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|Defending champion Nebraska-Kearney takes No. 1 in NCAA Div. II poll|
By Mike Kirk UCO
EDMOND, Okla. -- Nebraska-Kearney is the unanimous No. 1 pick in the first regular season NCAA Division II wrestling rankings of the season, with the defending champion Lopers capturing all eight first-place votes in the Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll that was released Wednesday.
UNK -- which won its second Division II title last year -- finished with 160 points in balloting of head coaches from around the country to easily claim the top spot, while only three points separated the next three teams.
Seven-time Division II champion Central Oklahoma moved up one spot from its preseason position by earning 140 points to come in second, two points ahead of St. Cloud State (Minn.) and just three ahead of Upper Iowa. Newberry (S.C.) is fifth in the poll with 131 points.
Rounding out the top 10 is Grand Canyon (Ariz.), Division II newcomer Notre Dame (Ohio), Findlay (Ohio) Minnesota State-Mankato and Ouachita Baptist (Ark.). Making their first appearance in the poll is West Liberty (W.Va.) at No. 12, Shippensburg (Pa.) at No. 19 and Ashland (Ohio) at T-No. 20.
UNK has five individuals ranked in the top eight at their respective weight, led by defending champion Raufeon Stotts as the No. 1 pick at 149 pounds.
TOP 10 TEAMS
Rank School (State) Points Preseason Ranking
1. Nebraska-Kearney 160 1st
2. Central Oklahoma 140 3rd
3. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 138 2nd
4. Upper Iowa 137 7th
5. Newberry (S.C.) 131 4th
6. Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 121 5th
7. Notre Dame (Ohio) 117 8th
8. Findlay (Ohio) 109 6th
9. Minnesota State-Mankato 83 13th
10. Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 78 9th
TOP RANKED WRESTLERS
125 - Jesse Hillhouse, Colorado State-Pueblo
133 - Trevor Franklin, Upper Iowa
141 - Daniel Owenbey, North Carolina-Pembroke
149 - Raufeon Stotts, Nebraska-Kearney
157 - Dillon Bera, Wisconsin-Parkside
165 - Joey Davis, Notre Dame (Ohio)
174 - Mike Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
184 - Adam Walters, Findlay (Ohio)
197 - Joe Brandt, Ashland (Ohio)
285 -Matt Meuleners, Northern State (S.D.)
Click here for NCAA Div. II Team and Individual Rankings