KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Southern Oregon returned to the top at No. 1 in the second edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches' Top 20 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Raiders had nine individuals land among the top 12 of their respective weight class for 101.5 points. They are led by a pair of top-ranked grapplers in Mitchell Lofstedt at 125 pounds and 157-pounder Tommy Norton/Hooper. After falling in its season-opening dual, Southern Oregon rebounded with a 19-18 win at then-No. 4 Great Falls (Mont.) on Nov. 17 and a 27-18 victory over then-No. 7 Montana State-Northern on Nov. 18.
Great Falls (Mont.) moved up five spots to land at No. 2 with 95 points. The Argonauts boast 11 ranked wrestlers, including Anthony Varnell, who tops the list at 133 pounds. They are 5-2 in dual action and have won their last three duals in commanding fashion, 81-43.
Third-ranked Grand View (Iowa) has a dozen individuals listed to register 93.5 points. The Vikings have a duo ranked at both 133 and 141 pounds and are represented in every weight class except 184 pounds. Grand View opened its dual slate against then-No. 13 Northwestern (Iowa) on Dec. 1 and posted a 37-7 victory thanks to a trio of falls and a major decision.
Campbellsville (Ky.) dropped from first to fourth with 88.5 points and nine ranked wrestlers. Oklahoma City moved into the top five with 79.5 points thanks to seven listed grapplers, including top-ranked 165-pounder Kevin Hardy. The 3-2 Stars toppled then-No. 11 Missouri Baptist 35-6 on Nov. 23 and posted a 45-3 win over Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Nov. 30.
Northwestern's Nicholas Leither took over at No. 1 at 197 pounds as the only shift at the top of the individual listings. The junior owns a 9-1 record and is riding an eight-bout winning streak. Seven of those victories have resulted in bonus points with five pins, one tech fall and one major decision.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the Qualifying Groups. The next poll will be announced Dec. 21.
|Rank||Prvs. Rank||School||Total Team Points|
|2||7||Great Falls (Mont.)||95|
|3||4||Grand View (Iowa)||93.5|
|6||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||79|
|14||15||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||24|
|15||15||William Penn (Iowa)||20|
Others receiving votes: Dickinson State (N.D.) 9; Waldorf (Iowa) 7; Jamestown (N.D.) 1.5; York (Neb.) 1.
Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings
125 - Mitchell Lofstedt, Southern Oregon
133 - Matt Katusin, Midland (Neb.)
141 - Anthony Varnell, Great Falls (Mont.)
149 - Eric Burgey, William Penn (Iowa)
157 - Tommy Norton/Hooper, Southern Oregon
165 - Kevin Hardy, Oklahoma City
174 - Joseph Sievert, Morningside (Iowa)
184 - Evan Hinebauch, Montana State-Northern
197 - Nicholas Leither, Northwestern (Iowa)
HWT - Leviticus Roberson, Midland (Neb.)