Five Jacks included in panel rankings

INDIANAPOLIS – Five South Dakota State wrestlers are slotted in the top 20 of their respective weight classes in the first of four coaches’ panel Division I rankings, which were announced on Friday.

Leading the way for the Jackrabbits is 133-pounder Seth Gross, who is ranked sixth. A national qualifier at 141 pounds last season, Gross has made a smooth transition to the lower weight class this season with an 18-1 overall record so far during the 2016-17 season. A sophomore from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Gross has had only two matches end in a decision so far this season. He has four wins by major decision, six by technical fall and seven by fall.

Two-time national qualifier Nate Rotert holds an eight-place ranking in the 197-pound division. A junior from Spearfish, Rotert has compiled a 12-3 record this season, which includes a runner-up finish at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships in December.

sdsulogoBrothers and Wagner natives David and Alex Kocer both appear in the rankings in their respective weight classes. Both returning NCAA qualifiers, David is ranked 14th at 174 pounds with a 13-5 overall record, while Alex is 19th at 149 pounds with a 17-4 mark.

Rounding out the list of ranked wrestlers for the Jackrabbits is junior 165-pounder Luke Zilverberg. A native of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, Zilverberg has posted a 15-4 record during the 2016-17 season.

The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This year’s event is March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

A total of 33 wrestlers in each of 10 weight classes are included in the coaches’ panel rankings. Wrestlers are measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches’ rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.

NCAA Wrestling Coaches Panel Rankings

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