North Carolina re-enters Top 25; Penn State, Ohio State still ranked 1-2 heading into Holiday tournaments

Manheim, Pennsylvania — The nation’s top five teams have combined to go 34-0 in the first month and a half of the college wrestling season as the final USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Wednesday for the 2017 calendar year.

Penn State (5-0) remains No. 1, while Ohio State (6-0), Oklahoma State (5-0) and Missouri (8-0) maintained their positions over the past week. NC State (10-0) moved up to No. 5, jumping one spot over Lehigh (6-1). The rest of the top ten was unchanged as the Big Ten took three of the four spots at 7-10 with Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan staying put as did No. 10 Virginia Tech from the ACC.

Penn State beat Indiana 44-3 to open up its Big Ten schedule, while Ohio State dropped one individual bout in two neutral-site victories. The Buckeyes shut out Princeton prior to the Beast of the East in Newark, Delaware on Friday and then beat Chattanooga 39-3 at The Cooler in suburban Atlanta. Continue reading

Navy breaks into Top 25, few shifts in USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Exams are in full swing as the first semester comes to an end at college campuses across the nation, which means it was another short week of competition in Division I wrestling as there were only a few changes in the USA Today’s NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The United States Naval Academy (3-0) made its first appearance in the Top 25 since the preseason poll in 2008-09. Coach Joel Sharratt’s Midshipmen picked up a sound 22-13 victory over up-and-coming Drexel. Overall, its the 123rd time in program history Navy’s been ranked in the Coaches Poll. Continue reading

Lock Haven’s upset over Rutgers vaults Bald Eagles into USA Today/NWCA Division I Top 25 for first time in 15 years

Manheim, Pennsylvania — With a large portion of the nation’s ranked Division I teams competing at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, dual meet action was limited, but a small school in central Pennsylvania returned to the rankings after a decade and a half as the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday.

Lock Haven (1-0) upset Rutgers (3-1) 22-16 at a sold-out Thomas Fieldhouse in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to push the Bald Eagles into the Top 25 for the first time since November 26, 2002. Four of the five Lock Haven wins in the dual were by bonus points. Heavyweight Thomas Haines provided the exclamation point with a fall to clinch the team victory.

The Top 10 teams remained the same from last week, but there were some close calls in a pair of duals featuring ranked teams. Continue reading

Minimal changes through Thanksgiving break in USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania —  With only 19 duals involving Division I programs through the Thanksgiving holiday, there were only minimal changes in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

For the fourth week in a row, Penn State (3-0) garnered all 16 first-place votes. It’s the 47th week all-time the Nittany Lions have been ranked No. 1. The first come on December 14, 1959 when the poll was operated by Wrestling News and Reports, now known as Amateur Wrestling News.

The rest of the top 10 stayed the same with Ohio State (3-0), Oklahoma State (3-0), Missouri (6-0), Lehigh (3-0), NC State (6-0), Iowa (4-0), Minnesota (2-1), Michigan (1-1) and Virginia Tech (3-1) holding their positions. Continue reading

Lehigh’s win over Michigan jumps Mountain Hawks into top five of USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania —  Lehigh’s 27-8 victory this past weekend over then-No. 4 Michigan shook up the top ten teams in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

The Mountain Hawks (3-0) were this week’s biggest mover, jumping five spots from No. 10 to No. 5, while Cornell (1-0) jumped four spots from No. 19 to No. 15 after a 30-10 victory over then-No. 13 Northern Iowa (1-1). Lehigh also beat No. 24 Edinboro 27-14 over the weekend.

The last time Lehigh was in the top five was on February 23, 2005. Continue reading

Penn State, Ohio State start year with quality wins, remain atop USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — The top six teams remained the same after the first two weeks of NCAA Division I wrestling competition in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Penn State (2-0) again received all 16 first-place votes to remain the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, while second-ranked Ohio State (1-0) maintained its position after a solid 31-12 victory over then-No. 11 Arizona State (0-2) over the weekend.

Third-ranked Oklahoma State (1-0) opened with a 25-9 win over then-No. 22 North Carolina, while fourth-ranked Michigan also beat Arizona State 21-18. Missouri (4-0) opened with a 20-17 win over No. 14 Illinois (0-1) in a dual held outdoors at the Mizzou Softball Stadium. Missouri blanked three non-Division I opponents on Sunday at home. Continue reading

Penn State, Ohio State start season atop USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — Two of the teams favored to compete for an NCAA Division I team championship in 2017-18 sit atop the first USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association on Tuesday.

Penn State, which won its sixth title in the past seven years and seventh overall, gained all 16 first-place votes to come in as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country. Ohio State, which is expected to field a power-packed lineup, came in second as a unanimous No. 2. They two teams will meet as part of their Big Ten schedule on Saturday, February 3 at Penn State. The USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll is a dual-meet ranking.

The Nittany Lions return five individual Division I champions — Zain Retherford (149), Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184). The Buckeyes boast a lineup that includes past NCAA champions Nathan Tomasello, Myles Martin and World and Olympic champion Kyle Snyder. Continue reading

Unbeaten Penn State caps unbeaten season with National Duals crown, ends season No. 1 in USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll

Manheim, Pennsylvania — After a stellar performance in front of a hostile crowd of 14,000-plus at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Sunday, Penn State stands as the nation’s lone unbeaten team in Division I wrestling at the conclusion of the regular season. The 14-0 Nittany Lions won their second straight NWCA National Duals Championship and fourth overall by handing Oklahoma State its first loss of the season 27-13. The win secured PSU the top spot in the final USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State (14-1), spent the entire season ranked No. 1, fell one spot to No. 2, but did set a Gallagher-Iba Arena record for attendance as 14,059 witnessed the dual. The previous high for an Oklahoma State dual came of 10,082 came in 2001 against Oklahoma. The previous arena high was 14,044 during a 2007 Big 12 basketball game between Oklahoma State and Missouri. Continue reading