INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA released its second coaches' panel rankings for the 2014-15 wrestling season Friday. Eight Pokes are featured on the list that is one of the tools used to determine the qualifiers for the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship hosted at the Scotttrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on March 19-21.
"It is good to be in this position at this point in the season," head coach Mark Branch said. "I'm very pleased to have eight guys in there and it betters our chances to get to the NCAA Championships. We need to make sure we do everything we can to better our position from here on out."
Senior Tyler Cox leads the Pokes ranking 13th (125 pounds) followed by fellow seniors Andy McCulley ranked 14th at 174 pounds and Shane Woods, who is 15th (197 pounds) with sophomore Benjamin Stroh rounding out the Cowboys in the top 20, as he ranks 19th (184 pounds). Junior Tanner Harms ranks 21st (285 pounds) with senior Dakota Friesth ranking 23rd (165 pounds). Redshirt freshman Archie Colgan ranking 31st (157 pounds) with Sophomore Jake Elliott ranks 32nd (149 pounds).
Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots in their qualifying tournaments for the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents in the weight class and have wrestled within the last 30 days.
The top-ranked wrestlers at each weight class in the rankings are: Alan Waters, Missouri (125 pounds); Christopher Dardanes, Minnesota (133 pounds); Logan Stieber, Ohio State (141 pounds); David Habat, Edinboro (149 pounds); Dylan Ness, Minnesota (157 pounds); Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State (165 pounds); Robert Kokesh, Nebraska (174 pounds); Gabriel Dean, Cornell (184 pounds); J'Den Cox, Missouri (197 pounds) and Nick Gwiazdowski, North Carolina State (Heavyweight).
The next round of coaches' panel rankings will be released in conjunction with the RPI and the qualifier allocations for each qualifying tournament at the end of February.
Wt. - Name (Coaches Rank) - (Previous Rank)
125: Senior Tyler Cox (13th) - (12th)
149: Sophomore Jake Elliott (32nd) - (28th)
157: Redshirt freshman Archie Colgan (31st) - (33rd)
165: Senior Dakota Friesth (23rd) - (24th)
174: Senior Andy McCulley (14th) - (14th)
184: Sophomore Benjamin Stroh (19th) - (18th)
197: Senior Shane Woods (15th) - (15th)
285: Junior Tanner Harms (21st) - (21st)