2017 Pre-Nationals Rankings Released by NCWA

February 27, 2017 | Bryan Knepper

The NCWA Postseason has officially started with the completion of the Conference Championship qualifiers.  The rankings have shifted quite a bit due to upsets and guys coming out of nowhere.  Which of these guys will stand on the podium come March 11th in Allen, Texas?

The full rankings can be viewed at NCWA Rankings 2-27-17 via DropBox and can also be viewed at USAWrestling.org and TheOpenMat.com

The NCWA-D1 team race is squarely in the hands of defending Collegiate Cup Champion, Emmanuel College (SEC) as they rack up 99 points in the rankings.  Liberty (MAC) is 2nd at D1 with 81 pts, followed by Central Florida (SEC, 66 pts), Grand Valley State (GLC, 61 pts), and Middle Tennessee State (MAC, 58 pts) rounding out the top-5.  The rest of the top-10 includes The Apprentice School (MAC), Springfield Tech (NEC), Florida (SEC), Alfred State (NEC), and Temple (MEC).  For reference purposes, the conferences are as follows: GLC-Great Lakes, GPC-Great Plains, MAC-Mid-Atlantic, MEC-Mideast, NEC-Northeast, NWC-Northwest, SEC-Southeast, SWC-Southwest, WCC-West Coast.

The rankings points are a combination of individual rankings (10 pts for #1 ranking, down to 1 pt for #10 through #15) and National Duals / Western Regional Duals advancement points.  As the National Dual Champion, Emmanuel College carries 24 pts into the the National Championships in Texas.  These rankings do not indicate the actual seed for the NCWA National Tournament as that is voted upon by the Conference Chairmen.  The NCWA intends to release the seeding through a LIVE broadcast on Saturday, March 4th (time and online location to be announced)

The rankings signal a battle between 6 teams for the NCWA-D2 National Title with Toledo (GLC, 32 pts) barely holding off Penn State WC (MEC, 28 pts) based on the high individual rankings at 2 weight classes.  Penn State WC earlier won the Glass City Duals hosted by Toledo and defeated Toledo 42-18.  The other teams in the race include Akron (GLC, 26 pts), Maine (NEC, 26 pts), UConn (NEC, 23 pts), and James Madison (MAC, 21 pts).  Akron was the only team that did not participate in the National Duals and acquired the points through individual rankings only.

Top-rated wrestlers at each of the 11 weight classes are as follows:

125 - Byron Smith (Jr, 17-4, Middle Tennessee State University, MAC, 5th Place at 125 '16)

133 - Darius Bunch (So, 18-6, Emmanuel College, SEC, Returning National Champion)

141 - Carlos Garcia (Sr, 13-2, Middle Tennessee State University, MAC, 5th Place at 141 '15, injured '16)

149 - Jeremiah Lutz (Sr, 23-1, Emmanuel College, SEC, 3rd at 157 '16)

157 - Parker Simington (Fr, 28-4, United States Air Force Academy Prep, GPC)

165 - Trace Thome (Sr, 20-7, University of Florida, SEC, National Champion at 157-lbs '16)

174 - Josh Ferenczy (Sr, 27-5, Liberty University, MAC, 2nd at 174 '16)

184 - Cody Chaney (Sr, 20-1, Emmanuel College, SEC, Returning National Champion)

197 - Maveric Rechsteiner (Jr, 17-7, Emmanuel College, SEC, Returning National Champion)

235 - Tyler McClendon (Jr, 24-2, Middle Tennessee State University, MAC)

285 - Donavan Lozada (Jr, 27-1, Springfield Technical Community College, NEC)

Notable Undefeated Seasons on the line.  The following wrestlers enter the National Tournament undefeated:

125: none; 133: #10 Hunter Haney (Washington State, NWC, 7-0), #16 Jeremy Santos (Cal State - Sacramento, WCC, 6-0); 141: #7 Jeff Hayden (Towson, MEC, 6-0); 149: none; 157: #11 Youssef Araf (UCLA, WCC, 15-0), #12 Joseph Rios (Texas Tech, SWC, 9-0); 165: none; 174: #2 Clay Kocsis (Penn State - Mont Alto, MEC, 25-0); 184: none; 197: #7 Danny Falconer (Clemson, MAC, 9-0), #11 Jacob Childs (BYU, WCC, 12-0); 235: none; 285: #3 Rickey Carter (Florida A&M, SEC, 8-0)