By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grand View (Iowa) extended its reign atop the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll to 18-straight in the first regular-season edition, the national office announced Wednesday. The Vikings had 12 individuals land among the top 16 of their respective weight class to give the squad 150 points in the poll.
Grand View is headlined by three ranked individuals in Ryak Finch (125), Brandon Wright (141) and Christian Mays (184) – all three were also No. 1 in the Preseason Poll.
No. 2 Southern Oregon and No. 3 Great Falls (Mont.) hold down their spots for a second-consecutive edition with 98.5 and 97.5 points, respectively. The Raiders, who host Great Falls in a dual on Thursday, are 1-1 in duals this season with their only loss coming to three-time NCAA Division I Pac-12 champion Oregon State on Nov. 13. Brock Gutches, who ranks atop the 174-pound weight class, notched the only Raider win against the Beavers with a fall against NCAA Championship qualifier Joe Latham. The three-time national champion now owns 36 career pins, which is five shy of the Southern Oregon record.
Great Falls has 12 individuals in the rankings with five listed in the top three of their weight class.
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Montana State-Northern (71 points) and No. 5 Missouri Valley (59 points). In their only dual against an NAIA opponent at this point in the season, the Lights fell to Great Falls, 28-21, on Nov. 13. Montana State-Northern is led by Ethan Hinebauch, who ranks No. 1 at 165 pounds.
Missouri Valley, which is the only squad outside of Grand View with two top-ranked individuals in Jake Ekster (149) and Gabi Musallam (285), has competed in five events this season with dual wins against Benedictine (Kan.) and Graceland (Iowa).
Concordia (Neb.) made the largest positive movement in the first regular-season edition, vaulting five spots from No. 15 to No. 10. The Bulldogs have eight ranked wrestlers this week.
For the second-straight poll, Bryce Shoemaker (133 pounds) of Baker (Kan.), Joe Cozart (157 pounds) of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Stephen Loosbrook (197 pounds) of Benedictine (Kan.) are the only No. 1 individuals not associated with a top-five program. All three individuals also held this spot in the Preseason Poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the four Qualifying Groups.
For the complete look at the 2014-15 NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll calendar, click here. The second regular-season poll will be announced Dec. 10.
Notes (all information dates back to 2000-01 season): Grand View’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking is its 23rd all-time, which ranks second of all programs since 2000-01 … The Vikings have held the top spot in 18-straight polls … Former member Lindenwood (Mo.) boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 39, while Notre Dame (Ohio) is third with 14 … Nine programs have appeared in the Top 20 for at least 20-consecutive polls, led by No. 8 Campbellsville’s (Ky.) and No. 3 Great Falls’ (Mont.) current run of 73-straight polls, dating back to 2005-06 … No. 4 Montana State-Northern is the only other school with at least 50-straight appearances (64) … Grand View (2013-14), Notre Dame (2010-11) and Lindenwood (2006-07) are the only programs to spend an entire season ranked No. 1.2014-15 NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll – No. 1 (Nov. 19)
|Rank||Previous Rank||School||Total Team Points|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa)||150|
|3||3||Great Falls (Mont.)||97.5|
|6||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||55.5|
|16||13||William Penn (Iowa)||33|
|T19||RV||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||27|
Others receiving votes: Benedictine (Kan.) 24; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 18; Cumberlands (Ky.) 15.5; Bethany (Kan.) 13; Calumet (Ind.) 13; Northwestern (Iowa) 13; Missouri Baptist 11; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 10; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 10; Doane (Neb.) 7; Jamestown (N.D.) 7; Waldorf (Iowa) 7; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 5.5; St. Andrews (N.C.) 5.5; Bacone (Okla.) 4; Truett-McConnell (Ga.) 3.5; Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 2.
Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings
125 – Ryak Finch, Grand View (Iowa)
133 – Bryce Shoemaker, Baker (Kan.)
141 – Brandon Wright, Grand View (Iowa)
149 – Jake Ekster, Missouri Valley
157 – Joe Cozart, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
165 – Ethan Hinebauch, Montana State-Northern
174 – Brock Gutches, Southern Oregon
184 – Christian Mays, Grand View (Iowa)
197 – Stephen Loosbrock, Benedictine (Kan.)
285 – Gabi Musallam, Missouri Valley