Huskies earn No. 2 spot in NWCA Preseason Rankings

Six SCSU wrestlers enter 2022-23 ranked in the Top-12, tying for the NCAA lead

MANHEIM, Pa. – St. Cloud State Wrestling has earned the No. 2 spot in the 2022-23 National Wrestling Coaches Association Preseason Coaches Rankings as announced by the NWCA this weekend.

The five-time NCAA Champion Huskies have garnered a top-three preseason rank by the NWCA each year dating back to 2015.

Six Huskies will open the season nationally ranked led by transfer Abner Romero, who earned the No. 1 spot at 174. A two-time NCAA All-American, Romero earned the 2021 NCAA Championship at 174 with Lindenwood. While wrestling attached, Romero is an incredible 56-2.

Three-time All-American Joey Bianchini enters the year ranked No. 2 at 141. Bianchini has earned three Super Region V Championships at 141 while placing second and third at the last two NCAA Tournaments. The redshirt senior has won 52 of his last 54 bouts.

125-pounder Paxton Creese earned his first preseason ranking, entering the season at No. 5. The bonus-point machine went 19-4 last season on his way to a Super Region Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. 10 of Creese’s 19 wins were in the bonus including four tech falls and three pins.

2021 All-American Colby Njos likewise opens the season No. 5 at 157, helping anchor one of the strongest middle-weight teams in the nation. Njos enjoyed an iconic run at the 2021 NCAA Tournament, entering unseeded and then putting away four consecutive ranked wrestlers to take third place. The Anoka product went 15-2 last season while spending much of the year ranked top-three nationally.

Anthony Herrera moves up to 165 this season, entering the year ranked No. 8 in his new class. The three-time All-American was the top seed at 157 at last year’s NCAA Tournament and went 21-3 in his debut season with the Huskies.

True sophomore Nick Novak rounds out the ranked Huskies, earning the No. 8 spot at 149. Novak took the region by storm last season, entering the lineup midway through the dual season and going 21-6 with a team-leading seven tech falls. He earned the Super Region V Championship at 149 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

The 2022 Black & Red Classic is set for Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Halenbeck Hall. SCSU then begins Open competition on November 5 with their dual schedule beginning with the Chadron State Duals on December 4.

View NWCA 2022-23 Preseason Division II Rankings

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