Huskies earn number one ranking in preseason DII national poll

The defending national champion St. Cloud State University wrestling team received the number one ranking in the NWCA Division II wrestling coaches preseason poll for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

The Huskies scored 92 points in the poll with eight individually ranked wrestlers, while Nebraska-Kearney was second in the poll with 69 points and five ranked wrestlers and Notre Dame of Ohio was third with 67 points and five ranked wrestlers. The top 10 was completed by McKendree (59 pts), Wheeling Jesuit (48 pts), Upper Iowa (45 pts.), Pitt-Johnstown (45 pts.), Minnesota State (43 pts.), Western Colorado (38 pts.) and Newberry (33 pts.).

Individually, the Huskies led all DII teams with eight ranked wrestlers led by #1 ranked James Pleski at 149-pounds and #1 ranked Vince Dietz at 197-pounds. A junior, Pleski is a two-time All-American and finished second at 149-pounds for the Huskies in 2018. A senior, Dietz earned All-America notice for the Huskies after placing second at 197-pounds for SCSU in 2018 at the NCAA DII championships.

scsulogoAt 125-pounds, SCSU senior Brett Velasquez was ranked number two in the preseason poll. A three-time All-American, Velasquez placed fourth at 125-pounds at the NCAA finals in 2018 and was the NCAA DII champion at 125-pounds in 2016.

A 2018 national qualifier, SCSU sophomore Adam Hedin earned a number preseason ranking at 141-pounds and sophomore Devin FitzPatrick gained a #10 preseason ranking the national poll at 165-pounds after qualifying for the NCAA tournament in 2018 for the Huskies.

At 174-pounds, junior Kolton Eischens gained a third place ranking in the preseason poll for the Huskies. He earned All-America status for SCSU in 2018 at 174-pounds after placing sixth at the NCAA championships in his first year with the Huskies. At 285-pounds, senior Lawrence Phillips was ranked fifth in the preseason poll. In 2018, Phillips was an NCAA national qualifier after placing third at the Super Regional.

This year’s group of nationally ranked Huskies is completed by senior Chance Hemlick, who was ranked 10th at 184-pounds in the preseason poll. He transferred to SCSU in 2017-18 after being a national tournament qualifier at Chadron State.

NCAA DII Wrestling Coaches Association Rankings – October 29, 2018

The Huskies will open their 2018-19 season under the leadership of head coach Steve Costanzo on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. with the Black/Red Classic intrasquad match in Halenbeck Hall. SCSU will also unveil its 2018 NCAA DII championship banner in a special post-match ceremony in Halenbeck Hall.

NWCA DII Wrestling Coaches Preseason Poll for 2018-19
1 St. Cloud State 92 8
2 Nebraska-Kearney 69 5
3 Notre Dame 67 5
4 McKendree 59 5
5 Wheeling Jesuit 48 4
6 Upper Iowa 45 4
6 Pitt-Johnstown 45 5
8 Minnesota State 43 5
9 Western Colorado 38 3
10 Newberry 33 4
10 Indianapolis 33 6
12 Lindenwood 29 5
13 Ashland 27 3
14 UW-Parkside 25 2
14 Lake Erie 25 3
16 Kutztown 23 2
17 Fort Hays State 22 2
18 Millersville 21 2
19 West Liberty 20 2
19 Long Island-Post 20 1
21 Seton Hill 18 3
21 Chadron State 18 3
21 Adams State 18 3
24 Newman 16 1
25 Mercyhurst 15 2
25 Tiffin 15 3

Others receiving votes: Ouachita Baptist (13), Truman State (12), Findlay (11), Gannon (10), Augustana (10), Simon Fraser (9), San Francisco State (9), Southwest Minnesota State (9), Ohio Valley (9), Colorado School of mines (9), Drury (7), Limestone (7), Alderson Broaddus (6), MSU Moorhead (6), UMary (4), Belmont Abbey (4), Colorado State-Pueblo (3), King (3), Colorado Mesa (3), East Stroudsburg (2).

Check out Huskies Wrestling at scsuhuskies.com and on Twitter and Facebook.

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