Manheim, Pennsylvania — Oklahoma State garnered 10 of the possible 16 first-place votes to open the 2016-17 NCAA Division I wrestling season atop the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll on Wednesday.
The Cowboys went 13-3 last season and finished second at the 2016 NCAA Division I Championships. Coach John Smith’s team returns five All-Americans including 141-pound NCAA champion Dean Heil. Along with Heil, All-Americans Anthony Collica, Joe Smith, Kyle Crutchmer and Nolan Boyd will give the Cowboys a formidable dual meet squad. Transfer All-American Geo Martinez isn’t expected to compete this season for Oklahoma State, while Crutchmer returns after missing most of last season due to injury.
Penn State, last year’s NCAA team champions and NWCA National Duals Champions, finished the season a perfect 16-0 in dual meets. Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad has won five of the last six NCAA team championships and returns four All-Americans, including 149-pound NCAA champion Zain Retherford. The Nittany Lions received five first-place votes. Joining Retherford is NCAA finalist Jason Nolf, and fellow All-Americans Jimmy Gulibon and Bo Nickal. Penn State will be relying on several blue-chip first-time starters this season. Continue reading