Jan. 22, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy wrestling team had five student-athletes included in the first of three coaches' panel rankings for the 2009-10 wrestling season, as announced on Thursday by the NCAA.
Sophomore Michael Martinez was ranked No. 11 at 125 pounds, senior Cory VomBaur was No. 20 at the 133-pound weight class, sophomore Chase Smith was No. 32 at 141 pounds, sophomore Shane Onufer came in at No. 10 at 165 pounds and sophomore All-American Joe LeBlanc was tied for No. 7 at 184 pounds.
The Western Wrestling Conference, of which Wyoming is a member, had 19 wrestlers named in the rankings. Highlighting the weight classes for the fourth-year league were five wrestlers at 125 pounds and four at 141 pounds.
The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Last season, the NCAA West Regional Tournament, at which all WWC institutions currently qualify for nationals, was awarded 13 automatic qualifiers. The WWC was also given one additional at-large bid for a total of 14 spots.
This year's NCAA West Regional Tournament will take place March 6 in Brookings, S.D. and is hosted by South Dakota State University.
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches across the nation. Each qualifying tournament has five coaches rank the top 33 wrestlers in two weight classes. For ranking purposes, coaches must select a wrestler as a starter at a designated weight class. In addition, coaches may only select one wrestler per weight class.
The Western Wrestling Conference is comprised of seven schools including the Air Force Academy, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming.
Following is a list of the highest-ranked wrestler in each weight class in the WWC. A list of complete rankings is attached...