The defending national champion St. Cloud State University (2-0, 1-0 NSIC) held on to the top spot in NCAA Division II Wrestling in the first edition of the Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll of the New Year, released Wednesday, Jan. 4 on D2wrestle.com
The Huskies feature seven nationally-ranked wrestlers, led by Brett Velasquez at 125 and Austin Goergen at 285, with both student-athletes topping their weight class in the individual rankings. Notre Dame and Maryville switched spots, with the Falcons taking the two-spot over the Saints at #3. Nebraska-Kearney moved into the #4 position, with Wisconsin-Parkside making a huge leap from outside the top 25 into the #5 spot.
The other Huskies ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight divisions include Matt Nelson (5th at 141-pounds), Larry Bomstad (7th at 157-pounds), Gabe Fogarty (8th at 165-pounds), Clayton Jennissen (5th at 174-pounds), Uthman Rabiu (6th at 184-pounds) and Vince Dietz (3rd at 197-pounds).
SCSU will continue its season on Jan. 5-6 with action at the 2017 NWCA Division II National Duals in Fort Wayne, Ind. The top seeded Huskies will match up against San Francisco State in first round action at 9 a.m. on Jan. 5. The other teams involved in the tournament included Notre Dame College, Indianapolis, Maryville, Newberry, Nebraska-Kearney, Tiffin, Pitt-Johnstown, McKendree, Wisconsin-Parkside, Upper Iowa, Wheeling Jesuit, Findlay, Mercyhurst and CSU-Pueblo. The double-elimination tournament will conclude with the title match at 2 p.m. on Jan. 6.
SCSU finished as the runner-up at the NWCA DII National Duals in 2016 and the Huskies won the NWCA Division II National Duals in 2012 and 2013.
In the latest Super 3 Regional rankings released by D2Wrestle.com, the Huskies were the top ranked team in the poll posted Jan. 3. SCSU wrestlers individually ranked in the region were Velasquez (#1 at 125), Mike Rhone (#6 at 133), Matt Nelson (#3 at 141), Taner Trembley (#7 at 149), Larry Bomstad (#4 at 157), Gabe Fogarty (#2 at 165), Clayton Jennissen (#2 at 174), Uthman Rabiu (#3 at 184), Vince Dietz (#1 at 197) and Austin Goergen (#1 at 285).
The next ranking will be published during the last week of January.