By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Grand View (Iowa) tightened its grip on the No. 1 position in the final regular-season edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches' Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. With 133 points, the Vikings locked down the top ranking for the fourth-consecutive week heading into the NAIA National Championships
Qualifiers for the 2012 NAIA Wrestling National Championships will be announced later today. The 55th annual event will take place March 1 - 3 at the Jacobson Exhibition Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Vikings are trying to become the second-straight program in the last three years (Notre Dame (Ohio)) to win the title while holding the No. 1 ranking. Behind three individuals listed at the top of their respective weight class, Grand View looks poised to take home its first team championship in school history. A constant at either the No. 1 or No. 2-ranked spot in the Heavyweight division, Eric Thompson is 31-0 on the year. He is joined at No. 1 by teammates TJ Moen (27-6) at 149 pounds and Brad Lower (33-8) at 165 pounds.
The next five teams in the poll all held their spots from the sixth installment on Feb. 8. No. 2 Campbellsville (Ky.) gathered 107 points, followed by No. 3 Southern Oregon with 83, No. 4 Great Falls (Mont.) with 78, No. 5 Oklahoma City with 77 and No. 6 Morningside (Iowa) with 61.5
Southern Oregon's Mitchell Lofstedt (31-2) at 125 and Joseph Sievert (25-0) of Morningside at 174 have dominated their competition this season as both have held the No. 1 ranking in all eight Coaches' Top 20 Polls (including preseason). Anthony Varnell (22-2) of Great Falls at 141 and Eric Burgey (19-2) of William Penn (Iowa) at 149 were dethroned from the No. 1 perch after having spent the previous seven polls on top. Anthony Weerheim (26-9) of Montana State-Northern at 141 and Moen replaced those two grapplers.
No. 19 Bethany (Kan.) and No. 20 (tie) York (Neb.) entered the Top 20 for the first time this season. The Swedes are ranked for the first time, dating back to 2002-03 season. York is mentioned for the first time since Feb. 1, 2007 (No. 17 - tie).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the Qualifying Groups.
Notes: Campbellsville (Ky.) placed a pair of No. 1-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes... There have been 27 different teams ranked in eight separate polls this year (including Preseason)... Grand View holds the No. 1 spot for the longest of any program this year (four-straight polls) and most since Notre Dame (Ohio) rattled off the entire 2010-11 season at No. 1... The Vikings are the fourth different team to be ranked No. 1 joining Southern Oregon, Campbellsville and Great Falls (Mont.)... Two weight classes had the same top-ranked grappler in all eight polls issued (125 pounds, 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)||133|
|4||4||Great Falls (Mont.)||78|
|9||11||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||41|
|13||15||Dickinson State (N.D.)||29.5|
|16||RV||Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)||21|
Others receiving votes: Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 11; Indiana Tech 8; Shorter (Ga.) 7.5; William Penn (Iowa) 5.5; Northwestern (Iowa) 5; Bacone (Okla.) 1; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 1.
Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings (PDF)
125 - Mitchell Lofstedt, Southern Oregon
133 - Tim Thurston, Campbellsville (Ky.)
141 - Anthony Weerheim, Montana State-Northern
149 - TJ Moen, Grand View (Iowa)
157 - Nikolas Turner, Oklahoma City
165 - Brad Lower, Grand View (Iowa)
174 - Joseph Sievert, Morningside (Iowa)
184 - Kody Kersten, Midland (Neb.)
197 - Jamelle Jones, Campbellsville (Ky.)
HWT - Eric Thompson, Grand View (Iowa)