MANKATO, Minn. — The Minnesota State wrestling team rose two spots in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Top-25 Poll.
The Mavericks are now the No. 8 rated team in the nation, tied with Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competitor Upper Iowa with 36 points. While the Mavericks gained spots in the poll, the Peacocks fell two positions to eighth. Minnesota State recently placed fourth out of fifteen teams at the NCAA Division II Regional Championships and qualified five wrestlers for the National Championship. They Include Zach Johnston, Seth Elwood, George Farmah, Corey Abernathy and Matthew Blome.
No. 1 St. Cloud State is the only other NSIC team represented in the Top-25 poll while Augustana, Minot State, Northern State, University of Mary and Southwest Minnesota State University are all receiving votes.
Each of the Mavericks Division II National Championship qualifiers are represented in the individual rankings in their weight classes. Minnesota State’s five ranked wrestlers set a season high for the program for ranked individuals in the poll.
Johnston is the highest rated Maverick in the individual rankings. The sophomore 174-pounder from Waukee, Iowa., is currently the fourth-rated wrestler in the nation in his weight class. Johnston has an overall record of 21-6, holds a team-high 16 decision victories and recently placed second at the regional tournament in St. Cloud.
Elwood wrestled his way into the national rankings after claiming a Regional Championship in St. Cloud a week ago and is now the fifth-rated wrestler at 165-pounds. Elwood has gained a 14-8 overall record including a 12-5 tournament record in his first season as a Maverick.
Farmah, the ninth-rated wrestler at 133-pounds, gained his first appearance in the national polls after qualifying for the National Championships with a second-place finish at regionals. Farmah, a junior from St. Paul, Minn., holds a 10-6 record and wrestled in 10 duals for Minnesota State this season.
Maverick All-American’s Abernathy and Blome are ranked No. 7 and No. 10 at 184-pounds and 197-pounds respectively. Each wrestler claimed a second consecutive visit to nationals with third-place finishes a week ago at regionals. Abernathy holds an overall record of 19-5 this season with 11 bonus-point victories. Blome has gained a mark of 17-6 and has set a team-high mark for falls this season with eight.
Minnesota State’s five ranked wrestlers will next take the mat at the NCAA Division II National Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa., March 9-10.