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Missouri tops Mid American Conference preseason wrestling poll

CLEVELAND, OH - The Mid-American Conference wrestling coaches announced the preseason weight class individual rankings in conjunction with the league office today. The rankings will be released each month throughout the season, with one additional ranking system (two total) in January and February.

Based on the individual rankings, new MAC affiliate member Missouri is expected to win the 2013 conference championship and end the eleven year consecutive run by the Central Michigan Chippewas as MAC defending champions. John-Martin Cannon is preseason favorite at 174, while four Bulls total earn top-four rankings: Andrew Schutt (141), Blake Roulo (149), and Mark Lewandowski (165).

Earlier this fall, the conference announced the addition of the University of Missouri, the University of Northern Iowa and Old Dominion University as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling. All three universities joined the MAC with five-year agreements, with Missouri and Northern Iowa joining the MAC for the conference tournament only for the 2012-13 season and then to participate fully in regular season and tournament action for the next four consecutive years (2013-14 season thru 2016-17 academic season). Old Dominion will join the MAC for the regular season and tournament action in the 2013-14 season through the 2017-18 academic season.

The 2012-13 preseason rankings, voted on by the league's head coaches in an open forum are as follows:

2012-13 MAC Rankings:

125 – 1. Alan Waters (Missouri); 2. Joe Roth (CMU); 3. Jared Germaine (EMU); 4. Stevie Mitcheff (KSU).

133 – 1. Scotti Sentes (CMU); 2. Nathan McCormick (Missouri); 3. Joe Colon (Northern Iowa); 4. Nick Smith (NIU).

141 – 1. Nick Hucke (Missouri); 2. Andrew Schutt (UB); 3. Kevin Fanta (NIU); 4. Scott Mattingly (CMU).

149 – 1. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri); 2. Donnie Corby (CMU); 3. Blake Roulo (UB); 4. Andrew Romanchik (OU).

157 – t1. Kyle Bradley (Missouri); t1. Aaron Sulzer (EMU); 3. Mallie Shuster (KSU); 4. David Bonin (Northern Iowa).

165 – 1. Mike Ottinger (CMU); 2. Zach Toal (Missouri); 3. Mark Lewandowski (UB); 4. Harrison Hightower (OU).

174 – 1. John-Martin Cannon (UB); 2. Todd Porter (Missouri) 3. Sam Wheeler (KSU); 4. Craig Kelliher (CMU).

184 – 1. Ben Bennett (CMU); 2. Mike Larson (Missouri); 3. Casey Newburg (KSU); 4. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa).

197 –1. Dustin Kilgore (KSU); 2. Brent Haynes (Missouri); 3. Nick Wittenberg (EMU); 4. Beau Wenger (OU).

HWT – 1. Jarod Trice (CMU); 2. Dom Bradley (Missouri); 3. Jeremy Johnson (OU); 4. Keith Witt (KSU).

The preseason team rankings were also decided in the same forum. The eight schools were ranked based on the number of first through fourth-place votes that were earned in the individual voting system. A first-place vote was worth four team points; a second-place vote earned three team points; third-seeded votes were worth two team points, while a fourth-place tally earned that team one point in the team ranking system. The preseason team rankings for the MAC are as follows:

2012-13 MAC Preseason Poll

1. Missouri (33.5)

2. Central Michigan (24)

3. Kent State (12)

4. Buffalo (11)

5. Eastern Michigan (7.5)

6. Ohio (5)

7. Northern Iowa (4)

8. Northern Illinois (3)

The 2013 MAC Wrestling Championships will be held March 10 and hosted by the University at Buffalo.

Last year, Central Michigan won its eleventh consecutive MAC wrestling championship with 89 team points. Kent State was the runner-up with 79 points, while Eastern Michigan was third with 49 points.

The 2012-13 season opens on Saturday, November 3, Ohio University will travel to participate in the Virginia Duals and the Eagles will host the Eastern Michigan Open in Ypsilanti, Mich.

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