luedke, Fr./Sr. Iowa
19. Aaron Miller, Sr. Kent State
20. Jeremy Larson, Sr. Oregon State

184 pounds
1. Jake Herbert, Jr. Northwestern
2. Roger Kish, Jr. Minnesota
3. Alex Clemsen, Sr. Edinboro
4. Raymond Jordan, So. Missouri
5. Joe Rovelli, Jr. Hofstra
6. Vince Jones, So. Nebraska
7. Christian Sinnott, Jr. Central Michigan
8. Tyrel Todd, So. Michigan
9. Steve Borja, Sr. Virginia Tech
10. Jake Varner, Fr. Iowa State
11. Louis Caputo, So. Harvard
12. Rocco Caponi, So. Virginia
13. Alex Picazo/Mike Pucillo, Sr./Fr. Ohio State
14. Joe Williams, Jr. Michigan State
15. Greg Gifford, Sr. Arizona State
16. Brent Parkey, Jr. Oklahoma State
17. Matt Wetterling, Jr. North Dakota State
18. Jeremy Colbert, Jr. N.C. State
19. Josh Haines, So. Maryland
20. Chance Litton, So. West Virginia

197 pounds
1. Phil Davis, Jr. Penn State
2. Jerry Rinaldi, Sr. Cornell
3. Josh Glenn, Jr. American
4. Joel Flaggert, Jr. Oklahoma
5. J.D. Bergman, Jr. Ohio State
6. Chris Weidman, Sr. Hofstra
7. Wynn Michalak, Jr. Central Michigan
8. Kurt Backes, Sr. Iowa State
9. Nathan Moore, Sr. Purdue
10. Dallas Herbst, Jr. Wisconsin
11. Hudson Taylor, Fr. Maryland
12. Max Askren, Fr. Missouri
13. Matt Montiero, Sr. Cal Poly
14. Mike Tamillow, Jr. Northwestern
15. Ryan Goodman, So. N.C. State
16. David Dashiell, Sr. North Carolina
17. Jared Villers, Jr. West Virginia
18. Matt Koz, Jr. UT-Chattanooga
19. Jon Oplinger, Jr. Drexel
20. T.J. Morrison, Jr. Rider

285 pounds
1. Cole Konrad, Sr. Minnesota
2. Bode Ogunwole, Sr. Harvard
3. Kirk Nail, Jr. Ohio State
4. Spencer Nadolsky, Sr. North Carolina
5. Dustin Fox, Jr. Northwestern
6. Matt Fields, Jr. Iowa
7. Ty Watterson, Sr. Oregon State
8. Payam Zarrinpour, Sr. Sacred Heart
9. Adam LoPiccolo, Jr. American
10. Reece Hopkin, Jr. Northern Colorado
11. Rashard Goff, Jr. Cleveland State
12. Andy Patrick, Jr. Boise State
13. Jared Rosholt, Fr. Oklahoma State
14. Jon May, So. Nebraska
15. Bubba Gritter, Jr. Central Michigan
16. Paul Weibel, Sr. Lehigh
17. Israel Silva, Sr. UT-Chattanooga
18. Joe Sapp, Sr. Northern Illinois
19. Mike Spaid, Jr. Bloomsburg
20. Jainor Palma, Sr. N.C. State

The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.

The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.

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