Three UNI Wrestlers Earn MAC's Top Ranking
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Thursday 10/10/2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Coming off a successful 2012-13 wrestling season that witnessed a conference-best 11 All-Americans and 40 wrestlers seeded in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championship, the momentum for Mid-American Conference wrestling continues to rise as the MAC welcomes affiliate members Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion for the 2013-14 regular season and 2014 MAC Wrestling Tournament.

The MAC wrestling coaches announced the 2013-14 preseason weight class individual rankings in conjunction with the league office today. Based on the individual rankings, the Ohio Bobcats were selected first in the conference and will look to overcome defending MAC champion Missouri.

Three UNI wrestlers received top rankings, and one freshman made the preseason rankings.

  • 125 – T4 Dylan Peters (freshman)
  • 133 – 1st Levi Wolfensperger (junior)
  • 141 – 1st Joey Lazor (senior)
  • 184 – 1st Ryan Loder (senior)

The rankings will be released each month throughout the season, with one additional ranking system (two total) in January and February.  The 2013-14 preseason rankings, voted on by the league’s head coaches in an open forum are as follows:

2013-14 MAC Weight Class Rankings:

125 – 1. Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion, Junior); 2. Max Soria (Buffalo, Junior); 3. KeVon Powell (Ohio, Sophomore); t4. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan, Senior); t4. Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa, Freshman).

133 – 1. Levi Wolfensperger (Northern Iowa, Junior); 2. Joe Roth (Central Michigan, Senior); 3. Scott Festejo (Old Dominion, Senior); 4. Mac McGuire (Kent State, Sophomore).

141 – 1. Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Tyler Small (Kent State, Junior); 3. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 4. Kevin Fanta (Northern Illinois, Senior).

149 – 1. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri, Junior); 2. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 3. Scott Mattingly (Central Michigan, Senior); 4. Mike DePalma (Kent State, Sophomore).

157 – 1. Kyle Bradley (Missouri, Senior); 2. Ian Miller (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Spartak Chino (Ohio, Sophomore); 4. Lucas Smith (Central Michigan, Sophomore).

165 – 1. Zach Toal (Missouri, Senior); 2. Harrison Hightower (Ohio, Junior); 3. Devin Geoghegan (Old Dominion, Sophomore); 4. Sam Bennett (Northern Illinois, Junior).

174 – 1. Cody Walters (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan, Junior); 3. Matt Mougin (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Billy Curling (Old Dominion, Senior).

184 – 1. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa, Senior); 2. Sam Wheeler (Kent State, Sophomore); 3. Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 4. Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan, Senior).

197 – 1. Phil Wellington (Ohio, Sophomore); 2. Nick Whitenburg (Eastern Michigan, Senior); 3. Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion, Freshman); 4. Cole Baxter (Kent State, Sophomore).

HWT – 1. Jeremy Johnson (Ohio, Senior); 2. Devin Mellon (Missouri, Junior); 3. Jared Torrence (Northern Illinois, Senior); 4. Matt Tourdot (Old Dominion, Junior).

The preseason team rankings also were decided in the same forum.  The nine schools were ranked based on the number of first through fourth-place votes that were earned in the individual voting system.  A first-place vote was worth four team points; a second-place vote earned three team points; third-seeded votes were worth two team points, while a fourth-place tally earned one point in the team ranking system.  The preseason team rankings for the MAC are as follows:

2013-14 MAC Preseason Poll

  1. Ohio (19.0)
  2. Old Dominion (17.0)
  3. Missouri (15.0)
  4. Northern Iowa (12.5)
  5. Kent State (12.0)
  6. Central Michigan (10.0)
  7. Northern Illinois (6.0)
  8. Eastern Michigan (5.5)
  9. Buffalo (3.0)

In 2012, the MAC announced the addition of Missouri, Northern Iowa and Old Dominion as affiliate members in the sport of wrestling. All three universities joined the MAC with five-year agreements, as Missouri and Northern Iowa joined the MAC for the 2013 conference tournament and then to participate in regular season and tournament action for the next four consecutive years (2013-14 season thru 2016-17 academic season). Old Dominion joins the MAC for the regular season and tournament action this season through the 2017-18 academic season.

The 2014 MAC Wrestling Championships will be held March 8-9 and hosted by Kent State University.

Last year, Missouri ended Central Michigan’s 11-year run as conference champions. Missouri finished with 136 points, followed by second-place Central Michigan (88 points) and third-place Northern Iowa (83 points). 

OTHER POLLS

WIN (Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine) ranked UNI 16th in the nation, and four wrestlers made its top 20 list.

  • 133 – Joe Colon, 8th
  • 141 – Joey Lazor, 9th
  • 149 – Bart Reiter, 20th
  • 184 – Ryan Loder, 4th

Intermat has ranked UNI 18th in the nation, and four wrestlers made the top 20 list.

  • 125 – Dylan Peters, 9th
  • 133 – Joe Colon, 8th
  • 141 – Joey Lazor, 9th
  • 184 – Ryan Loder, 4th

SCHEDULE

The Panthers will get their season started at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open in Moorhead, Minn., on Nov. 16. The first home event for UNI will be a 7 p.m. Nov. 30 dual against Wisconsin.

Last season, the Panthers tied for 15th place at the NCAA Division I National tournament, and crowned two All-Americans, including Loder. Lazor and Wolfensperger missed the All-American status by one round.

UNI hosts eight home events this year.

SCHEDULE (with team’s place at last year’s national meet)

  • NOV. 16 –@ Cobber Open, Moorhead, Minn., 9 a.m.
  • NOV. 23 –@ Northern Illinois (T 41st) * & North Dakota State (30th), 10 a.m.
  • NOV. 30 –Wisconsin (T 27th), 7 p.m.
  • DEC. 6-7 – Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite
  • DEC. 14 –UNI Open, 9 a.m.
  • DEC. 29-30 – Midlands Championships
  • JAN. 4 –@ Buffalo (T 57th) *, 1 p.m.
  • JAN. 5 –@Eastern Michigan (T 41st) *, 2 p.m.
  • JAN. 11 –Central Michigan (18th) *, 7 p.m.
  • JAN. 19 – @ Oklahoma (12th), 2 p.m.
  • JAN. 24 – Missouri (7th) *, 7 p.m.
  • FEB. 1 – Ohio (29th) * & South Dakota State (T 66th), noon
  • FEB. 7 – Iowa State (11th), 7 p.m.
  • FEB. 9 – Kent State (24th) *, 1 p.m.
  • FEB. 16 – Purdue (31st), 2 p.m.
  • FEB. 23 – @ Old Dominion (T 60th) *, 1 p.m.
  • MARCH 8-9 – @ MAC Championships*; Kent, Ohio
  • MARCH 20-22 – NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships; Oklahoma City, Okla.

*MAC team


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