Seven Cowboy Wrestlers Listed In Final Coaches' Poll

Feb. 23, 2012


NCAA Coaches' Rankings Get Acrobat Reader | RPI Rankings Get Acrobat Reader

Seven University of Wyoming wrestlers were in the final NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings, released Thursday.

The final rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The UW wrestlers in the rankings include senior Michael Martinez (17th at 125 pounds), redshirt freshman Zach Zehner (15th, 133); redshirt freshman Andy McCulley (31st, 157); senior Shane Onufer (third, 165); sophomore Pat Martinez (22nd at 174); senior Joe LeBlanc (first, 184); and redshirt junior Alfonso Hernandez (ninth at 197). The six also were included in the final RPI rankings: Michael Martinez (15th); Zehner (10th); McCulley (28th); Onufer (third); Pat Martinez (14th); LeBlanc (first) and Hernandez, eighth.

The NCAA also announced Thursday the West Regional Wrestling Tournament will be allocated 17 automatic bids to the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

Team that wrestle at the West Regional include Western Wrestling Conference members Air Force, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and the University of Wyoming. Last season, the NCAA West Regional Tournament, at which all WWC institutions currently compete to qualify for nationals, was awarded 15 automatic qualifiers. The WWC was also given two additional at-large bids for a total of 17 spots.

This season, the NCAA awarded 290 automatic bids to 10 conferences. Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.

The Western Regional/WWC Championships - Automatic bids (17 total)
125 pounds: 2
133: 2
141: 1
149: 2
157: 3
165: 2
174: 1
184: 2
197: 1
285: 1

For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament with automatic qualifying status was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 7. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.