KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second-straight week, Grand View (Iowa) holds the No. 1 position in the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Vikings grabbed 129 team points in the fifth regular-season installment. In the 10 individual weight classes, eight wrestlers held their top ranking from the Jan. 11 edition. Campbellsville (Ky.) teammates Tim Thurston at 133 and Jamelle Jones at 197 were the newcomers. Thurston is listed on top of his weight class for the first time this year, while Jones held the best mark during the Nov. 23 poll.
One week after earning its first-ever No. 1 spot, Grand View split its squad at two events this past weekend, the Missouri Valley Invitational and the York (Neb.) Open. At 133, Omi Acosta (19-8) was named the Missouri Valley Invitational’s Outstanding Wrestler and moved up to third on the individual charts. Heavyweight Eric Thompson (18-0) is the only Viking in the No. 1 position. In all five regular season polls, Thompson has earned either a No. 1 or 2 ranking.
Sitting with 107.5 points, Southern Oregon sticks at the No. 2 slot. Campbellsville (Ky.) bumps up to third with 105 points. Great Falls (Mont.) falls back to No. 4 with 84 points. Oklahoma City remains at the No. 5 position posting 68.5 points.
Southern Oregon’s Mitchell Lofstedt (22-1) at 125 is one of four individuals who has been ranked No. 1 all season. He is joined by Anthony Varnell (19-2) of Great Falls (Mont.) at 141, Eric Burgey (15-1) of William Penn (Iowa) at 149 and Joseph Sievert (17-0) of Morningside (Iowa) at 174 on this list.
In the 20th position, Menlo (Calif.) is ranked for the first time since Dec. 7, 2011. The Oaks bump out Northwestern (Iowa), who was 17th last time.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the Qualifying Groups. The next poll will be announced Feb. 8.
Notes: Campbellsville (Ky.), Morningside (Iowa) and Oklahoma City each placed a pair of No. 1 grapplers, which is the most of any school… No. 15 Dickinson State (N.D.) makes the biggest improvement within the poll with a five-spot jump… Grand View (Iowa) becomes the first team this year (in six total polls) to hold back-to-back No. 1 rankings… The Vikings are the fourth different team to be ranked No. 1 this year joining Southern Oregon, Campbellsville and Great Falls (Mont.)… Four weight classes have had the same top-ranked grappler in all six polls issued (125 pounds, 141, 149, 174)... Southern Oregon has held a top-three ranking in all polls this year.
|Rank||Prvs. Rank||School||Total Team Points|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa)||129|
|4||3||Great Falls (Mont.)||84|
|6||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||55|
|15||20||Dickinson State (N.D.)||24.5|
|16||15||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||23.5|
|17||18||William Penn (Iowa)||20|
Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings (PDF)
125 - Mitchell Lofstedt, Southern Oregon
133 – Tim Thurston, Campbellsville (Ky.)
141 - Anthony Varnell, Great Falls (Mont.)
149 - Eric Burgey, William Penn (Iowa)
157 – Nikolas Turner, Oklahoma City
165 – Kevin Hardy, Oklahoma City
174 - Joseph Sievert, Morningside (Iowa)
184 – Brian Block, Morningside (Iowa)
197 – Jamelle Jones, Campbellsville (Ky.)
HWT – Eric Thompson, Grand View (Iowa)