Minneapolis - The University of Minnesota Wrestling team is making moves in the national polls, after several wrestling publications released their updated rankings today (Nov. 24).
The Gophers open their dual meet season this weekend, when they host Cal State Bakersfield on Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m. Thus far in 2009-10, they have competed in two open meets, with several individual champions. Minnesota has been ranked every week of the young season.
In the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Top-25, the Gophers moved up one spot, cracking the top-five of the NWCA rankings. At No. 6 last week, Minnesota now moves up to No. 5, behind No. 1 Iowa. The Hawkeyes 275 points pace the field, while the Gophers fall in line behind with 225 points.
This is the highest that Minnesota has been ranked in the NWCA top-25 Poll since the Gophers entered the national tournament with a No. 2 ranking near the end of the 2007-08 season.
The best ranking of the week for the Golden Gophers comes in the Wrestling Insider News (WIN) Magazine Power Index. There, Minnesota is tabbed as a top-three team with 57.0 total points, behind first place Iowa and second place Iowa State.The Hawkeyes come in with 105 points while the Cyclones have 72.5. Minnesota is also just ahead of fourth place Nebraska with 54.0 points and fifth place Cornell with 53.5.
A third appearance in the top-five comes courtesy of the newest InterMat rankings, where the Gophers move up to No. 4, after residing at No. 5 for the last two weeks. Iowa and Iowa State again come in first and second with Ohio State claiming third place by InterMat. Iowa leads with 90.0 points, while Minnesota tallied 79.5 in the poll. No. 5 Oklahoma State is not far behind the Gophers with 71.0 points.
Individually, the Gophers can boast a ranked wrestler at nearly each weight class. Dustin Schlatter (Massillion, Ohio) leads the way with a first place tally at 165 in the InterMat poll, as well as No. 2 rankings from Amateur Wrestling News (AWN) and WIN.
Jayson Ness (Bloomington, Minn.) is ranked No. 2 across the board at 135, gaining the recognition from all three publications. Also in the top-five individually is Zach Sanders (Wabasha, Minn.) at 125, who held steady with a No. 4 ranking individually in each poll. Mike Thorn (St. Michael, Minn.) at 141 also cracks the top-five, ranking No. 4 by InterMat. Thorn is also ranked No. 7 by WIN and No. 10 by AWN.
Ben Berhow (Hayward, Minn.) lands in the top-10 in each of the polls as a heavyweight, ranking No. 8 by InterMat, No. 9 by WIN and No. 10 by AWN. Rookie Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.) is the final Gopher to be found in the top-10, as he is ranked No. 9 at 149 by InterMat. In the WIN and AWN polls he is No. 13 and No. 12 respectively.
Jake Deitchler (Anoka, Minn.) can be found in two of the three polls at 157 with a No. 13 ranking in InterMat and a No. 16 ranking by WIN. Finally Sonny Yohn (Alamosa, Colo.) is ranked by all three publications, but at two different weight classes. At 184, Yohn is No. 16 by InterMat and No. 18 by WIN, while he is ranked No. 17 at 197 by AWN.
The Gophers rankings will be put to the test on Saturday, Nov. 28, when they host their first dual of the season. Cal State Bakersfield visits Williams Arena at 7:00 p.m.