INDIANAPOLIS – Six South Dakota State University wrestlers hold spots in the top 25 of their respective weight classes in the second installment of the NCAA coaches’ panel rankings for the 2017-18 season.
Leading the ranked Jackrabbits is Seth Gross, who maintained his top ranking at 133 pounds. A junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Gross enters the week with an 18-1 overall record, with his only loss coming against top-ranked 141-pounder Bryce Meredith of Wyoming. Gross also stands sixth in the first rating percentage index reveal of the season.
Two SDSU wrestlers improved their standings from the first panel rankings. Freshman 125-pounder Connor Brown moved up six spots from 29th to 23rd, while sophomore 184-pounder Martin Mueller jumped three spots from 23rd to 20th. Brown, who has a 17-10 overall record, holds the 19th-highest RPI at his weight class, while Mueller ranks 13th in RPI with an 18-4 overall mark.
The Jackrabbits’ three other wrestlers in the panel rankings dipped slightly in their coaches’ panel standings. Senior 174-pounder David Kocer slipped one spot to 10th, but ranks ninth in RPI with an 18-5 record.
Senior 157-pounder Luke Zilverberg also dropped one spot to 12th, with an RPI that ranks 11th. Zilverberg leads the team with 22 victories this season against six losses.
Three-time national qualifier Nate Rotert fell three spots from ninth to 12th in the 197-pound weight class. A senior from Spearfish, Rotert holds the seventh-best RPI in his weight class after posting a 19-3 record so far this season.
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2018 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. 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.
The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This year’s event is March 15-17 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The next panel rankings will be announced Feb. 22, and will correspond with the conference allocations for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
SDSU resumes dual action this weekend with matches Friday at Pittsburgh and Sunday at Big 12 Conference rival West Virginia.