NWCA 2021-22 Division II Regular Season Poll #2
MANHEIM, PA – The University of Central Oklahoma held onto the top spot in NCAA Division II Wrestling to close out the 2021 calendar year, as announced in the NWCA Division II Coaches Poll released Friday, Dec. 31.
The #1 Bronchos widened their lead on the rest of the field, topping #2 St. Cloud State by 18 points, with UCO amassing 104 total points behind seven ranked wrestlers- including three #1s. The three-time defending National Champion Huskies took the two-spot with 86 points, with McKendree (70), West Liberty (67), and Nebraska-Kearney (62) rounding out D2’s top five.
St. Cloud leads the field with eight ranked wrestlers, with returning National Finalist #1 Joey Bianchini still atop the 141 top 12. The seven from Central Oklahoma are next best, headlined by a new #1 in Tanner Cole at 133. Cole is joined by teammates Heath Gray (184) and Dalton Abney (197) in the top spot at their respective weights, while #5 Nebraska-Kearney also has seven ranked, led by Sam Turner again ranked as the nation’s top wrestler at 149.
In addition to Cole at 133, there are two other new #1s in this edition of the rankings, with both McKendree’s Christian Mejia (125) and Indianapolis’ Andrew Sams (174) making their way into the top spots at their respective weights after bracket championships at the 42nd Midwest Classic prior to the holiday. James Wimer of Findlay (157), Alex Farenchak of Gannon (165) and Andrew Dunn of Kutztown (285) all held on to their #1 spots in the latest rankings.
Super Region Five again leads regionally with eight teams in the Top 25 and 33 total wrestlers ranked, including one #1 in SCSU’s Bianchini at 141. Both Super Region One and Super Region Six each have five teams in the Top 25, with Super Region 6 coming in second individually with 24 ranked wrestlers, highlighted by UNK’s Turner in the top spot at 149. Super Region 4 tops the #1 listing, with half of D2’s top-ranked individuals coming from SR4: UCO’s Cole (133), Gray (184), and Abney (197), UIndy’s Sams (174), and McKendree’s Mejia (125).
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference leads all conferences with 33 ranked individuals and eight of the Top 25 teams. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference both have four teams in the Top 25, while the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association has four top-ranked individuals, and 17 total ranked wrestlers.
The next ranking will come out Jan. 21, following NWCA National Duals and the start of many team’s conference seasons.