SCSU Wrestling Ranked #3 in the Nation

Kahnke Earns Top Spot at 285-pounds

EDMOND, Okla. — The St. Cloud State University wrestling team (12-1) was ranked third in the nation in the latest NWCA Division II National Coaches’ poll, which was released on Jan. 19. This marks the first time this season that SCSU was not ranked among the nation’s top two NCAA Division II teams in the national poll.

The two-time defending national champion Nebraska Omaha, who edged Augustana (S.D.) 17-15 in the finals of the NWCA Division II National Duals on Jan. 9 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, received all eight first-place votes in balloting of coaches from around the country to top the poll with 160 points. UNO has been No. 1 in every poll the past two-plus seasons.

Augustana had 152 points and moved from third to second after its runner-up finish in the National Duals, switching places with St. Cloud State (Minn.). Newberry (S.C.) came in fourth in the rankings and Central Oklahoma was fifth.

In the individual rankings, SCSU sophomore Jake Kahnke (Shakopee/Prior Lake H.S.) was ranked first in the nation among 285-pound wrestlers for the second consecutive poll. Kahnke is 16-1 this season for the Huskies at 285.

Junior Tad Merritt (Canby) continued to hold a #2 ranking for the Huskies at 165-pounds in this poll. Merritt is 22-3 this winter with 11 pins to his credit.

Other Huskies to earn national rankings include Jacob D. Horn (Ephrata, Wash.) with a fourth place ranking at 149-pounds (his debut in the national rankings this year) and senior John Sundgren (Blaine), who was ranked 5th in the poll at 157-pounds. SCSU sophomore Shamus O’Grady (Coon Rapids) was ranked 7th in the nation at 174-pounds.

This will be a big week for the Huskies as they will travel to #1 ranked Nebraska Omaha on Jan. 21 for a 7 p.m. match. SCSU will finish the road swing with a visit to Southwest Minnesota State on Jan. 22 for a 7 p.m. dual against the Mustangs.

The top 20 poll, with points and the teams’ last ranking following by the top-eight rankings at each weight:

NCAA Division II Team Rankings
Rank  School (State) Points Last Ranking
1. Nebraska-Omaha  160 1st
2. Augustana (S.D.)  152 3rd
3. St. Cloud State (Minn.)  144 2nd
4. Newberry (S.C.) 136 5th
5. Central Oklahoma  128 9th
6. North Carolina-Pembroke 119 13th
7. Minnesota State  111 7th
8. San Francisco State (Calif.)  101 20th
9. Western State (Colo.)  88 4th
10. Upper Iowa  81 11th
11. Nebraska-Kearney  71 8th
12. Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.)  63 6th
13. Grand Canyon (Ariz.)  62 10th
14. Gannon (Pa.) 55 NR
15. Findlay (Ohio)  51 14th
16. Wisconsin-Parkside  43 12th
17. Ashland (Ohio) 34 18th
18. Adams State (Colo.)  27 17th
19. Fort Hays State (Kan.)  22 16th
20. Minnesota State-Moorhead 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Central Missouri, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State-Pueblo, Kutztown (Pa.) and West Liberty (W.Va.).

NCAA Division II Individual Rankings
125 Pounds
1. Russell Weakley, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Andy Forstner, Minnesota State
3. Trevor Franklin, Upper Iowa
4. Josh Smith, Nebraska-Kearney
5. Connor McDonald, Newberry (S.C.)
6. Corey Ulmer, Minnesota State-Moorhead
7. Kyle O’Brien, Western State (Colo.)
8. Pierre Bondoc, San Francisco State (Calif.)
133 Pounds
1. Kyle Pedretti, Upper Iowa
2. Todd Wilcox, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
3. Ryan Link, Pittsburgh-Johnstown
4. Cody Zimmerman, Wisconsin-Parkside
5. B.J. Young, Newberry (S.C.)
6. Michael Magaha, Limestone (S.C.)
7. Trison Graham, Central Oklahoma
8. Aldon Isenberg, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
141 Pounds
1. Mario Morgan, Nebraska-Omaha
2. Naveed Bagheri, San Francisco State (Calif.)
3. Brady Schneeberger, Minnesota State-Moorhead
4. Jay Sherer, Augustana (S.D.)
5. Andre Harrison, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
6. Dalton Jensen, Nebraska-Kearney
7. Kenny Jordan, Adams State (Colo.)
8. A.J. Milanek, Gannon (Pa.)
149 Pounds
1. Esai Dominguez, Nebraska-Omaha
2. T.J. Hepburn, Nebraska-Kearney
3. Nick Walpole, Indianapolis (Ind.)
4. Jacob Horn, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
5. Dale Debacco, Newberry (S.C.)
6. Josh Hensley, Adams State (Colo.)
7. Matthew Thomas, San Francisco State (Calif.)
8. Nate Herda, Augustana (S.D.)
157 Pounds
1. George Ivanov, Nebraska-Omaha
2. Marcus Edgington, Augustana (S.D.)
3. Dillon Bera, Wisconsin-Parkside
4. Seth Phalen, West Liberty (W.Va.)
5. John Sundgren, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
6. Sean Byrnes, Newberry (S.C.)
7. Cory Dauphin, Central Oklahoma
8. Justin Morris, Western State (Colo.)
165 Pounds
1. Mike Williams, North Carolina-Pembroke
2. Tad Merritt, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
3. Michael Lybarger, Findlay (Ohio)
4. Jake Varilek, Belmont Abbey (N.C.)
5. Joey Wilson, Nebraska-Kearney
6. Gavin Nelson, Augustana (S.D.)
7. Travis Budke, Fort Hays State (Kan.)
8. Derrick Adkins, Central Oklahoma
174 Pounds
1. Luke Rynish, Wisconsin-Parkside
2. Tony Petrella, Gannon (Pa.)
3. Ryan Pankoke, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Victor Carazo, Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
5. Tim Darling, Kutztown (Pa.)
6. Carl Serck, Augustana (S.D.)
7. Shamus O’Grady, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
8. Ben Becker, Minnesota State
184 Pounds
1. Bryant Blanton, Newberry (S.C.)
2. Charlie Pipher, Western State (Colo.)
3. Aaron Denson, Nebraska-Omaha
4. Cale Cornemann, Northern State (S.D.)
5. Aaron Norgren, Minnesota State
6. Mitch Schultz, Upper Iowa
7. Tanner Keck, Central Oklahoma
8. Casey Bradley, Limestone (S.C.)
197 Pounds
1. Donovan McMahill, Western State (Colo.)
2. Ty Copsey, Augustana (S.D.)
3. Mitch Knapp, West Liberty (W.Va.)
4. Luke McPeek, Adams State (Colo.)
5. Jarrett Edison, Central Oklahoma
6. Carl Broghammer, Upper Iowa
7. Daniel Stevenson, Findlay (Ohio)
8. Matt Baker, Nebraska-Omaha
285 Pounds
1. Jacob Kahnke, St. Cloud State (Minn.)
2. Matt Meuleners, Northern State (S.D.)
3. Charlie Alexander, Western State (Colo.)
4. Ben Hohensee, Nebraska-Kearney
5. Zach Rosol, Upper Iowa
6. Jacob Southwick, Ashland (Ohio)
7. Matt Clum, Findlay (Ohio)
8. Taylor Escamilla, Nebraska-Omaha

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