By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the 20th-consecutive time, Grand View (Iowa) claims the No. 1 spot in the third edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. With 177 points, the Vikings landed four individuals in the No. 1 position. Overall, Grand View boasted 12 wrestlers ranked among the top 16 of their respective weight class.
In their latest competition Dec. 20 at the Desert Duals hosted by NCAA Division III Wartburg (Iowa), the Vikings went 4-0 with wins over then-No. 7 (tie) Oklahoma City and then-No. 7 (tie) Indiana Tech, as well as then-No. 11 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and then-No. 19 Wayland Baptist (Texas). Ryak Finch (125), Brandon Wright (141) and Christian Mays (184) continue to be ranked at the top of their respective weight classes and now hold four-straight No. 1 rankings this year.
For the fourth-straight poll, No. 2 Southern Oregon stands with 111.5 points. Montana State-Northern stays put at the No. 3 position with 82.5 points. No. 4 Campbellsville (Ky.) and No. 5 Great Falls (Mont.) swap positions with 72 and 70.5 points, respectively.
No. 8 Midland (Neb.) claims the status of most positive movement, up five positions from the last poll. This is the first top 10 spot for the Warriors since the Preseason Top 20. Conversely, No. 14 Concordia (Neb.) tumbles down eight spots.
No. 19 Morningside (Iowa) is the lone newcomer, while Simpson (Calif.) falls out of the Top 20 after a No. 15 ranking in the Dec. 10 edition.
Two individuals claimed the top spot in their respective weight class for the first time this season: 133-pounder Mitch Pawlak from Indiana Tech and Gustavo Martinez (149 lbs) from Grand View (Iowa). All of the other eight No. 1-ranked wrestlers from the Dec. 10 edition held their top position.
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 fourth regular-season poll will be announced Feb. 11, 2015.
Notes (all information dates back to 2000-01 season): Grand View’s (Iowa) No. 1 ranking is its 25th all-time, which ranks second of all programs since 2000-01 … The Vikings have held the top spot in 20-straight polls … Grand View holds a large margin in total points over No. 2-ranked Southern Oregon (177-111.5 points)… 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. 4 Campbellsville’s (Ky.) and No. 5 Great Falls’ (Mont.) current run of 75-straight polls, dating back to 2005-06 … No. 3 Montana State-Northern is the only other school with at least 50-straight appearances (66) … 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. 3 (Dec. 31)
|Rank||Previous Rank||School||Total Team Points|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa)||177|
|5||4||Great Falls (Mont.)||70.5|
|12||14||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||42.5|
|16||18||William Penn (Iowa)||29.5|
|18||19||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||21|
Others receiving votes: Simpson (Calif.) 18.5; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 16; Warner Pacific (Ore.) 14; Cumberlands (Ky.) 12.5; Northwestern (Iowa) 12.5; Calumet (Ind.) 12; Doane (Neb.) 11.5; Dickinson State (N.D.) 11; Bethany (Kan.) 10; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 10; Jamestown (N.D.) 8; Cumberland (Tenn.) 7; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 6; Missouri Baptist 5; Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 4.5; Williams Baptist (Ark.) 3; Lindenwood - Belleville (Ill.) 3; St. Catharine (Ky.) 2.5; Waldorf (Iowa) 2.5.
Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings
125 – Ryak Finch, Grand View (Iowa)
133 – Mitch Pawlak, Indiana Tech
141 – Brandon Wright, Grand View (Iowa)
149 – Gustavo Martinez, Grand View (Iowa)
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