St. Cloud State seniors Vince Dietz and Brett Velasquez both earned top spots in the latest NCAA Division II wrestling polls, which were released on Dec. 31. Velasquez moved up to the top spot at 125-pounds, while Dietz maintained his number one ranking at 197-pounds in the poll released by the NCAA DII Wrestling Coaches Association and presented by the United States Marine Corps.
Dietz currently owns a 12-0 record with five falls for the Huskies this season, while Velasquez is 7-0 with three falls at 125 for the Huskies.
As a team, SCSU (7-0, 2-0 NSIC) dropped a spot to number two in the national team rankings behind Nebraska-Kearney. SCSU posted 91 points in the poll behind new leader UNK with 95 points. Of note, the Huskies lead all NCAA DII teams with eight individually ranked wrestlers in the poll, while UNK has seven.
In addition to Dietz and Velasquez, SCSU wrestlers to earn national rankings include Garrett Vos (#11 at 133-pounds), Travis Swanson (#9 at 141-pounds), James Pleski (#3 at 149-pounds), Jake Barzowksi (#7 at 157-pounds), Devin FitzPatrick (#4 at 165-pounds) and Kolton Eischens (#3 at 174-pounds).
SCSU will now travel to Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 4-5 for the 2019 NWCA Division II National Duals championships. The Huskies are the two-time defending NWCA DII National Duals champions and they will be looking to win their fifth NWCA DII National Duals title in 2019.
This tournament will feature the nation’s top NCAA Division II teams and they will compete in a dual match tournament, which will begin at 9 a.m. (ET) on Jan. 4 at the Kentucky Expo Center Freedom Hall in Louisville. The tourney will wrap up with the final matches on Jan. 5.
Teams invited to participate in this year’s tournament include: #1 SCSU, Central Oklahoma, #16 Fort Hays State, #20 Gannon, #11 Indianapolis, Limestone, #10 Lindenwood, #4 McKendree, #2 Nebraska-Kearney, #3 Notre Dame (OH), #8 Pitt-Johnstown, #21 Seton Hill, #5 Upper Iowa, #15 UW-Parkside, West Liberty and #7 Wheeling Jesuit.
The Huskies have won the NWCA DII National Duals title in 2018, 2017, 2013 and 2012. SCSU placed second in 2016 and third in 2015 and 2011. Since 2010, SCSU has placed no lower than seventh place at the NWCA DII National Duals tournament.
In 2018, the NWCA DII National Duals was held in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Huskies won the title with a 4-0 record that included wins over Lake Erie (46-0), Indianapolis (32-6), Nebraska-Kearney (21-12) and Seton Hill (41-0 in the title match).