By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grand View (Iowa) holds the No. 1 spot in the second edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Vikings, who have now topped the poll in 19-straight editions, once again had 12 individuals land among the top 16 of their respective weight class en route to 154 points.
Ryak Finch (125), Brandon Wright (141) and Christian Mays (184), who have all been ranked No. 1 the entire season so far, headline the Vikings’ lineup. Grand View opened its dual season with a 39-3 win over then-No. 10 Concordia (Neb.). The Vikings won 9-of-10 matches, including three pins and three major decisions.
Checking in at No. 2 for a third-straight poll is Southern Oregon with 108 points. The Raiders, who are 2-1 in duals this season, had four individuals win titles at the Nor Cal Collegiate Open on Nov. 22, headlined by three-time national champion Brock Gutches victory at 174 pounds. Gutches is also Southern Oregon’s only top-ranked grappler, a post he held the entire season last year.
Montana State-Northern accrues 76 points en route to the No. 3 ranking this edition. The Lights have eight ranked wrestlers in the poll, including three ranked among the top three of their class – Ethan Hinebauch (No. 1 at 165), Jared Miller (No. 2 at 174) and Garrett DeMers (No. 3 at 197).
Rounding out the top five teams are No. 4 Great Falls (Mont.) with 71.5 points) and No. 5 Campbellsville (Ky.) with 64.5 points. The Argos boast 11 individuals in the top 16, while Campbellsville features eight.
Oklahoma City made the largest positive movement in this week’s poll, vaulting five positions from No. 12 to No. 7. The Stars are 4-2 in duals this year, including a dominating 49-3 win against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) on Dec. 4. Conversely, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), despite having the NAIA’s top-ranked 157-pounder in Joe Cozart, fell the farthest this edition. The Blue Raiders dropped from No. 6 to No. 14 with 43.5 points.
Individually, all ten top-ranked wrestlers held their position for another edition.
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 third regular-season poll will be announced Dec. 31.
Notes (all information dates back to 2000-01 season): Grand View’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking is its 24th all-time, which ranks second of all programs since 2000-01 … The Vikings have held the top spot in 19-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. 5 Campbellsville’s (Ky.) and No. 4 Great Falls’ (Mont.) current run of 74-straight polls, dating back to 2005-06 … No. 3 Montana State-Northern is the only other school with at least 50-straight appearances (65) … 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. 2 (Dec. 10)
|Rank||Previous Rank||School||Total Team Points|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa)||154|
|4||3||Great Falls (Mont.)||71.5|
|14||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||43.5|
|18||16||William Penn (Iowa)||28|
|19||T19||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||27.5|
Others receiving votes: Cumberlands (Ky.) 23; Morningside (Iowa) 21; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 16; Doane (Neb.) 15; Northwestern (Iowa) 14; Bethany (Kan.) 13.5; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 12; Calumet (Ind.) 12; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 11; Missouri Baptist 10.5; Jamestown (N.D.) 8; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 7; Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 4.5; Waldorf (Iowa) 3.5; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 3.
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