NWCA 2021-22 Division II Regular Season Poll #1

MANHEIM, Penn.- For the first time in 15 years, the University of Central Oklahoma is the #1 team in NCAA Division II Wrestling, as announced in the latest edition of the NWCA Division II Coaches Rankings released Friday, Dec. 3.

The Bronchos, who came in at #4 in the Preseason Edition of the poll, were last ranked #1 Oct. 23, 2007, after finishing as the 2007 NCAA Division II National Champions the previous season. They sit atop the first 2021-22 regular season poll behind seven ranked wrestlers, including two number ones in defending National Champion Heath Gray at 184, and returning National Finalist Dalton Abney at 197.

Central Oklahoma edged out three-time defending National Champions, St. Cloud State, by just one point, amassing 85 points to the Huskies’ 84. Nebraska-Kearney (74 points), West Liberty (70 points), and Lindenwood (57 points) round out the top five teams.

INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS

St. Cloud State leads with nine ranked individuals, led by returning National Finalist #1 Joey Bianchini at 141. Nebraska-Kearney joins UCO with seven ranked individuals, highlighted by this poll’s only new #1 in Sam Turner at 149. 

In looking at the poll by Super Regional, Super Regions One and Five both feature five teams in the Top 25, while Super Region 5 leads individually with 27 ranked wrestlers among its 10 institutions, including SCSU’s Bianchini as the #1 at 141. Super Region Four is close behind with 24 wrestlers ranked in their weight class’ respective Top 12, including UCO’s Gray and Abney at #1, with Lindenwood’s Abner Romero #1 at 174 as well. Super Region Three also contains a trio of top-ranked wrestlers in Cole Laya (125) and Tyler Warner (133) from West Liberty and Findlay’s James Wimer at 157.

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference leads all conferences with 27 ranked individuals and five of the Top 25 teams. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference has four teams in the Top 25, while the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association has three top-ranked individuals, and 17 total ranked wrestlers.

The next ranking will be just prior to the New Year, coming out Dec. 31, 2021. 

 

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