NAIA Wrestling Coaches? Top 20 Poll ? No. 3

NAIA Wrestling Coaches? Top 20 Poll ? No. 3
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grand View (Iowa) locks down the No. 1 ranking in the third regular-season edition of the NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The fourth regular-season installment will be released on Jan. 20.

Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 2000-01)
• Four-time defending national team champion Grand View earned its 27th-consecutive No. 1 ranking with 178 points. The Vikings boast 12 ranked individuals, all of which rank among the top seven grapplers in their respective weight class.
• Grand View boasts 32 all-time No. 1 rankings, which is second to former member Lindenwood’s (Mo.) 39 dating back to 2000-01.
• Three Vikings rank No. 1 – Andrew Long (141 pounds), Grant Henderson (157 pounds) and Michael Pixley (184 pounds). Pixley, who finished runner-up at the 2015 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, last held the No. 1 ranking on Feb. 25, 2015.
• No. 2 Indiana Tech, No. 3 Missouri Valley and No. 4 Montana State-Northern round out the top four for a second-consecutive poll. Indiana Tech boasts 10 ranked grapplers, while Missouri Valley has nine and Montana State-Northern garnered seven.
• For the fourth-straight edition, Jake Ekster (149 pounds) and Gabi Musallam (285 pounds) of Missouri Valley hold the top spot in their respective weight class. The Vikings are the only team outside of Grand View to boast more than one No. 1-ranked wrestlers.
• Mitch Pawlak (125 pounds) of Indiana Tech, Davion Caston (133 pounds) of Campbellsville (Ky.), Long, Henderson, Blake Cooper (165 pounds) of Warner Pacific (Ore.) and Pixley are the new top-ranked wrestlers this week. Cooper is the first top-ranked individual in program history for Warner Pacific.
• Warner Pacific is the only newcomer in this installment. The Knights received 20 total points.
• Since 2001, only Grand View (2013-14, 2014-15), former member Notre Dame (Ohio) (2010-11) and Lindenwood (2006-07) have spent the entire season ranked No. 1.

Poll Methodology
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the six national qualifying groups.
• One day prior to the national poll, each qualifying group rater submits the top six individuals from each weight class in his geographic area into the system. Only wrestlers listed on a qualifying group ballot are considered for the national ballot.
• The top 16 individuals in each weight class is based on how each voter ranks the best individuals. An individual receives 20 points for each first place vote, 18 for second place and so on through the list. This same point system is used to determine the team ranking.
• For the complete Top 20 calendar, click here.

2015-16 NAIA Wrestling Coaches’ Top 20 Poll – No. 3 (December 30)
Rank Previous Rank School Total Team Points
1 1 Grand View (Iowa) 178
2 2 Indiana Tech 110.5
3 3 Missouri Valley 101.5
4 4 Montana State-Northern 95
5 7 Campbellsville (Ky.) 77
6 6 Life (Ga.) 65
7 5 Oklahoma City 60
8 9 Concordia (Neb.) 48
9 14 York (Neb.) 39.5
T10 8 Simpson (Calif.) 37
T10 13 Great Falls (Mont.) 37
12 12 Menlo (Calif.) 32
13 11 Doane (Neb.) 31
14 17 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 29.5
15 10 Southern Oregon 29
16 15 Midland (Neb.) 28.5
17 20 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 26.5
18 16 Cumberland (Tenn.) 26
19 RV Williams Baptist (Ark.) 23
20 RV Warner Pacific (Ore.) 20

Dropped from the Top 20: Cumberlands (Ky.) (No. 19)

Others receiving votes: Baker (Kan.) 19; Cumberlands (Ky.) 17.5; Ottawa (Kan.) 15.5; Lyon (Ark.) 13; Dickinson State (N.D.) 13; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 13; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 11.5; Northwestern (Iowa) 11; Morningside (Iowa) 9; Briar Cliff (Iowa) 7; Benedictine (Kan.) 7; Missouri Baptist 7; Davenport (Mich.) 7; Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) 3; Bacone (Okla.) 3; St. Catharine (Ky.) 2.5; St. Andrews (N.C.) 2.5; Brewton-Parker (Ga.) 2; Central Baptist (Ark.) 1.5; Graceland (Iowa) 1.

Top-Ranked Individuals | Individual Rankings
125 – Mitch Pawlak, Indiana Tech
133 – Davion Caston, Campbellsville (Ky.)
141 – Andrew Long, Grand View (Iowa)
149 – Jake Ekster, Missouri Valley
157 – Grant Henderson, Grand View (Iowa)
165 – Blake Cooper, Warner Pacific (Ore.)
174 – Tyler McMichael, Midland (Neb.)
184 – Michael Pixley, Grand View (Iowa)
197 – Garrett DeMers, Montana State-Northern
285 – Gabi Musallam, Missouri Valley

Championship Information

NAIA Wrestling Championship

63rd ANNUAL WRESTLING
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
March 6-7, 2020
Hartman Arena
Park City, Kan.