EDMOND, Okla. — The Newberry College wrestling team is ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division II Coaches’ Rankings, which were released Wednesday. The Wolves finished fifth at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, but the coaches deemed the Wolves to be more highly regarded.
Newberry dropped two spots in the poll. St. Cloud State moved to the top spot after winning the National Duals title, and runner-up Notre Dame (Ohio) is in second. Central Oklahoma is third, Newberry is fourth and Wisconsin-Parkside is fifth.
The Wolves are 11-1 in duals action this season and host the Super Region One Duals. Two teams Newberry wrestles in the event are in this week’s top 20 - No. 9 West Liberty and No. 11 Pitt-Johnstown.
Five Wolves are in the top eight in their weight class nationally.
The 125-pounder Jeff Vesta moved up a spot in the rankings with a 5-0 weekend at the National Duals and a 23-4 season record in his first season in the scarlet and gray.
At 141-pounds., B.J. Young fell to fifth in the nation despite a 23-6 record this season in one of the nation’s most loaded weight classes.
Deral Brown remained at eighth in the nation at 149 lbs. with a season record of 24-5. He now has a career record of 125-44 and needs just four wins to move into second place all-time at Newberry, with a potential to challenge for the all-time Newberry wins mark of 143.
At 157-pounds, Taylor Knapp moved up two spots from sixth to fourth in the nation. He has a season record of 18-4.
Newberry’s final nationally ranked wrestler is Blake Ridenour at 165-pounds. He fell from second to fifth, but carries a strong season record of 20-6.