St. Cloud State will take the favorite’s role into next week’s NCAA Division II national tournament after the Huskies stayed No. 1 in the final Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll of the season.
SCSU, the Super Regional III champion that had been the unanimous No. 1 pick the previous three rankings, earned five of the eight first-place votes in balloting of head coaches from around the country to finish with 156 points and top the poll.
Super Regional II titleist Notre Dame (Ohio) received two first-place votes and is a close second with 153 points, while defending national champion and Super Regional IV winner Nebraska-Kearney jumped from seventh to third with 139 points and the remaining first-place vote.
Seven-time Division II national champion and Super Regional II runner-up Central Oklahoma is fourth with 138 points and Super Regional I winner Newberry (S.C.) fifth with 133 points. Rounding out the top 10 is Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.), Upper Iowa, Adams State (Colo.), Grand Canyon (Ariz.) and Minnesota State-Mankato.
Individually, SCSU senior Shamus O’Grady maintained his spot at #1 in the nation at 184-pounds, while teammate Jacob Kahnke gained the top spot in the poll at 285-pounds after his title win at the NCAA regional on Feb. 24.
SCSU wrestlers moving up in the poll included Eric Forde, who is now ranked second at 125-pounds and Andy Pokorny, who moves up to #2 in the nation at 133-pounds. Jacob D. Horn gained the fifth spot at 149-pounds this week while Clint Poster moved up to #2 in the poll at 157-pounds for the Huskies.
The 2013 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships will be held March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala. as part of the Division II Winter Sports Festival.