The North Dakota State wrestling program’s incoming 2013 recruiting class has been ranked No. 2 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News/The Open Mat, according to the rankings released by the wrestling news source this week.
Amateur Wrestling News had previously awarded a No. 4 ranking for NDSU in November, but the Bison climbed two spots in the updated release that followed the completion of the 2012-13 academic year. Intermat, another prominent wrestling news outlet, pegged the Bison recruiting class as the fourth-best in the nation this year.
Michigan tops the AWN rankings, and Virginia Tech, Missouri and Pittsburgh round out the top five behind NDSU. The Bison stand in front of national wrestling powerhouses Penn State (No. 8), Minnesota (No. 13), Iowa (No. 14) and Ohio State (No. 24).
NDSU’s incoming class features national Top 100 recruits Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud Apollo HS, Minn.), Preston Lehmann (West Fargo HS, N.D.) and Clayton Ream (Holt HS, Mo.).
Mitch Friedman (Oconto Falls, Wis.); Kyle Gliva (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.); Grant Nehring (Kimball, Minn.); Tommy Petersen (Lakeville, Minn.); Cole Sladek (St. Michael, Minn.); and Tommy Walton (Fargo, N.D.) also signed National Letters of Intent in November to continue their education and wrestle at NDSU.
The Bison are coming off a 2012-13 season in which they won the Western Wrestling Conference regular season title and registered the first All-American in the program’s Division I era in Trent Sprenkle. Sprenkle was named the WWC’s Wrestler of the Year following his fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, while NDSU head coach Roger Kish earned the league’s Coach of the Year honor.
2013 Amateur Wrestling News Recruiting Class Rankings
2. North Dakota State
3. Virginia Tech
6. South Dakota State
7. N.C. State
8. Penn State
16. North Carolina
18. Old Dominion
21. Iowa State
24. Ohio State
25. Sacred Heart