ThunderWolves earn first national ranking since 2001

ThunderWolves earn first national ranking since 2001

Hillhouse remains nationally-ranked at 133-pounds at fifth in the nation.

Related: NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association Team & Individual Rankings (Jan. 11, 2012)

EDMOND, Okla. ( - Jan. 11, 2012) - The CSU-Pueblo wrestling team attained its first national top 20 ranking since resurrecting its program in 2008, weighing in at 20th in the nation in the latest NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association national poll, released Wednesday.

In addition, 133-pound junior Jesse Hillhouse (Jr., Casper, Wyo.), previously ranked fourth in the nation at 133 pounds, dropped to 5th nationally.  He is 17-4 so far this season, the best individual mark on the team.

The ThunderWolves, fresh off a dual defeat of then-12th-ranked Fort Hays State last week, rose up the ranks after not receiving votes in the previous poll, released in early December. 

CSU-Pueblo is one of six RMAC teams in the top 20, and when those RMAC squads "receiving votes" are factored into the equation, are among nine RMAC teams receiving mention in the poll.  In fact, only two RMAC teams were not mentioned in the poll.

CSU-Pueblo was a regular member of the national top 20 prior to the program's ouster in 2001, even finishing 5th at the national championships at the close of the 2001 season. 

The ThunderWolves will face four teams - none of them ranked - at the Western State College Tracy Borah Duals this weekend before diving in to its RMAC dual schedule at home Jan. 18 vs. Colorado School of Mines.